Algeria inked a deal with Frankfurt architecture firm KSP Engel and Zimmerman and Darmstadt engineering team Krebs and Kiefer to build the 40,000 capacity mosque by 2012. The minaret will be 214 metres high, third only to height to mosques in Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia. The German companies won the bid to build the structure last year, but the contract was not signed until Thursday.
Members of the economic delegation at the meeting signalled that more deals between the two countries were in the making, including the delivery of four frigates from Germany worth €4 billion.
“The talks are going well,” said Deputy Economy Minister Bernd Pfaffenbach. “The Chancellor’s visit will prove to be beneficial.”
Chancellor Merkel, who also celebrated her 54th birthday on Thursday, said she wanted to strengthen Germany’s relationship with Algeria, the third largest exporter of natural gas to the EU. “We can and want to grow,” she said.
Although Algeria ranks 59th on the list of countries served by German exporters, trade between the two nations is growing quickly with an increase in exports of 20 percent in the last year.