North Africa News January 2023
EGYPT – Egypt and Greece to build a submarine data transfer cable
Telecom Egypt, the largest Egyptian telecommunications company, has signed an agreement with Grid Telecom, a subsidiary of Greece’s Independent Power Transmission Operator to build a submarine cable connecting Egypt and Greece. The data transfer cable will give Grid Telecom direct access to the Middle East and North Africa region, while Telecom Egypt will have access to the Balkans and Eastern Europe.
Dec. 14, 2022
EGYPT – Australia’s Centamin discovers 37 additional tonnes of gold in the Sukari mine
Australian mining company Centamin, which is operating the Sukari gold mine in southeastern Egypt, has announced an increase in the mine’s estimated reserves by 1.3 million ounces (36.85 metric tonnes). The new estimated reserves of the gold mine became 11.11 million ounces (314.96 tonnes), giving the mine an expected life of more than two decades, at a mining rate of 500,000 ounces (14.17 tonnes) of gold per year. The Sukari gold mine has been operating since 2009 and it has already produced more than 5.0 million ounces (141.75 tonnes).
Dec. 15, 2022
MOROCCO – Morocco’s tourism revenue exceeds its pre-pandemic level in October 2022
Morocco’s tourism revenue has fully recovered from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in October 2022, recording a 6.0% increase in comparison with its pre-pandemic level in October 2019. The tourism revenue during the first 10 months of 2022 reached MAD 71.0 bn (EUR 6.38 bn), up from MAD 67.0 bn (EUR 6.02 bn) in the first 10 months of 2019.
Dec. 1, 2022
MOROCCO – Chariot Oil & Gas inks a long-term sales agreement with Morocco’s Electricity Office
British oil and gas company Chariot, currently drilling natural gas wells off Larache coast in northern Morocco, has signed a long-term sales agreement with Morocco’s National Electricity and Water Office (ONEE). According to the agreement, Chariot will provide ONEE with 1.69 million cubic meters of gas per day, for a period of 10 years. The agreement is set to go into effect as soon as Chariot begins the production of natural gas in its Larache field, expected before the end of 2024.
Dec. 12, 2022
MOROCCO – Belgian chemical company Solvay to launch investment projects in Morocco
Belgian chemical company Solvay has signed an agreement with Morocco’s Ministry of Industry to facilitate its expansion into the North African country. Solvay intends to launch several investment projects in Morocco, mainly in the automotive, aeronautical, and renewable energy fields. The agreement will provide the Belgian company with step-by-step accompanying until it can launch its investment projects in Morocco.
Dec. 17, 2022
MOROCCO – French company Thales to open a nearshoring center in Casablanca
French electronics company Thales has signed an agreement with Morocco’s Ministry of Digital Transition to open a nearshoring and outsourcing center in Casablanca. The project will have a global budget of MAD 350 mn (EUR 31.4 mn) and is expected to create 150 new jobs.
Dec. 22, 2022
TUNISIA – UK’s Solar Water PLC to build a EUR 600 mn seawater desalination plant in Tunisia
Tunisia’s Ministry of Economy has announced that British seawater desalination company Solar Water PLC will launch a project in southern Tunisia with an estimated investment budget of EUR 600 mn. The seawater desalination plant, which is currently in the planning phase, will fully operate using solar energy and its daily production capacity is estimated at 200,000 cubic meters.
Dec. 1, 2022
TUNISIA – British IT company Dune Technology launches a subsidiary in Tunisia
British software development company Dune Technology has launched a subsidiary in Tunisia. The subsidiary, located in Tunis, currently employs 13 engineers and aims to increase its human capital to 40 engineers by June 2023. The subsidiary is specializing in the development of web and mobile applications, as well as DevOps and Cloud services.
