Wed, 19 Jun 2019

Is Algeria facing a brain drain

The Arab Daily News
20 May 2019, 22:37 GMT+10

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Algerian "brain-drain" may well be one of the major challenges facing the new government that emerges from the election results. The country ranks 85 out of 189 in the Human Development Index of living standards compiled by the United Nations Development Program. In 2011, the government tried to prevent any further spread of the fever from the Arab Spring uprisings, offering billions in Algerian Dinar to pay for salary increases, interest-free loans, and thousands of jobs in the public sector.

However, 95 percent of government income depends on oil and gas revenues, which split in half in recent years due to the fall in the price of oil. Thus officials were pushed to impose a hiring freeze on public employment and initiate other austerity measures. As a result, the socioeconomic situation got worse, hundreds of thousands of young Algerians, notably university graduate students, sought to leave the country for a better life.

Although the state of the nation remains obscure during these tumultuous times, the country still has to deal with a series of vital challenges. Education and employment are definitely on the list and the question is, can the Algerian authorities manage to retain their nation's brightest minds who are fleeing the country to follow an opportunity of international education.

While the protests in Algeria entered their 13th week demanding the departure of ex-President Bouteflika's ruling clique, hopes and the commitment of the demonstrators remain firm toward their ultimate goal of relieving the nation of corrupted politics and bringing the economic crisis to an end.

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