North Africa arms race : Morocco cuts spending as Algeria hits record high

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The global arms industry is experiencing a significant upswing, according to the latest report from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). Global military spending in 2023 jumped by 6.8% compared to 2022, marking the «steepest year-on-year rise since 2009», notes the Swedish institute.

North Africa is a region with particularly notable growth. SIPRI reports a 38% increase in military spending across the sub-region compared to 2022. «Algeria and Morocco are by far the largest spenders in the subregion, together accounting for 82 per cent of North African military expenditure in 2023», the report shows.

While Morocco's arms purchases decreased slightly in 2023 by 2.5% (or $5.2 billion), Algeria's military spending surged by a significant 76% to reach $18.3 billion. This marks the highest level of military expenditure ever recorded by Algeria.

The SIPRI report suggests that Algeria's spending surge is linked to «a sharp rise in revenue from gas exports to countries in Europe as they moved away from Russian supplies».

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