Algeria: ICT revenues booming
The overall turnover generated by the activities of Algeria's post and information and communication technologies sector reached nearly AD260 billion (some US$3.7 billion) late September 2007, against AD29.3 billion in 2000, Algerian Minister Boudjemaâ Haïchour declared Monday. During a meeting with his department’s executives and the sector’s operators, Haïchour indicated that the reform launched in post and ICT sector has an "extremely positive" impact on the creation of direct and indirect jobs, attraction of investments and turnovers.
Despite the optimism expressed by the minister, figures released recently by the United Nations Development Program in Algiers show a slow evolution of ICTs in the Maghreb region in general and in Algeria in particular. Algeria has reached 5.33% of Internet penetration. For computing penetration, Algeria is doing quite poorly with a mere 1.06%. For mobile telephone density, Algeria boasts with 44.52%.
A survey on ICT carried out in Algeria by FOREM, a local NGO, says only 0.10% of small and medium enterprises (SME) have introduced computers in their businesses, 70% of existing computing equipments are outdated but 12%. In recent comments, a UNDP's expert argued that Algeria is not exploiting rationally and fully its huge ICT potentials, namely Internet facilities. According to him, there is a need to develop an internet policy to establish adequate structures to run and monitor related activities and services.