Dec. 14, 2022
TUNISIA – French customer service company Armatis opens a new office in Tunisia
French customer service company Armatis has inaugurated its second office in the Tunisian capital Tunis. The office has a total surface of 3,500 square meters and employs 360 people, with the possibility of expanding its human capital to 450 employees. According to the French company, the opening of the new office testifies to the quality of the Tunisian labor force, especially in the field of customer service.
Dec. 16, 2022
TUNISIA – Italian mining company Minerali Industriali suspends its activity in Tunisia
Italian mining company Minerali Industriali has decided to permanently suspend its activity in Tunisia due to the introduction of a new export tax. The tax, introduced in the 2023 Finance Bill, is set at TND 100 (EUR 30) per tonne for exported natural resources. Minerali Industriali has been present in Tunisia since 2001, mining silica sand in two different sites and exporting it to foreign customers. The suspension of the Italian company’s activity in Tunisia will put 280 workers into unemployment.
Dec. 29, 2022
ALGERIA – US company Honeywell to provide training to Sonatrach executives
Algeria’s national oil and gas company Sonatrach has signed an MoU with American company Honeywell Performance Materials and Technologies. According to the agreement, Honeywell will provide Sonatrach executives with a series of professional training to improve their skills. The American company will also advise Sonatrach on how to improve its operations and the quality of its infrastructure.
Dec. 6, 2022
ALGERIA – US company CTC Global signs partnership to manufacture cables in Algeria
American cable manufacturer CTC Global has signed an agreement with Algeria’s National Enterprise for the Cable Industry (ENICAB) to produce patented Aluminum Conductor Composite Core (ACCC) cables at ENICAB’s factory in Biskra, northeastern Algeria. ACCC cables are known for being more energy-efficient than regular copper, steel, or aluminum cables.
Dec. 8, 2022
ALGERIA – Sonatrach and Germany’s H&R Group to study a potential partnership
Algeria’s national oil and gas company, Sonatrach, has signed an MoU with German manufacturer H&R Group. According to the agreement, the two companies will launch a feasibility study on an industrial project for the manufacturing of lubricants and other petroleum-based products, destined for the pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries, at the Arzew petrochemical complex, in northwestern Algeria.
Dec. 20, 2022
EGYPT – Egyptian population reaches 104.4 million people in 2023
The Egyptian population has reached 104.4 million people at the start of 2023, according to Egypt’s Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics. The figure is 1.6% higher than the Egyptian population at the start of 2022 (102.8 million).
Jan 1, 2022
MOROCCO – France appoints a new Ambassador to Morocco
France has appointed Christophe Lecourtier, the Director-General of Business France, the French public agency for the international promotion and development of French companies, as the new Ambassador to Morocco. The appointment indicates appeasement in the diplomatic tensions between Morocco and France. Lecourtier will replace former French Ambassador Hélène Le Gal who left Morocco in September 2022 before the end of its official mandate, due to its appointment as MENA Director at the European External Action Service.
Dec. 6, 2022
MOROCCO – Morocco adds 4 new countries to its e-visa list
Morocco’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has made four new additions to the list of countries whose citizens can obtain e-visas to enter Morocco: Jordan, India, Guatemala, and Azerbaijan. The decision is set to go into effect on January 10, 2023. The e-visa process allows citizens from select countries to obtain their entry visa to Morocco online in 24 to 72 hours.
Dec. 28, 2022
MOROCCO – Morocco bans incoming travelers from China
Morocco has decided to ban the entry of all travelers coming from China, regardless of their nationality, starting January 3, 2023. The decision seeks to avoid a new COVID-19 infection wave in Morocco, in light of the alarming increase of cases in China, after the Asian country decided to cancel the quarantine measures that have been in place for three years.
Dec. 31, 2022
TUNISIA – Tunisian legislative elections go into a second round amid a low participation rate
Tunisia’s legislative elections, held on December 17, 2022, saw the direct election of 21 deputies to the Tunisian Parliament. Meanwhile, the results of the 140 remaining seats will be determined in the second round of elections, set to take place starting January 20, 2023. The first round of the legislative elections witnessed the lowest participation rate since the 2011 Tunisian revolution, at only 8.8%.
