North Africa News May 2022
(as at May 7, 2022)
EGYPT – Germany’s FEV company signs a consultancy contract with Nasr Automotive Company
German business consultancy company FEV has signed a consultancy contract with the Egyptian Nasr Automotive Company. According to the contract, FEV will provide assistance to Nasr Automotive Company with the development of an electric car model and its production in 2023.
Apr. 5, 2022
EGYPT – Egypt to build a free zone in the Port of Alexandria
The Egyptian Government has approved a project to establish a private free zone for handling containers and general cargo in the Port of Alexandria, on the Mediterranean coast of Egypt. The free zone will be built on an area of 539,000 square meters and will require an investment of USD 500 mn. The project’s contributors are all Egyptian and they include the Alexandria Port Authority, the Suez Canal Authority, the Holding Company for Maritime and Land Transport, and the Alexandria Container Handling Company. The project seeks to increase the capacity of the Port of Alexandria and allow it to receive larger ships.
Apr. 6, 2022
EGYPT – EgyptAir resumes daily flights between Cairo and Moscow
Egyptian air carrier EgyptAir has resumed its daily flights between Cairo and Moscow. The flights have been suspended for several weeks due to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict. The flights from Cairo to the Russian capital will depart at 9:30 a.m., Cairo time. Meanwhile, the flights from Moscow to Cairo will depart at 10 p.m. on the same day, Moscow time.
Apr. 15, 2022
EGYPT – Egyptian-French project to produce 350,000 tonnes of green fuel per year by 2026
The Egyptian Government and an Egyptian-French consortium have signed an MoU to establish a project for the production of green fuel in the Suez Canal Economic Zone. The project will require a global investment of USD 3.0 bn and is expected to produce up to 350,000 tonnes of ammonia per year. The facility is set to be established in 2024 and begin commercial operations in 2026. The partners working on the project include several Egyptian public companies, along with the French Green Fuel Alliance consisting of EDF Renewables and Zero Waste France.
Apr. 20, 2022
EGYPT – China’s Wolong Electric and Egypt’s Elsewedy Electric sign a partnership agreement
Chinese electric motor manufacturer Wolong Electric has signed a partnership agreement with Egyptian company Elsewedy Electric to trade electric motors and establish a joint service center while exploring the possibility of localizing the electric motor industry in Egypt. Elsewedy Electric announced that the motors imported from China will be used in various industries, notably home appliances and electric vehicles.
Apr. 27, 2022
MOROCCO – Morocco invests over EUR 6 mn in the outsourcing sector
The Moroccan Government has signed four investment agreements to establish several outsourcing sites in Tangier, Fez, Rabat, Casablanca, and Agadir. The agreements provide for a global investment budget of MAD 65.0 mn (EUR 6.2 mn) and seek to create 5,050 new direct jobs by 2026. The first agreement was signed with Japanese IT services company NTT Data and aims to create 1,000 jobs. The second agreement was signed with the Casablanca-based business process outsourcing company Phoneo and seeks to create 2,000 jobs. The third agreement was signed with the Fez-based customer service company Cnexia and aims to create 1,750 jobs. The final agreement was concluded with French customer service company EIDS and aims to create 300 jobs.
Apr. 20, 2022
MOROCCO – WorleyParsons to conduct second phase studies on the Nigeria-Morocco pipeline project
Australian engineering group WorleyParsons has earned a USD 29.0 mn contract to conduct the second phase of studies about the Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline project. WorleyParsons is set to handle the conceptual study through its Dutch subsidiary Intecsea, the study of the environmental and social impact through its London-based team, and the feasibility study through its subsidiary Advisian. The studies are fully financed by the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB).
Apr. 26, 2022
MOROCCO – Synergy Consulting earns a USD 1.5 mn financial consultancy contract in Morocco
American financial advisory firm Synergy Consulting has won a call for bids to provide financial planning assistance to Morocco’s National Electricity and Water Office (ONEE) for its project to build a water desalination plant in Casablanca. The contract earned by Synergy Consulting is worth USD 1.5 mn and requires the American company to assist ONEE to assess the financial risks related to the project throughout its various phases.
