North Africa News March 2022
(as at March 6, 2022)
EGYPT – UAE Dragon Oil Company discovers a new oil field in the Gulf of Suez
The UAE Dragon Oil Company has announced a new petroleum discovery in the Gulf of Suez in Egypt. The initial estimated oil stock for the discovery is about 100 million barrels. The new oil field is the first discovery by Dragon Oil since it acquired 100% of the British BP’s assets in oil production and discovery concessions in the Gulf of Suez.
Feb. 15, 2022
EGYPT – Egypt signs USD 1.5 bn financing agreements to build a diesel production complex
The Egyptian Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources has signed agreements with six international banks and financial institutions to finance the project of a diesel production complex at a value of USD 1.5 bn. The complex will be built in Asyut, a city on the banks of the Nile River, located 400 kilometers south of Cairo. The financing institutions are the Italian CDP, Crédit Agricole CIB, UniCredit Italy, HSBC Middle East, BNP Paribas France, Société Générale France, and the Italian Export Credit Agency SACE. The project seeks to convert the petroleum produced from the Asyut Petroleum Refining Company into diesel that respects European specifications. It is set to become operational during the last quarter of 2023.
Feb. 16, 2022
MOROCCO – Spanish hotel chain Silken to build three new hotels in Morocco
Spanish hotel chain Silken is set to build three new hotels in Morocco over the next two years. The hotels will be located in Tangier, Marrakech, and Dakhla. Silken has partnered with a Moroccan real estate development company for the project. The hotels are set to open between the second quarter of 2023 and the first quarter of 2024.
Feb. 2, 2022
MOROCCO – Royal Air Maroc launches four new weekly flights between Casablanca and Tel Aviv
Morocco’s national carrier Royal Air Maroc has launched a new direct route between Casablanca and Tel Aviv, in Israel. The airline will operate the new route on a frequency of four weekly flights in each direction. Flights from Morocco to Israel will depart on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. Meanwhile, flights in the opposite direction will depart on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.
Feb. 21, 2022
MOROCCO – French group Artelia begins a feasibility study on a new gas terminal in Mohammedia Port
French group Artelia has won the bid to study the feasibility of a new liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in the Port of Mohammedia, 25 kilometers north of Casablanca. The study has a budget of MAD 8.4 mn (EUR 787,000) and a deadline of 210 days. After the study, the Artelia group will have to make a conceptual design of the necessary infrastructure to establish the new terminal.
Feb. 21, 2022
TUNISIA – Companies listed in the Tunisian stock market record 12.9% increased revenue in 2021
The overall revenue of the Tunisian companies listed in the Tunis stock exchange market has increased by 12.9% between the end of 2020 and the end of 2021, climbing from TND 18.2 bn (EUR 5.6 bn) to TND 20.5 bn (EUR 6.3 bn). The sectors in which companies witnessed the highest increase in revenue were industry (23.7%), raw materials (22.9%), finance (9.1%), and insurance (4.9%). Meanwhile, the only sector in which companies recorded a decline in overall revenue was the health sector (-4.8%).
Feb. 13, 2022
ALGERIA – Chinese corporation Sinopec signs a contract to build a new gas storage tank in Algeria
Algeria’s national oil and gas company Sonatrach has signed a contract with Chinese corporation Sinopec for removing two gas tanks at the Skikda gas liquefaction factory, in northeastern Algeria, and building a new storage tank with a capacity of 150,000 cubic meters. The contracts are worth DZD 25.0 bn (EUR 158.5 mn) and set the completion timeline at 40 months.
Feb. 17, 2022
ALGERIA – Algeria launches a new commercial maritime route with Mauritania
Algeria has launched a new commercial maritime route between Algiers and Nouakchott, in Mauritania. The route will be operated by the Algerian vessel Gouraya-IMO and the trip will take six days. The ship has a total capacity of 400 containers. The new route seeks to facilitate the transportation of products between Algeria and West Africa.
