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Sidi-Mohammed Nehad

Sidi-Mohammed Nehad is a political analyst based in Paris. He holds a master’s degree in North-African literature from Cergy-Pontoise University and a master’s degree in Public affairs from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques, Paris.

Since the partitioning of the Sudan, Algeria is the largest African country and a primary regional power in the Mediterranean region. Therefore, the condition of this North African pivot-state is essential for Europe: Algiers is the 3rd largest energy supplier to the EU, while its population of 38 million inhabitants, its anti-terrorism security expertise and the size of its armed forces (130,000 men) make their security capabilities necessary to the stability of the Sahel zone. Moreover, with a gross domestic product (GDP) of 208 million dollars in 2013, Algeria remains the largest regional economy. Algiers was the least affected by the wave of the Arab Spring despite negative societal indicators. This situation contrasts with that of Tunisia or Egypt, notably due to politics of large redistribution of riches gained from oil revenues, but also due to the people’s fear of a return to a decade of stagnation. Nevertheless, the relative calm in this country during the last three years should not lead one to believe that the upcoming presidential election is not without high stakes. In fact, the trajectory of this powerful regional presence is uncertain for at least two reasons. First, the country’s socio-economic dynamic is worrisome. Second, the security dynamic is deteriorating given that Jihadist groups have found new resources. Thus, in the context of a tense regional framework, the Algerian situation is more important today than ever before.