Apr. 27, 2022
TUNISIA – Bulgarian batteries manufacturer Monbat acquires Tunisia’s Batteries Nour
Bulgarian lead-acid batteries manufacturer Monbat has acquired Tunisian company Batteries Nour by purchasing 60% of its shares. The remaining 40% of shares are held by Tunisian businessman Fethi Ghali. Through the acquisition, Monbat seeks to expand its activity into the MENA region and double the production capacity of Batteries Nour to one million batteries per year. As part of its expansion, Monbat will also build a new production unit specializing in lead recycling, with an investment of EUR 4.5 mn.
Apr. 7, 2022
TUNISIA – Tunisia adopts a legal text to regulate remote work in the public sector
Tunisia has adopted a presidential decree regulating remote work in the public sector. The decree includes four chapters and defines the modalities regulating remote work in various public institutions and establishments, as well as the means to monitor and evaluate the remote work of civil servants and employees. The legal text will allow civil servants to benefit from a hybrid format of work even after the end of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Apr. 13, 2022
TUNISIA – Tunisia’s tourism revenue records a 48% annual increase in the first 100 days of 2022
Tunisia’s tourism revenue has increased by 48% in the first 100 days of 2022, from January 1 to April 10, in comparison to the same period in 2021. The revenue has reached a value of TND 600.0 mn (EUR 186.4 mn), up from TND 405.4 mn (EUR 125.9 mn) in the previous year.
Apr. 15, 2022
ALGERIA – Algeria increases its natural gas exports to Italy with a new agreement
Algeria’s national oil and gas company Sonatrach and Italy’s Eni have signed an agreement to increase the volume of Algerian natural gas exported to Italy. The agreement was signed during the visit of the Italian Prime Minister to Algiers to meet with his Algerian counterpart and with the Algerian President. The agreement came after Italy announced its intention to reduce its natural gas imports from Russia.
Apr. 11, 2022
ALGERIA – Algeria extends the deadline for corporate tax declarations
Algeria’s Directorate-General of Taxes (DGI) has announced the extension of the deadline for corporate fiscal declarations until May 31 for large corporations and June 30 for micro-sized, small, and medium businesses. According to the DGI, the decision seeks to facilitate the process for companies in Algeria, in light of the difficult sanitary condition that the country has witnessed in January 2022.
Apr. 17, 2022
ALGERIA – Emirates increases its weekly flights between Algiers and Dubai to four
Emirates has doubled the frequency of its flights between Algiers and Dubai from two flights per week to four weekly flights. According to the airline, the increased frequency comes in response to the growing demand on the Algiers-Dubai route. The new flights will operate on Saturdays and Sundays, adding up to the existing flights on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Emirates is operating a Boeing 777-300ER for its route between the UAE and Algeria.
May 1, 2022
EGYPT – Egypt announces India as its new main wheat supplier
The Egyptian Government has announced India as Egypt’s new wheat supplier, amid the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict. A delegation from the Egyptian Ministry of Agriculture has made an official visit to India to finalize import procedures. In early April, the Egyptian Prime Minister announced that his country’s wheat stock is sufficient for 2.6 months and that the government is studying different options to maintain a sufficient stock.
Apr. 15, 2022
MOROCCO – Morocco and Spain reopen their maritime borders after a two-year suspension
Morocco and Spain have decided to fully reopen their maritime borders and allow the transit of people and goods through the Gibraltar Strait, as well as between the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla and Morocco’s northern cities. The borders have been closed since March 2020. While the borders have been initially closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, their reopening was delayed due to the diplomatic crisis between Morocco and Spain. The decision to reopen the borders came during the visit of the Spanish Prime Minister to Rabat in order to restore his country’s positive relations with Morocco. During the visit, the two countries announced the full resumption of their partnership in multiple fields, including economic cooperation.
Apr. 7, 2022
TUNISIA – Tunisian President replaces majority of election commission members
The Tunisian President has announced that he will replace the majority of the members of Tunisia’s election commission, in charge of organizing and monitoring parliamentary elections by the end of 2022. The Tunisian President said the decision seeks “to save Tunisia” from a crisis, but opposing political parties are accusing him of increasing his control over the country through “rigging” the upcoming parliamentary elections. The elections are expected to put an end to Tunisia’s legislative crisis, which began in July 2021 after the Tunisian President decided to dissolve the country’s parliament.
