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Arkab: Nationalization of hydrocarbons and Union creation are decisions demonstrating Algerian workers’ capacity to mobilize

The creation of the National Workers Union (UGTA) on February 24, 1956, and the nationalization of hydrocarbons, 15 years later, represented historic decisions that demonstrated the Algerian workers capacity to mobilize and a source of inspiration for the vast movement that singled out the Third World producer countries to regain their sovereignty over their natural resources, Minister of Energy and Mines, Mohamed Arkab said on Tuesday.

“Algeria is celebrating on Wednesday, two major events which have marked the contemporary history of our country. The first one is the creation of the General Union of the Algerian Workers (UGTA) on February 24, 1956, which gave the working class a tool to defend the workers’ rights and an opportunity to join the National Liberation Front struggle for freedom,” the minister told APS.

On Monday, Arkab has been installed as a Minister of Mining and Energy, following the last ministerial reshuffle.

The other event is “the nationalization of hydrocarbons which allowed the recovery of our natural resources and their use on the country’s socio-economic development,” Arkab said.

The nationalization of hydrocarbons has triggered a process of major economic and social development which has been a “demonstration of the capacities of Algerian workers and executives to take in charge the oil installations abandoned by foreign companies,” he said.

However, “we are today facing economic and energy challenges,” which require responses in order to build the new Algeria in the service of the rising generations,” he said.

Moreover, the situation of the oil markets, heavily impacted by the COVID19 pandemic has “plummeted the country’s income by almost a third (1/3), severely tested its capacities for action, accentuated its vulnerabilities in terms of availability of foreign currency and delayed implementation of the stimulus policy,” he stressed.

In order to take up these challenges, the programme drawn up by the Energy and Mining ministry aims at accelerating the socio-economic development by mobilizing all resources, for the emergence of new sectors of activity, in particular through small and medium-sized enterprises and start-ups, said the minister.

“The Energy and Mining ministry will continue to play a key role in the recovery plan and will benefit from particular attention in order to consolidate its capacities to promote the energy production our country needs with an increasingly important use of new and renewable energy, in order to preserve exhaustible resources,” he said.

In this regard, the completion of the law on investment, both in the hydrocarbon sector and in the renewable energy sector, should be a “priority” in order to ensure the visibility required to boost investments and guarantee the country’s energy security on the long and very long term.

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