Algeria’s Strategic Move: ‘Phosphate Diplomacy’.

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In a strategic move referred to as ‘phosphate diplomacy’, Algeria has donated 16,000 tons of urea 46 fertilizer to Kenya. The donation is part of Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune’s commitment to development aid in Africa and follows his promise to Kenyan Speaker Moses Wetangula to supply phosphate and fertilizers.

To Improve Bilateral Cooperation

The intent behind this act of generosity is to enhance agricultural yields in Kenya, thereby promoting stronger bilateral cooperation. This move is expected to create the path for increased trade between the two countries across various commodities, including Kenyan tea, coffee, and roses, and Algerian oil, gas, and fertilizers.

More Than Just Generosity

However, this gesture is also interpreted as a tactical effort by Algeria to secure support within the Kenyan government for the Polisario Front, a group campaigning for independence for Western Sahara. Western Sahara, a territory also claimed by Morocco, has been a longstanding contentious issue. This context is especially relevant since Kenya currently recognizes the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), a state declared by the Polisario Front.

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Extending the Phosphate Diplomacy

Algeria’s phosphate diplomacy is not limited to Kenya. The African nation has made similar overtures to Angola, another supporter of the SADR. Algeria has pledged financial aid to Angola to prevent the possibility of Angola withdrawing its support for the SADR. In a clear signal of Algeria’s ambitions, President Tebboune has expressed his country’s aspiration to meet Africa’s fertilizer needs and criticized Morocco’s approach to the issue. The ultimate aim is to establish Algeria as a leading phosphate producer on a global scale.

 

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