Algeria changes cabinet ministers after drop in oil prices, COVID-19 economic impact

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Algeria’s president has reshuffled the government to try to fix growing economic problems linked to the country’s dependence on oil revenues and fallout from virus-related restrictions on production, travel and trade.

State news agency APS announced the changes by President Abdelmadjid Tebboune late Tuesday.

Algeria’s central bank chief, Aymene Benaberahmane, is taking over the Economy Ministry at an especially sensitive time, as Algeria struggles with a drop in oil prices.

A former CEO for state gas and oil company Sonatrach, Abdelmadjid Attar, is now energy minister. The reshuffle includes the creation of a new Department of Energy Transition and New Energies, as Algeria tries to diversify away from the oil and gas that have long dominated the economy.

The new cabinet also includes ministerial delegates for the digital economy, small and medium-sized businesses, the Algerian community abroad and sports performance.

Tebboune took office in December despite a boycott of his election by opposition protesters whose pro-democracy movement helped push out longtime President Abdelaziz Bouteflika last year.

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