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North Africa News March 2023


EGYPT – Suez Canal records its highest monthly revenue in history during January
The Suez Canal in Egypt recorded its highest monthly revenue in history in January 2023, reaching a total revenue of USD 802 mn and surpassing the previous record achieved in August 2022 by USD 56.4 mn. According to the Suez Canal Authority, the number of ships that transited through the canal in January 2023 reached 2,155, marking an annual increase of 21.5%. The net tonnage recorded also increased by 16.3% between January 2022 and January 2023, reaching a record of 123.5 million tonnes.
Feb. 2, 2023

EGYPT – Gulf Data Hub and Elsewedy Data Centers to build a USD 2.1 bn data center complex in Egypt
The UAE’s Gulf Data Hub has signed an MoU with Egypt’s Elsewedy Data Centers to develop Africa’s largest data center complex in Egypt. The joint project aims to create a USD 2.1 bn data centers hub, by developing three world-class data centers in three different locations across Egypt. The project is expected to have an initial storage capacity of 192 megawatts, before expanding to a total power load of 300 megawatts in five to seven years.
Feb. 15, 2023

MOROCCO – Kuwait’s Alargan International begins construction of a real estate project in Casablanca
Kuwaiti real estate developer Alargan International has launched the construction of a MAD 1.0 bn (EUR 90.9 mn) project in the city center of Casablanca. The project will include several residential buildings and entertainment venues built over a total area of 63,000 square meters, as well as the first African hotel part of the chain Mama Shelter, owned by Accor. The hotel, with a total surface of 10,000 square meters, will offer 92 rooms and suites, as well as 40 apartments. The project is set to open in the first quarter of 2025.
Feb. 3, 2023

MOROCCO – IKEA opens a second store in Morocco
Swedish multinational IKEA has inaugurated its second Moroccan store in the Cabo Negro commercial zone, northern Morocco. The store has a global surface of 18,000 square meters, including a showroom of 3,550 square meters and a market hall of 4,200 square meters. The store also has an outdoor restaurant with up to 230 seats and a private parking area that can accommodate up to 379 vehicles. The project required an investment of MAD 400 mn (EUR 36.3 mn) and is set to generate 500 direct jobs and 1,000 indirect jobs.
Feb. 14, 2023

MOROCCO – Mediterrania Capital Partners invests EUR 68 mn in Morocco’s Laprophan
Moroccan pharmaceutical company Laprophan has conducted a capital increase of MAD 750 mn (EUR 68.1 mn) by signing an investment protocol with Malta-based private equity firm Mediterrania Capital Partners. The investment made Mediterrania Capital Partners a minority shareholder in Laprophan and is set to help the Moroccan company accelerate its growth and reinforce its position in the national and international markets.
Feb. 21, 2023

MOROCCO – Deloitte opens its first African cyber-security center in Casablanca
British multinational Deloitte has launched a new cyber-security center in Casablanca Finance City. The center is Deloitte’s sixth of its kind in the world and the first in Africa. It has a total surface of 2,000 square meters. It currently employs around 100 Moroccan and African IT engineers and it aims to increase its workforce to 450 experts by 2025.
Feb. 22, 2023

MOROCCO – French explosives manufacturer EPC opens a production unit in Morocco
French manufacturer of industrial explosives EPC has inaugurated a factory in Settat, 80 kilometers south of Casablanca. The new production unit required an investment of MAD 200 mn (EUR 18.2 mn). It will produce industrial explosives used for drilling and mining, mainly destined for exportation to African countries.
Feb. 22, 2023

MOROCCO – Israeli irrigation equipment manufacturer Netafim opens its first factory in Morocco
Israeli irrigation equipment manufacturer Netafim has inaugurated its first North African factory in Kenitra, 50 kilometers north of Rabat. The project required an investment of USD 2.8 mn and is set to generate between 150 and 200 direct jobs.
Mar. 2, 2023

TUNISIA – Russian airline Aeroflot to resume flights to Tunisia after a one-year suspension
Russian airline Aeroflot has decided to resume its flights between Russia and Tunisia from May 30, 2023. The flights have been suspended since March 2022 due to the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. Aeroflot will operate three flights per week in each direction between Moscow and the Enfidha-Hammamet International Airport, in northeastern Tunisia. The flights will be operated via an Airbus A330 aircraft.
Feb. 8, 2023

