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About North Africa Risk Consulting

North Africa Risk Consulting Inc. is the political risk consultancy specializing exclusively in North Africa & the Sahara. NARCO helps 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 commercial environment. Learn more about North Africa Risk Consulting.

Nouakchott is abuzz. Ismail Bedda Ould Chiekh Sidiya, President Mohamed Ould Ghazouani’s prime minister, has announced his government and it’s not what Goldilocks would’ve wanted. It’s too technocratic. It’s too politicized. It’s too Bidane. It’s too maraboutic. It’s too new. It’s too old.

As Bradley says, summertime and the living’s easy. Algeria is transitioning – from what to what is a little unclear. The wheels aren’t coming off, though, and that’s a good thing. Mauritania is going gangbusters – a successful presidential succession, a solid security environment, and investment on the rise. Libya, on the other hand, is in a tailspin: a full-blown political crisis, outright war, and a looming humanitarian catastrophe.

The Brookings Institute, a Washington, DC think tank, recently published a study by three American researchers entitled “Algeria’s Uprising: A Survey of Protestors and the Military.” The study purports to survey and analyze protestors’ and Algerian military personnel’s attitudes about Algeria’s current political circumstances and future political developments. In particular, the survey claims to analyze active duty military personnel’s opinions about Army Chief of Staff Major General Ahmed Gaid Salah and his role in Algeria’s pre-electoral period.

NARCO doesn’t often publish raw fieldnotes, but given how much recent analysis of what is happening in Algeria – especially in regard to the populist political movement known as Hirak – is gleaned from social media (scraping Twitter feeds and Facebook posts), I thought it would be a refreshing intervention to share my notes from observing the latest Hirak demonstration in Algiers last Friday (19 July.)