Dec. 19, 2022
ALGERIA – Algerian President refuses to dialogue with Morocco
In an indirect response to the invitation for dialogue made by King Mohammed VI of Morocco, Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune declared during a televised interview that relations between Algeria and Morocco “are way past the stage of dialogue,” indicating that his country is still not open for dialogue with its western neighbor. Diplomatic relations between Algeria and Morocco have been suspended since August 2021 by the Algerian side, which accuses Morocco of “committing hostile acts.”
Dec. 23, 2022
EGYPT – Egypt’s annual inflation rate reaches 19.2% in November 2022
Egypt’s annual inflation rate has maintained its upward trend, reaching 19.2% in November 2022. The figure is the highest the country has recorded in five years, since the inflation rate reached 21.9% in December 2017 after the Central Bank of Egypt had decided to fully liberalize the exchange rate of the Egyptian Pound. According to Egypt’s Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics, the inflationary wave that the country is witnessing since the beginning of 2022 is a result of the high costs of importing energy and food, due to the Russian-Ukrainian crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dec. 8, 2022
EGYPT – Central Bank of Egypt increases interest rates of interbank operations by 300 basis points
The Central Bank of Egypt has decided to raise the interest rates of interbank operations by 300 basis points. The overnight deposit rate and the overnight lending rate were raised respectively to 16.25% and 17.25%. Meanwhile, the main operations rate and the discount rate were both raised to 16.75%.
Dec. 22, 2022
MOROCCO – Morocco’s central bank increases the key interest rate to 2.5%
Bank Al-Maghrib, the central bank of Morocco, has increased the country’s key interest rate by 50 basis points, from 2.0% to 2.5%. The decision seeks to maintain inflation under control, in light of the continuing conflict between Russia and Ukraine and its impact on global supply chains.
Dec. 20, 2022
MOROCCO – Morocco’s annual inflation rate increases to 8.3% in November 2022
Morocco’s annual inflation rate has increased to 8.3% in November 2022, up from 8.1% in the previous month. Food products witnessed a 14.4% increase in prices between November 2021 and November 2022, while the prices of non-food products grew by 4.5%.
Dec. 22, 2022
MOROCCO – Morocco’s economic activity records a 1.6% growth in Q3-2022
Morocco’s economic activity has witnessed a 1.6% annual growth during the third quarter of 2022, down from 8.7% during the same period in 2021. The figure is attributed to a 15.1% annual decline in agricultural activity due to the ongoing drought in the country, as well as a 3.6% increase in non-agricultural activity.
Dec. 30, 2022
TUNISIA – Tunisia’s annual inflation rate climbs to 9.8% in November 2022
Tunisia’s annual inflation rate has maintained its upward trend, climbing to 9.8% in November 2022, up from 9.2% in the previous month. Food products witnessed the highest annual increase in prices at 15.1%. The prices of eggs (43.4%), fresh vegetables (32.4%), sheep meat (24.3%), cooking oils (20.4%), and beef meat (17.4%) increased the most between November 2021 and November 2022. Manufactured goods also witnessed a 9.8% annual increase in prices, while the prices of services increased by 6.0%.
Dec. 5, 2022
ALGERIA – Algeria’s 2023 Finance Bill goes into effect
Algeria’s 2023 Finance Bill has become official after its publication in the country’s Official Bulletin. The legal text was unanimously approved by the lower house of the Algerian Parliament, the National Popular Assembly, on November 22, and then by the upper house, the Council of the Nation, on December 8. According to the Algerian Minister of Finance, the legal text includes several new measures to encourage foreign investments. The Finance Bill also expects a national GDP growth of 4.1% and an inflation rate of 5.1% in 2023.
Dec. 29, 2022
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