Algeria’s Energy Minister, Salah Khebri, has been replaced, after a year in office, by the Head of the state power company, Sonelgaz, Noureddine Boutarfa, reported Reuters. Algeria’s President, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, organized a surprise reshuffle reflecting on an economic crisis that hit the country due to the falling oil prices, informed Fortune, as the country is trying to push forward with foreign investments and revive its economic status.
The reshuffle is the fifth under the current Prime Minister, Abdelmalek Sellal, since he took office in 2012.
The North African state has taken some measures to adapt to falling income, including raising subsidized fuel and electricity prices, cutting back on infrastructure projects, and trimming budget spending. However, the reforms are being slowed down by disputes between reformers trying to reduce dependency on oil and gas revenue, and an older guard, hesitant to liberalize a state-dominated system.
In May, on the backdrop of the EU-Algeria Energy Business Forum, European Union officials and energy firms urged Algeria to adapt to more competitive energy markets so as to attract the investment needed to pump more gas to the European continent after years of dwindling exports.