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Algeria: new company to manage metro in Algiers 

Metro station in Algiers, Algeria 22 September 2020
Metro station in Tafourah, Algeria 22 September 2020

The Metro of Algiers Company (EMA) announced on Sunday evening that a new company will operate and ensure the maintenance of the metro in the Algerian capital after the termination of its management contract with the French RATP Group. The new company will be in charge of all metro workers, including those who were affiliated to the French company.

The new company, owned exclusively by the EMA, will take over the management immediately after the RATP contract expires on 31 October. The new contract will start on 1 November, coinciding with the anniversary of the outbreak of the Algerian War of Independence in 1954, which led to the end of the French colonial regime.

The Algerian authorities are working to ensure full autonomy in managing and maintaining the local metro. In June, they bought a mega tunnelling machine to speed up the pace of work and extend the metro network. The new machine is able to drill 17 to 13 metres per day.

It is noteworthy that a few weeks ago the RATP Group signed a 15 years contract with Egypt to manage and maintain the Cairo Metro Line 3, which extends for over 22.9 km and includes 19 stations. It has committed to ensure that 90 per cent of the jobs on offer will go to Egyptians.

French companies are currently witnessing a major setback in the Algerian market, after enjoying a quasi-monopoly for many years during the era of former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika. The Algerian wheat market, for example, records significant imports annually and has witnessed considerable trade with Russia and neighbouring countries, instead of France.

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