NARCO RoundUp (OCT18)


Things are rocking and rolling at NARCO and the October RoundUp is admittedly late. Algeria is a hot mess of contradiction – with oil the only sector projecting any coherency. Politics and security are inscrutable. Libya’s Palermo Conference did exactly what everyone expected it to: nothing. Meanwhile, the Islamic State keeps carrying out attacks and oil production keeps inching upwards. Mauritania has a new government that will safely shepherd foreign direct investment, but there are mounting concerns about a political transition and the overall security situation.

NARCO ANALYSIS: Libya Palermo Summit Hotwash


Libya-related summits are traditionally encounters between foreign leaders with a shallow, simplistic perception of the North African country and Libyan elites adept at taking advantage of that superficiality and have it serve their own parochial interests. The Palermo conference on 12-13 November 2018 was no exception. Yet, a few additional twists made the event even harder to decipher than usual.

NARCO ANALYSIS: Mauritania's New Technocratic Gov't


Mauritania has a new prime minister and a new cabinet, and the new government appears almost entirely intended to position Mauritania to take advantage of all the attention focused on the country’s hydrocarbons sector, with the exception of two new additions to the government that could be early indications of presidential succession scenarios.

NARCO CLOSEHOLD: Sonatrach Is Open for Business


North Africa Risk Consulting had the honor and privilege of presenting some of its analyses to Sonatrach’s CEO, management committee, and approximately 50 employees at the company’s Val du Hydra headquarters. The presentation was followed by a full day with Sonatrach leadership. The takeaway from the day’s engagements: Sonatrach is open for business.

NARCO RoundUp (SEP18)


Summer is over and it’s back to work at NARCO and in Algeria, Libya, and Mauritania. Algerian politics are all about Boutef whereas in Libya, politics are all but dead. Mauritania concluded legislative polls, but the big question of presidential succession is left unanswered. The security situation is a mixed bag across North Africa with the Islamic State back in Libya, but Algeria and Mauritania remaining calm. The oil and gas sector is rebounding in Libya, bustling in Nouakchott, and waiting for the green light in Algeria.  

NARCO ANALYSIS: Algeria and Mauritania: Abdelazizan, 8 terms, & 40 years


Algeria and Mauritania are on the cusps of 2019 presidential elections. And the likely outcome will be a combined eight terms and forty years for the incumbents. In Algeria, pieces are being prepositioned for President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to run for a fifth consecutive five-year presidential term. In Mauritania, President Mohamed Ould Abdelaziz is lining up for a third consecutive five-year term. And the Abdelazizan have each other’s back. But their paths to staying in office differ considerably.

NARCO ANALYSIS: Correlation v. Causality in Algeria & Occam’s Razor


Questions about changes in Algeria's security services are justified. The changes have been extensive; they occur at a time of political sensitivity, with the president having recently been out of the country for medical care; the economy is only just beginning to find its footing after the “lower-for-longer” oil price environment; and the security situation in surrounding countries is deteriorating. The military and the security services are the country’s cornerstone. So, to tinker with them at this time causes understandable agita.



You're going to want to read this one...

NARCO RoundUp (JUL18)


July was topsy-turvy in North Africa with changes all around. Whether those changes amount to anything or they simply mark time is another question entirely. In Algeria, the security services were extensively overhauled. In Libya, more of the same: no political process; terrorism; spikey oil production. In Mauritania, Ould Abdelaziz’s term is coming to an end, the security situation is more dire, and oil activity is ramping up.

NARCO CLOSEHOLD: Algeria's Top Cop Axed


What matters and what doesn’t in Algeria is often hard to discern. This is as true of Tuesday’s unexpected firing of DGSN Abdelghani Hamel as it is of other big news coming out of Algiers. The police chief had been in the seat for eight years (after the murder of his predecessor Ali Tounsi) and had become increasingly politically powerful and popular, so much so that North Africa Risk Consulting had him on its shortlist of potential presidential successors.



NARCO CLOSEHOLD is timely, actionable analysis derived from discreet sources. NARCO CLOSEHOLDs are crafted as events merit. They are available to NARCO's subscription and retainer clients and on a case-by-case basis.

Request More Info