Algeria’s fixed-line penetration rate was in decline for a number of years before the trend was reversed in 2015. This recovery is likely to continue to the end of the decade as infrastructure is extended to hitherto underserved areas. The country’s relatively well-developed infrastructure includes a national fibre backbone which is being augmented with a new subsea link to Europe. The market has begun to recover from the social and political unrest which erupted in 2011. Investor confidence has been revived by recent moves from the government to sell a stake in the country’s leading mobile operator, Mobilis. The Regulatory Authority of Post and Telecommunications (ARPT) regulates the post, broadcasting, and telecommunications in Algeria.
Algeria’s economy remains dominated by the state, a legacy of the country’s socialist postindependence development model. In recent years the Algerian Government has halted the privatization of state-owned industries and imposed restrictions on imports and foreign involvement in its economy.
The government’s efforts have done little to reduce high youth unemployment rates or to address housing shortages. Since late 2014, declining oil prices forced the government to spend down its reserves at a high rate in order to sustain social spending on salaries and subsidies, particularly since the government has been unable to boost exports of hydrocarbons or significantly grow its nonoil sector. In 2015, the Algerian Government imposed further restrictions on imports in an effort to reduce withdrawals from its foreign exchange reserves. Long-term economic challenges include diversifying the economy away from its reliance on hydrocarbon exports, bolstering the private sector, attracting foreign investment, and providing adequate jobs for younger Algerians.