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Algeria’s first maritime school is expected to be established in Algiers by 2020, thanks to an Algerian-Belgian partnership, with the ambition to offer young Algerians valuable training in the maritime and port professions.

Last month, Algeria and Belgium signed a memorandum of agreement to develop the skills of Algerian workers at the country’s ports.

The agreement was signed by the chief executive officer of Algeria’s port services group Serport, Mohamed Yassine Hafiane, and the managing director of the Belgian centre for training of executives in the port and maritime fields (Apec), Kristof Waterschoot.

The memorandum of agreement is designed to set up a common framework for the development of cooperation in maritime and port training between Serport and Apec.

According to Hafiane, cooperation “may be extended to other activities to contribute to the development of skills in port and maritime fields”.

The process will commence in April, according to Hafiane, with a series of trainings taking place in Belgium and France. “As of April we will start sending our young people to be trained in maritime professions and port management,” he told L’Expression.

In addition to its deal with Apec, Algeria is also working on other agreements, including with the Spanish port institution and with the French port of Marseille.

Hafiane said that over the past seven years €300m had been spent on equipment and reorganisation at Algerian commercial ports. In addition, a strategic port is planned for Cherchell, west of Algiers, which is expected to create new opportunities.

This week, at the EU-Algeria Association Council in Brussels, the EU and Algeria signed a €40m package to help Algeria diversify its economy and bolster its business climate, with efforts including the development of renewable energy and the modernisation of public finances.