Ahmed Boumaza. International expert in strategic management and organization management: “No change will take place without modifying the governance system”

-We are currently talking about reforms in all areas, what do you think?

The desire to manage a country more effectively leads to a series of questions, as to the methods and tools used to achieve this, it is necessary to adapt to the spirit of “Quality” which is today an imperative that cannot be ignored by a country which must guarantee its sustainability and ensure its journey towards “excellence” by constantly improving its performance. This situation is perfectly suited to our country, which for the past few years has been in a cycle of profound structural transformations affecting its model of economic and social management as well as the very nature of its political system. But because it is taking place in a context of crisis, the refoundation will necessarily have to go through a reform of the institutions of the State which will have to be restored and rehabilitated because all the changes proposed, up to now, have not were only palliatives which were all rejected.

The solution now lies in the implementation of a new administration strategy, adapted to the new economic, political and social requirements in phase with the third millennium. It is a question of launching the grandiose dynamics of the construction of a new Algeria, a strong and credible State whose ambition is the development of a genuine democratic culture, the promotion of human rights, a dynamic national economy producing wealth and added value, independent justice at the exclusive service of the law and the citizen and finally an administration “freed” from its bureaucracy, rational in its management and attentive to the concerns of the citizen.

– There is also an umpteenth restructuring of the public industrial fabric: holding companies which become SGP then transformed into an economic group… and there is no end to it yet! Public enterprises have always lacked stability. What is this due to?

The advanced disarticulation of our industry or what remains of it makes it difficult to implement an efficient strategy. Indeed, manufacturing industry excluding hydrocarbons now represents only 4% of the gross domestic product (GDP) against more than 30% at the end of the 1980s. However, for more than thirty years the need to diversify our economy has been displayed as an objective to be achieved by all successive governments who have groped their way for decades. We then moved from the socialist management of companies during the 1970s/1980s, to the administration of the company by sector, then to the autonomy of companies (investment fund, holding company, SGP management company, industrial grouping, etc. ) placed under the crook of untimely injunctions from politics and a board of directors made up of very often incompetent people placed at the head of the management boards of these industrial groups. They managed without a target contract, without indicators of economic growth or profitability, these so-called managers having accumulated deficit balance sheets year after year, put the companies in a situation of liquidation and which only continued to exist thanks to the intervention of the State which mopped up the deficits by carrying out successive financial consolidations.

This chronic instability was very often due to risky choices in terms of management and had put the country in a situation of insolvency vis-à-vis our foreign partners. Let us remember the Structural Adjustment Plan (SAP) imposed on us by the IMF in 1990, this intuitive management has also completely dislocated entire sectors, like the BTPH which was completely flattened for lack of vision, the management of these companies was entrusted to architects and engineers, people who were perhaps good at their job, but who had no knowledge of management sciences. This way of doing things caused the bankruptcy of almost the entire construction industry.

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This situation of failure was the same for practically all the other sectors. Indeed, all were managed in a haphazard way according to an authoritarian model of governance, which ended up bringing the country to its knees, while the resources of the country were considerable and made the greatest nations dream who remained perplexed in the face of this enormous mess, of which we are guilty. However, economic incentives have not failed to give more vigor to the recovery and provide the beginning of a solution to the serious crisis of governance.

– What about the investment code?

The current context of globalization is leading many developed, emerging and even emerging countries to lead vast movements of administrative reforms in order to respond effectively to the requirements of this movement which will not stop. In this context, the Algerian government is committed to the effective implementation of a new investment code aligned with international standards and a plan to modernize the administration of public services. It is now done. But this ambitious project must be accompanied by innovative approaches, in particular the implementation of modern systems and tools in terms of management, steering, auditing and control of public finances. This approach will also aim to create the conditions for the transparency of the country’s tax system, but it should be noted that no change will come without radical modification of the system of governance which has paralyzed the initiative and reproduced the same patterns of failure since at least forty years.

-After a long period of scarcity, the financial upturn is here. What do you suggest?

I hope that we will take advantage of the financial upturn to relaunch the long-awaited development process within the framework of a true mapping of win-win partnership with brotherly/and friendly countries. Among the axes of change in the revision of the mode of economic governance to be put in place gradually, we suggest an upgrading program articulated around a certain number of economic development poles:

– The agriculture pole: the creation of the Office for the Development of Saharan Agriculture (ODAS) through the development of one million hectares in order to ensure food security is an important decision.

– The mining division: the policy of exploiting the country’s mineral wealth is a very judicious decision insofar as it will demonstrate new sources of growth excluding oil revenues with the prospects of industrial outlets with high added value.

– The industrial pole, among the many challenges of the diversification of the economy: redirecting resources towards the SME/SMI sector, a real creator of wealth with more jobs, more investments, more export markets and more growth.

– Generalize the digital in the administrations.
– Draw real economic profits from our diplomatic representations.
– Focus on local development.

Interview by Mohamed Benga

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