Algeria’s political impasse may, or may not, prove solvable. But the country’s economic stasis is deeply entrenched. Any new government faces the herculean task of making the Algerian economy fit for the 21st century.

Despite repeated plans to diversify the economy, Algeria remains dependent on oil and gas for a whopping 60% of budget revenue and over 93% of 2018 export earnings, shares that have barely shifted in recent decades.

As long as oil prices were over $100/B, as was...