Knowledge and good governance were found, since time immemorial and at all times, to be the basis for prosperity of civilizations; a country without its elite is like a body without soul.  Algeria is no different in that it is knowledge as basis for Algeria’s Development that would enable it transcend this critical phase of its history and hopefully flow to better climes.

Recently, hundreds of high school students and thousands of families because our children recount with precision what they have heard or seen, welcomed me on this day I will never forget of December 13th, 2016, at the invitation of that famous high school (Lyceum ex Ardaillan of Oran) of mine, that by the way saw many politicians, scientific and military personalities of renown of all regions of the country pass through its doors, halls and corridors.  It is the greatest gift that was given to me after a long career, and it was also a very long time I did not cry, with joy this time, noting a big difference between these spontaneous questions marking the innocence of these kids with their discourse of truth, especially with the different national and international conferences that I am regularly invited to.

I was greeted with the national hymn (Nasheed Al Watani), a poem and a song in my honour, flowers and a picture with my name on; gifts from a collection by the hundreds of high school students and teachers and not on the school budget.  Many souvenir photos with these children of boundless sincerity were taken.  How beautiful were these girls and boys in their senior year with their questions testifying all their attachment to the future of Algeria; issues shared between hope and legitimate concern about the fall in the price of hydrocarbons and many other questions on certain enrichment without efforts that undermine the society as well as depreciating the value of true and honest work.

I have tied the whole of my career since obtaining the Baccalaureate (A Level) in 1965 and my doctorate (PhD) in 1974 to acquiring the knowledge and expertise in the vast domain of Economics studies.  I insisted on the fact that without knowledge, there may not be development for any country and that a good training should be a must whilst taking into account the new world that is encompassed by the digital revolution in order to find a job.

“You are young as those who liberated this country between 1954 and 1962”, I told them before adding, “they were your age and you are the hope of Algeria of tomorrow.” I insisted strongly, and “we must not have a vision of gloom of the future of our country that has significant potential.”  Yes, this youth is conscious of the future challenges facing both the world and Algeria.  I for one and in the face of all evidence, I keep a flawless hope in the future of Algeria if only we could mobilize the youth.

The idea that for years I defended not always without difficulties, i.e. a broad national front, taking into account the different sensitivities, is to give priority to the best interests of Algeria.  It was defended here before me by the present teachers and hundreds of students, who promised to convey this message that is strategic to their peers and kin because of its paramount national security and meaning for the future of our country.

For instance, the ministerial positions that are inevitably ephemeral with some present Algerian ministers, living of illusions and intoxicated by their functions, e.g. being received with great fanfare because representing a great country and not for their writings or skills are just uselessly passing time.  Once an end is put to their functions, they are completely ignored and ineluctably become “has been”.

By the way how many Algerian ministers do you remember the names that the country has had since independence to date?