TUNISIA – Number of e-payment transactions in Tunisia increases by 26% in 2022
The number of electronic payment operations in Tunisia has increased by 26.0% between 2021 and 2022, reaching a total of 12.5 million operations, according to the Central Bank of Tunisia. The total value of e-payment transactions also increased by 44.0%, reaching TND 831.3 mn (EUR 246.9 mn).
Feb. 21, 2023

ALGERIA – Decathlon partners up with an Algerian textile company to locally produce clothes
French athletic wear brand Decathlon has signed a partnership agreement with the Algerian Company for Textile Industries, Tayal. According to the agreement, Tayal will allocate one of its production units to manufacture athletic clothing for Decathlon under a common brand. Tayal will manufacture one million clothing items for Decathlon in 2023 and two million items in 2024. Around 20% of the products will be destined for exportation, mainly to the African market.
Feb. 19, 2023

ALGERIA – Indian pharmaceutical company Dr. Reddy’s enters the Algerian market
Indian pharmaceutical company Dr. Reddy’s has decided to expand into the Algerian market. The Indian company intends to market 28 different drugs in Algeria before the end of 2023. Algerian health authorities have already delivered the necessary authorizations for nine drugs, while 19 other applications are currently being processed.
Feb. 21, 2023

ALGERIA – Saudi Arabia’s Wetico to build 2 seawater desalination plants in Algeria
Saudi water treatment company Wetico has earned a contract to build two seawater desalination plants in Algeria. The desalination units will be located in Bejaia and El Tarf, northeastern Algeria. The projects will be conducted in partnership with subsidiaries of the Algerian national oil and gas company, Sonatrach. Wetico will provide the conception, engineering, supply, construction supervision, and trial services for the projects.
Feb. 23, 2023



EGYPT – Egypt and Romania sign an MoU on natural gas transportation
The Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS) and Romania’s state-owned Transgaz firm have signed an MoU on gas transportation during the Egyptian-Romanian Business Forum held in Cairo. The agreement aims to deepen cooperation between Egypt and Romania and develop shared infrastructure for transporting natural gas. According to the Director of EGAS, the agreement comes in light of Romania’s efforts to diversify its supply sources of energy products.
Feb. 5, 2023

EGYPT – Egypt and Uzbekistan sign 7 MoUs in 5 sectors
Egypt and Uzbekistan signed seven MoUs during the Egyptian-Uzbek Business Council held in Cairo. The agreements concern the sectors of pharmaceuticals, textiles, energy, electricity, and healthcare. The Uzbek Minister of Investments, Industry, and Trade stated that Uzbekistan considers Egypt an important gateway to African markets, while the North African country can also benefit from its partnership with Uzbekistan to enter Central Asian markets. The agreements seek to further deepen this bilateral partnership between the two countries.
Feb. 19, 2023

EGYPT – Egypt and Qatar sign a Double Taxation Agreement
The Egyptian and Qatari governments have signed a Double Taxation Agreement to avoid double taxation on immovable property, business revenues, global, maritime and air transportation, joint projects, stock revenues, interests, capital revenues, and personal services. The agreement was signed during an official visit of the Egyptian Prime Minister to Qatar.
Feb. 27, 2023

MOROCCO – Morocco and Spain sign 20 bilateral cooperation agreements
Morocco and Spain signed 20 different cooperation agreements during the 12th Morocco-Spain High-Level Meeting held in Rabat. The agreements cover various fields and sectors, including migration, infrastructure, water management, renewable energy, agriculture, education, professional training, and research.
Feb. 2, 2023

MOROCCO – Morocco ends the state of health emergency after 3 years
The Moroccan government has decided to put an end to the state of health emergency that has been in place for three years, since March 2020. The decision came in light of the improved epidemic situation in the country. While it was in place, the state of health emergency allowed the Moroccan government to take urgent precautionary measures, such as lockdowns and travel bans, in order to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Feb. 28, 2023

TUNISIA – Tunisian President Kaïs Saïed replaces the Minister of Foreign Affairs
Tunisian President Kaïs Saïed has dismissed the Tunisian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Othmane Jerandi, from his mission and appointed Nabil Ammar as a replacement. The Tunisian Presidency did not specify the reason behind the replacement. The new Tunisian Minister of Foreign Affairs served as Tunisia’s Ambassador to the European Union, in Brussels, before he was appointed minister.
Feb. 7, 2023

