Germany and Algeria: Bilateral Relations Algeria

20.06.2019 - Article


Political relations between Algeria and Germany are good. Even in the 1990s, when Algeria was struck by a wave of Islamist terrorist attacks, Germany maintained diplomatic contacts with the country. In 2001, President Abdelaziz Bouteflika became the first Algerian president to pay an official visit to Germany. He visited Berlin again in December 2010. The visit by then Federal President Horst Köhler in November 2007 was the first state visit to Algeria by a German President. Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel visited Algeria in July 2008 and again in September 2018. On 20 March 2019, Algerian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra met Foreign Minister Heiko Maas in Berlin.


Algeria’s economy is largely state-controlled and is dominated by the energy sector. 93 percent of the country’s export revenue comes from the oil and gas sectors, which account for 27 percent of gross domestic product. The fall in the price of oil is expected to result in a prolonged current account deficit. Official figures put unemployment at 11.7 percent; over a quarter of under-25s are without work. The Algerian Government is seeking to diversify the country’s economy.

The main suppliers of Algerian imports are China, France and Spain, with Germany in fourth place.

Germany’s principal exports to Algeria are machinery, motor vehicles and vehicle parts, as well as chemical products. Its primary imports from Algeria are oil, chemical products and other raw materials. Over 200 German companies have operations in Algeria, together employing more than 2000 people in the country. The German-Algerian Chamber of Industry and Commerce has some 800 members.

In addition to the German-Algerian Joint Economic Commission that Federal Chancellor Merkel and President Bouteflika agreed to set up in 2011, the energy partnership established between the two countries in 2015 has provided another forum for promoting bilateral business contacts. The first German-Algerian Agricultural Forum was held in November 2015.

Germany and Algeria have concluded a number of bilateral agreements, such as the investment protection agreement of 2002 and the double taxation agreement of 2008. The two countries also have bilateral agreements on shipping and air transport, among other things.

Culture and education

Germany and Algeria are currently negotiating a bilateral cultural agreement, which is intended to provide the basis for deeper cultural and academic cooperation between the two countries.

The Goethe-Institut in Algiers was established in 1963. It closed in 1994 but reopened in 2001. Its activities focus on language work, the demand for which continues to grow.

A memorandum of understanding on academic cooperation between the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and Algeria’s Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research was signed in March 2016. Since the autumn of 2017, there has been a DAAD lector at the University of Algiers; it is intended to appoint another at the University of Oran. The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) supports the Pan African University Institute of Water and Energy Sciences (PAUWES) in Tlemcen.

In September 2014, Germany and Algeria reached agreement on the admission of three Algerian schools as new partners in the worldwide network under the Schools: Partners for the Future initiative (PASCH). Students from these schools were invited to attend a youth exchange course in Germany for the first time in summer 2015. In addition, German Rooms were set up at the PASCH schools and equipped with reading materials and media resources.

Since 2012, Algeria’s Archaeological Museum of Cherchell and the German Archaeological Institute (DAI) have cooperated on the restoration of archaeological artefacts and specialised training for staff.


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