Feb. 24, 2022
ALGERIA – British tire manufacturer Enso Tyres signs a partnership agreement with Algeria’s Iris
Algerian tire manufacturer Iris has signed a partnership agreement with British company Enso Tyres. According to the agreement Enso Tyres will market Iris’ products in the United Kingdom, while Iris will market Enso Tyres’ products in Algeria. The two companies will also collaborate on producing sustainable tires, designed specifically for electric vehicles.
Feb. 27, 2022
EGYPT – Egypt and Azerbaijan sign several economic cooperation agreements
The Egypt-Azerbaijan Joint Commission has signed several agreements to enhance economic cooperation between the two countries. One agreement relates to the establishment of an Egypt-Azerbaijan Business Council, while another seeks to exchange technical experience in the field of medium, small, and micro-enterprises. The commission also signed a memorandum of cooperation between the Port of Alexandria, Egypt, and the Port of Baku, Azerbaijan.
Feb. 25, 2022
EGYPT – Egypt increases transit fees of the Suez Canal by up to 10%
Egypt’s Suez Canal Authority has hiked transit fees by up to 10% for vessels passing through the canal. Transit fees for oil and crude tankers and dry bulk vessels are increased by 5%, while ships transporting vehicles, natural gas, general cargo, and multi-purpose vehicles will have to pay 7% more. Finally, a 10% increase has been imposed on vessels carrying liquefied petroleum gas, chemical tankers, and other liquid bulk tankers. The Suez Canal Authority explained that the increased fees are “in line with the significant growth in global trade.”
Mar. 1, 2022
MOROCCO – Morocco updates its entry requirements
Following the announcement of the complete reopening of Morocco’s international borders starting February 7, the Moroccan government has updated the list of entry requirements. Both incoming and outgoing passengers will have to present a COVID-19 vaccination certificate and a less-than-48-hours-old negative result of a PCR test. Meanwhile, all incoming passengers will undergo rapid COVID-19 tests, while some groups of passengers, chosen randomly, will undergo PCR tests. If any passengers test positive for COVID-19 at their arrival, they will have to quarantine at home or in a hotel until they recover.
Feb. 1, 2022
TUNISIA – Tunisian President dissolves the Supreme Judicial Council
Tunisian President Kaïs Saïed has ordered dissolving the country’s Supreme Judicial Council and setting up an interim council in place. President Saïed accused the council of serving political interests by granting impunity to several politicians. The Supreme Judicial Council was created in 2016 to serve as an independent judicial watchdog. The council refused the President’s decision. However, reports indicate that Tunisian police have locked the council’s doors and prevented its staff from entering. The Tunisian President’s decision is the latest in a series of measures he took “to end corruption” in the country, which began in July 2021 when he sacked former Head of Government Hichem Mechichi.
Feb. 7, 2022
TUNISIA – Tunisia cancels PCR test requirement for fully-vaccinated visitors
The Tunisian Presidency has canceled the requirement of a COVID-19 PCR test for fully-vaccinated incoming travelers. From February 15, fully-vaccinated passengers entering Tunisia will only have to present their vaccination certificates. Meanwhile, visitors who did not complete their vaccination against COVID-19 still have to present the negative result of a recent PCR test.
Feb. 15, 2022
TUNISIA – Tunisia extends the nationwide state of emergency until the end of the year
The Tunisian Presidency has announced the extension of the country’s nationwide state of emergency until December 31, 2022. Tunisia’s state of emergency has been in place since November 2015 and was regularly prolonged. It was installed due to a terrorist attack against a presidential security bus that killed 12 people. The state of emergency allows the Tunisian government to adopt legal texts relating to the country’s security without the need for parliamentary approval.