ALGERIA – Algeria recalls its Ambassador to France
The Algerian President, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, has decided to recall Algeria’s Ambassador to France for consultations. The decision came after the French Consulate in Tunisia provided protection to French-Algerian dissident journalist Amira Bouraoui and facilitated her travel to France, despite an Algerian court order that prevents her from leaving the Algerian territory. The Algerian government issued an official statement condemning “the extraction” of Amira Bouraoui by French consular authorities.
Feb. 8, 2023

ALGERIA – Algeria reopens its Embassy in Ukraine after a one-year suspension
The Algerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has decided to reopen its Embassy in the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv. The decision seeks to “preserve the interests of Algeria and the Algerian community” in Ukraine. The Embassy’s activities have been suspended since February 2022 due to the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.
Feb. 26, 2023



EGYPT – Egypt’s annual inflation rate increases to 26.5% in January
Egypt’s annual inflation rate increased to 26.5% in January 2023, compared to 8.0% in the same month of the previous year. The country’s inflation rates remain at their highest in history. According to the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS), the inflationary wave continues to accelerate in Egypt since the beginning of 2022 as a result of the high costs of importing energy and food, due to the ongoing Russian-Ukrainian crisis, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic.
Feb. 9, 2023

EGYPT – Egypt’s unemployment rate declines to 7.2% in Q4-2022
Egypt’s unemployment rate has declined to 7.2% in the fourth quarter of 2022, down from 7.4% in the third quarter of the same year. According to CAPMAS, the estimated size of the Egyptian labor force amounted to around 30.34 million individuals in the last quarter of 2022, including 13.21 million in urban areas and 17.13 million in rural areas.
Feb. 15, 2023

MOROCCO – Morocco’s annual inflation rate climbs to 8.9% in January
Morocco’s annual inflation rate maintained its increase in January 2023, reaching 8.9%, up from 6.6% in December 2022. Food products witnessed the highest annual increase in prices, at 16.8%, while non-food products witnessed a 3.9% rise in prices. The inflation rate of non-food products varied between 0.4% for health services and 9.6% for transportation.
Feb. 22, 2023

MOROCCO – Financial Action Task Force removes Morocco from its ‘grey list’
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has decided to remove Morocco from its “grey list” of countries under increased monitoring. The decision came following field visits of FATF experts to Morocco in January 2023. According to FATF, Morocco has conducted several key reforms that allowed the country to make progress in its fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorism.
Feb. 24, 2023

TUNISIA – Tunisia’s annual inflation rate increases to 10.2% in January
Tunisia’s annual inflation rate slightly increased in January 2023 to reach 10.2%, up from 10.1% in December 2022. Food products witnessed the highest annual increase in prices at 14.1%, notably eggs (29.6%), sheep meat (28.1%), cooking oil (23.5%), beef meat (21.0%), cereals (16.9%), and fresh fruits (14.7%). The prices of manufactured goods also increased by 10.2%, while services saw their prices increase by 7.3% between January 2022 and 2023.
Feb. 5, 2023

TUNISIA – Tunisia records an estimated GDP growth of 2.4% in 2022
Tunisia’s annual GDP growth rate stood at 2.4% in 2022, down from an annual growth rate of 4.3% in 2021, according to initial estimations by the National Statistics Institute (INS). The annual growth is mainly attributed to the manufacturing industries (+6.6%) and the services sector (+2.6%).
Feb. 15, 2023

TUNISIA – Tunisia records a 15.2% unemployment rate in Q4-2022
Tunisia’s unemployment rate has slightly decreased to 15.2% in the last quarter of 2022, down from 15.3% in the third quarter of the same year. According to INS, the size of the active population in Tunisia is estimated at around 4.12 million individuals, while the number of unemployed people is around 624,600. The unemployment rate stands at 12.9% among males and 20.1% among females.
Feb. 27, 2023

ALGERIA – Algeria overtakes Nigeria as Africa’s largest LNG exporter
Algeria has become the largest African exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in January 2023, after overtaking Nigeria. In January, Algeria’s exportations of LNG increased to 1.1 million tonnes, while Nigeria’s exportations dropped to 1.0 million tonnes. All of Algeria’s LNG exports are destined for the European market, making the North African country Europe’s fourth-largest LNG supplier, behind the United States, Qatar, and Russia.
Feb. 28, 2023


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north africa economy march 2023