Algeria to reopen its border with Libya as part of its diversification plans – by becoming hub for sub-Saharan transit trade

By Sami Zaptia.

The Libyan Algerian Ghadames-Debdeb border crossing is preparing for its reopening (Photo: Customs Authority).

London, 9 April 2021:

After Mauritania, Mali and Niger, Algeria is to reopen its land border with Libya and Tunisia soon, Algerian Echoroukonline.com reported yesterday. The northmost Libyan Algerian land border crossing is the Ghadames-Debdeb crossing.

The revelation was made by Algerian Trade Minister Kamal Razik yesterday speaking on the side-lines of the opening day of the Inter-African Exchanges event organized by Condor Electronics at the International Convention Centre in Algiers.

Razik was quoted as saying that the opening of border crossings with neighbouring countries is aimed at exporting and importing African products, and stressed that Africa is and will remain the historical and strategic depth of Algeria.

He said Algeria is ready and will help African countries import their products, as well as from around the world through Algeria and deliver them by road to the Algerian border.

Gateway to Africa, transit trade

The concept is similar to the one Libya has been talking about for decades: acting as a gateway for transit trade to and from Africa.

Turkish vision: Turkish logistics base in Libya to reach sub-Saharan Africa

It is also a concept shared by Turkish business. In March, Murtaza Karanfil, founder and chairman of the Karanfil Group, chairman of the Turkey-Libya Business Council of the Council on Foreign Economic Relations (DEIK), had said that “thanks to the logistics base to be established in Libya, we will provide direct access (for Turkish goods) to the middle of Africa.”

“The trade route to East and Central Africa passes through the Suez Canal. Products are delivered to Central Africa and Chad via Djibouti port. This takes 45 days from the Mediterranean to the Suez Canal. Thanks to the logistics base to be established in Libya, we will provide direct access to the middle of Africa. Maybe we’ll use the road there, but ships that already want to reach Central Africa are using the land route.

The logistics base in Libya’’, he had added, ‘‘will also provide an alternative from Africa towards the interior. Libya will provide significant advantages in access to both East and West Africa, especially Central Africa.

He pointed out that ‘‘transportation times of up to 45 days would be reduced to 10-15 days. Libya is a 3-day journey from the Mediterranean Sea. From here we can reach both East and West Africa in 7-10 days by land. The logistics base in Libya relieves this burden at very attractive costs.”

Reopening of Libyan-Algerian Ghadames-Debdeb border crossing

It will be recalled that in March, Libya’s Customs Authority had announced that preparations were ongoing for the reopening of trade at the Libyan-Algerian Ghadames-Debdeb border crossing.

It will also be recalled that Libya had imported large quantities of Algerian produced goods, such as washing powder, prior to the 2011 February revolution.

Goods of Maghrebi and Arab origin enter customs duty free

Goods produced by fellow Maghrebi states do not attract customs duties and thus gain a price advantage over imports from outside the Maghreb (and Arab) union.

Customs Authority preparing to reopen Libyan-Algerian Ghadames-Debdeb border crossing | (libyaherald.com)

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