ALGERIA: Minister announces funding boost for science

Scientific research in Algeria has received funding of 100 billion dinars (US$1.4 billion), the first allocation to be made under a five-year government plan to boost the sector, according to La Tribune of Algiers.

Rachid Haraoubia, Minister for Higher Education and Scientific Research, made the announcement last week at a national conference on scientific research in Tipasa, reported La Tribune. "The public authorities have taken account of world changes and decided to develop the sector to bring it up to standard with an initial allocation of 100 billion dinars for setting up research units and recruitment of specialists, depending on requirements," Haraoubia said.

The Minister said the funding was made under the 2008-12 five-year plan through which 34 projects were being launched following an assessment of needs in all the country's provinces where researchers were operating, reported the paper.

Haoubia told the conference: "In the next few years basic research will be reinforced by applied research to answer the socio-economic needs of Algeria, to develop self-reliance and technology transfer."

He also announced a "strategic development of scientific research" involving recruitment of new researchers who would join the 22,000 employed in higher education, and as engineers and technicians.