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About North Africa Risk Consulting

North Africa Risk Consulting, Inc. is a political risk firm specializing exclusively in North Africa & the Sahara. NARCO has extensive experience helping firms navigate Maghreb markets. Ongoing events in North Africa and the Sahara have heightened the need to understand political circumstances, their trajectories and implications for the business environment. Learn more about North Africa Risk Consulting.

NARCO Analysis: Why the US bombed ISIS in Libya

Overnight, the US bombed Islamic State training camps in the vicinity Sirte, Libya. The bombing came as somewhat of a surprise both because of its timing and how it was carried out. In particular, the bombing comes a month after the Pentagon announced the end of air operations against the Islamist State in Libya (and on the last full day of Barack Obama’s presidency.) In addition, the bombing was carried out by B-2 bombers based in the US rather the US fighter jets based in Europe or on aircraft carriers. There are several (not mutually exclusive) explanations for why the bombing and why now.

NARCO RoundUp: Looking Backwards and Forward

This issue of the NARCO RoundUp is a kind of retrospective on the last twelve months and a little forecasting for what’s to come. A lot changed. Libya defeated a lot of demons, but only to make room for some more. Algeria’s change is paradoxically incremental and disruptive, with the landscape shifting, but not in any determinate way. Tunisia’s changes seem to be mostly cosmetic. But a lot also stayed the same. Libya is still barely a state. Expected changes in leadership in Algeria failed to materialize. Tunisia is still a political, economic and security mess. What does it all mean? There will be a civil war in Libya. In Algeria, the state will have to manage its contract with society more carefully than it has in the last decade. And Tunisia will struggle to remain relevant.

NARCO RoundUp (November 2016)

The November NARCO RoundUp focuses on the impact that the incoming Trump administration in the US will have on politics, security and oil in North Africa. Trump’s affinity for strongmen and stability means that, apart from Libya where he’ll bolster Field Marshall Khalifa Haftar, he is likely to leave the region well enough alone. The new US intelligence and security chiefs will probably take a much tougher (and less nuanced) stance on counter-terrorism in the region which is likely to sit well with the region’s governments. Political uncertainty, the higher likelihood of vioLent confrontation, and a former oil executive as Trump’s potential Secretary of State all point to upward pressure on oil prices, with winners and losers in the region.

NARCO CLOSEHOLD: Icarus in Algeria

For months Algerian institutions, both public and private, had been talking up the African Investment Forum. The event was going to showcase Algeria’s potential as an investment destination and its commitment to south-south development and cooperation. It was endorsed by President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, was supported by the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Industry, Commerce, and Energy, and was sponsored by the powerful Forum de Chefs d’Entreprise (FCE). North Africa Risk Consulting was told that it was going to harken back to the good old days of the 1970s when Algiers was a Third World pole, when it feted leaders from far and wide. Algeria was rediscovering itself and the event was going to broadcast to Africa north and south of the Sahara that it was back.