With countries across Africa shedding long-held taboos to seek International Monetary Fund help, Algeria is a rare holdout, Bloomberg News reported. It may need a quick recovery in oil prices or Chinese backing to stay that way. On a continent where a checkered experiences with the IMF or distaste for foreign interference has meant trepidation toward the lender, the economic havoc wreaked by the coronavirus is sparking some sudden turnarounds.
Algeria, which hasn’t sold debt abroad in over two decades, signaled it may reverse its aversion to outside borrowing and lift some restrictions on foreign investment, Bloomberg News reported. The protest-torn OPEC member, still led by veterans of the war for independence from France waged over half a century ago, was forced to restructure billions of dollars worth of loans from foreign banks in the 1990s. While struggling to revive the economy, the government has been wary of turning to outside financing for fear it could again leave the nation beholden to others.