Feb. 19, 2022
ALGERIA – Algeria launches monthly unemployment stipends
Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune has announced that starting March 2022, all unemployed Algerians will receive a monthly stipend of DZD 13,000 (EUR 82). Unemployed Algerians will also benefit from medical coverage, he declared. The decision seeks to “preserve the dignity of youth,” in light of the increasing prices across the country of basic food products, notably bread. The Algerian President has also announced that all bakeries will be exonerated from taxes on their turnover and will only be taxed on their net gains.
Feb. 15, 2022
EGYPT – Moody’s maintains ‘B2’ rating for Egyptian banks with a stable outlook
Moody’s credit rating agency has maintained its rating for the Egyptian banking sector at B2, with a stable outlook. The agency said that continued investments in infrastructure and spending will support economic growth in Egypt, and financial inclusion initiatives will provide good opportunities for banks. Moody’s expects the Egyptian economy to grow 5.5% in the current fiscal year 2021-2022.
Feb. 3, 2022
EGYPT – Tourism revenues record a 253% annual increase in the first quarter of 2021-2022
Egypt’s tourism revenues increased by 253% during the first quarter of the 2021-2022 fiscal year (July to September 2021), according to the Central Bank of Egypt. The country has achieved USD 2.8 bn in tourism revenue during this period, compared to USD 801 mn during the same period in the previous year.
Feb. 3, 2022
MOROCCO – FDIs in Morocco increase by 20.5% in 2021
Foreign direct investments (FDIs) in Morocco have reached a value of MAD 20.2 bn (EUR 1.9 bn) in 2021, marking an annual increase of 20.5%. The figure is higher by MAD 3.4 bn (EUR 318 mn) in comparison with 2020. On the other hand, Moroccan FDIs abroad witnessed a record annual increase of 130.9%, reaching MAD 17.9 bn (EUR 1.7 bn) in 2021, in comparison with MAD 7.7 bn (EUR 721 mn) in 2020.
Feb. 1, 2022
MOROCCO – Morocco’s fish and seafood exports reach EUR 2.3 bn in 2021
Morocco’s exports of fish and seafood have witnessed an annual increase of 15% in 2021, reaching a value of MAD 24.2 bn (EUR 2.3 bn). The volume of these exports has reached over 778,000 tonnes. Frozen cephalopods represent 40% of Morocco’s total fish and seafood exports. The value of their exports increased by 53% between 2020 and 2021. The exportations of frozen octopuses and frozen squids have also witnessed increases in 2021, of 51% and 31% respectively. On the other hand, frozen sardines, which represent 53% of the total volume of exportations, witnessed an annual decline of 14%.
Feb. 19, 2022
TUNISIA – Tunisian industrial exports grow by 19.4% in 2021
Tunisia’s industrial exportations have increased by 19.4% between 2020 and 2021, reaching a total value of TND 41.7 bn (EUR 14.7 bn), compared to TND 34.9 bn (EUR 10.7 bn) in 2020. Electronic and mechanical industries witnessed the highest annual rise in exportations, growing in value from TND 17.5 bn (EUR 5.4 bn) in 2020 to TND 21.4 bn (EUR 6.6 bn) in 2021, a 22.3% increase. The exportations of textile products and clothing items have also increased by 12.7%, from TND 6.7 bn (EUR 2.1 bn) to TND 7.6 bn (EUR 2.3 bn). On the other hand, the exportations of manufactured food products dropped from TND 3.8 bn (EUR 1.2 bn) in 2020 to TND 3.3 bn (EUR 1.0 bn), a 13.2% decline.
Feb. 20, 2022
ALGERIA – Algerian economy records a 3.4% growth in the third quarter of 2021
The Algerian economy has recorded an annual growth of 3.4% in the third quarter of 2021, according to a recent report from Algeria’s National Statistics Office (ONS). The growth is mainly due to increased activity in the sectors of hydrocarbons (14.1%), industry (5.4%), agriculture (3.8%), construction (2.2%), and commerce (2.2%). The growth rate of all non-hydrocarbon sectors combined stood at 1.5% in the third quarter of 2021.
Feb. 16, 2022
Key Economic Indicators