Last updated in April 2014
Political relations between Algeria and Germany have traditionally been good and amicable. Even in the 1990s, when Algeria was afflicted by a wave of Islamist terrorist attacks, Germany maintained a diplomatic presence in the country. In early April 2001, President Bouteflika became the first Algerian president to pay an official visit to Germany. He visited Berlin again in December 2010. The visit by Federal President Köhler in November 2007 was the first official visit to Algeria by a German President. Federal Chancellor Merkel visited Algeria in July 2008 and German Bundestag President Lammert and Federal Economics and Technology Minister Rösler were in Algiers in February 2013. The most recent bilateral visits were those by Algerian Foreign Minister Medelci, who was in Berlin for talks in mid-March 2013, and Federal Foreign Minister Westerwelle, who visited Algiers in May 2013.
Oil is Germany’s chief import from Algeria, the other main imports being chemical products and other raw materials. In 2012, German imports from Algeria were worth EUR 1.8 billion. German exports to Algeria were likewise worth approximately EUR 1.8 billion in 2012. In the first half of 2013, German imports from Algeria amounted EUR 0.8 billion. In the same period, German exports to Algeria were worth EUR 1 billion. Germany’s principal exports to Algeria are motor vehicles and vehicle parts, machinery and chemical products (information from Germany Trade & Invest).
Algeria is becoming increasingly important for Europe as a supplier of energy. Government investment programmes, especially in road and rail transport, ports, dams, sewage plants and housing, are making Algeria an interesting investment destination for German companies. There are currently more than 220 German companies with a total German workforce of over 2,000 operating in Algeria. The German-Algerian Chamber of Industry and Commerce was officially opened on 1 June 2006 as part of the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry’s German Chamber Network. It currently has some 815 members.
Based on an agreement reached by Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel and Algerian President Bouteflika, the German-Algerian Joint Economic Commission met for the first time in spring 2011 in Berlin. It was presided over by Algeria’s Minister of Industry and, for the German side, the State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology. The commission’s fourth meeting was held in Algiers on 12 and 13 March 2014, with numerous representatives of German companies attending.
Investment protection, shipping, air transport and double taxation agreements are in place between the two countries.
The Goethe Institute in Algiers was established in 1963. It was closed from 1994 to 2001 but has been operating again since then. Its activities focus on language work. A German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) lecturer has been teaching at the University of Oran since the 2008/2009 winter semester and another DAAD lectureship was established at the University of Algiers in August 2013.
Along with other European languages, German is taught at Algerian schools as the third foreign language, after French and English. There are German departments at the Universities of Algiers, Oran and Sidi Bel Abbès, and this year additional German departments are being set up at the Universities of Bejaia and Tiaret. German is also taught at the central university language centres.
The following German political foundations are active in Algeria: the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, the Konrad Adenauer Foundation and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation.
The German Archaeological Institute has been engaged in restoration of the Archaeological Museum of Cherchell since summer 2008. A number of successful restoration campaigns have been conducted in the country.