ABBC Dinner 11th May 2022

Hosted in London on 11th May by Lady Olga Maitland, ABBC Chairman.

Guest of honour: Sharon Wardle, British Ambassador to Algeria

The Ambassador commented on the importance of the relationship between the UK and Algeria, highlighting the £1.5 billion in trade in 2021. She added that it’s vital to tell the true story of what is happening in Algeria, with growing sectors of agriculture and education adding to the power of the energy sector, including renewables.

Another guest commented about tourism and the youth of Algeria and that their energy is ‘right.’ A challenge is that Algeria needs to provide the tourism infrastructure and services to go with this energy, which could lead to a fantastic collaboration with the UK to deliver these.

The Ambassador explained that she is acutely aware of the importance of high-level relationships between the UK and Algeria to open doors, which have been constrained over recent years. A more strategic dialogue is long overdue, which she would like to make happen this year. She referenced the continuing support of trusted friends including The Lord Risby, who visited Algeria in January. She added that the UK is not going to start operating like some of the UK’s southern European friends do.

When discussing perceptions of Algeria in the UK, she noted that there isn’t a lot of awareness of the country, as there’s not a large Algerian community in the UK, compared to, for example, France. People will have more of a view about countries where they traditionally go on package holidays, such as Morocco, Dubai and Egypt.

She believes awareness and perceptions will improve and encourages various exchanges between the UK and Algeria, mentioning that the Chevening Scholars are visiting Algeria, and she has asked them to tell people about their visit.

Lady Olga thanked the Ambassador and other guests and the evening concluded.