Apr. 22, 2022
ALGERIA – Algeria establishes a High Council for Energy
The Algerian President has issued a decree to create a High Council for Energy. The council’s mission is to develop a national energy policy that would improve Algeria’s energy security and upgrade the country’s energy production capacity in a sustainable way. The council is chaired by a representative from the Ministry of Energy and includes members from the various ministerial departments concerned.
Apr. 3, 2022
EGYPT – Egypt records a 7.4% unemployment rate in 2021
The unemployment rate in Egypt stood at 7.4% in 2021, according to the country’s Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS). The figure is lower by 0.5 percentage points than the unemployment rate recorded in 2020, despite the growth of the Egyptian workforce’s size from 28.4 million in 2020 to 29.3 million in 2021. Egyptian youth aged between 15 and 29 remain the most affected by unemployment, with an unemployment rate of 15.0%.
Apr. 16, 2022
EGYPT – IMF raises its forecast for Egypt’s GDP growth in 2022 to 5.9%
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has increased its forecast for Egypt’s GDP growth in 2022 to 5.9%, compared to the previous forecast of 5.6% in October 2021. The IMF explained that the expectations for the Egyptian economic performance have improved thanks to the country’s good management of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as its good export results in 2021.
Apr. 19, 2022
EGYPT – Egypt creates a ministerial group to formulate an economic recovery plan
The Egyptian Government has created a ministerial group to formulate a plan for economic recovery and reducing the impacts of the ongoing global economic crisis. The ministerial group is set to announce a series of measures to stimulate foreign and local investments, as well as ensure the abundance of essential commodities in Egyptian markets.
Apr. 23, 2022
EGYPT – Fitch Ratings and Standard and Poor’s confirm their ratings for Egypt
Fitch Ratings and Standard and Poor’s have confirmed their ratings regarding Egypt in their latest respective updates. Fitch Ratings affirmed Egypt’s long-term foreign-currency issuer default rating at “B+” with a stable outlook. Meanwhile, Standard and Poor’s confirmed the country’s long and short-term foreign and local currency sovereign credit ratings at “B/B” with a stable outlook.
Apr. 23, 2022
EGYPT – Egyptian non-oil exports record a 20% growth in the first quarter of 2022
Egypt’s non-oil exports have recorded a 20.0% increase in the first quarter of 2022, compared to the same period in 2021. The total value of Egyptian non-oil exports in the first three months of 2022 reached USD 9.17 bn, up from USD 7.67 bn in the same period of the previous year. Arab states represent the main clients of Egypt, with exports valued at USD 3.0 bn, followed by the European Union (USD 2.5 bn), the United States (USD 623 mn), and African states excluding Arab countries (USD 515 mn).
Apr. 28, 2022
MOROCCO – Moroccan exports increase in value by 27.7% in the first two months of 2022
Morocco’s exports in the first two months of 2022 have increased by 27.7% compared to the same period in 2021, growing in value from MAD 48.9 bn (EUR 4.6 bn) to MAD 62.5 bn (EUR 5.9 bn). The increase in exportations concerns all sectors, notably phosphates and their derivatives (95.6%), aeronautics (52.9%), textile and leather (26.1%), and agriculture (13.5%).
Apr. 1, 2022
MOROCCO – IMF predicts Morocco to record a 1.1% GDP growth in 2022 and 4.6% in 2023
The IMF has predicted that the Moroccan economy will grow by 1.1% in 2022 and 4.6% in 2023. The financial institution has also expected Morocco’s inflation rate to reach 4.4% in 2022, before dropping to 2.3% in 2023. The IMF’s predictions are based on three assumptions: The Russia-Ukraine conflict will not extend beyond Ukraine, the sanctions pronounced against Russia will not concern the energy sector, and the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic will fade in 2022.
Apr. 19, 2022
MOROCCO – Morocco increases the national minimum wage and amends the labor law
The Moroccan Government and Morocco’s labor unions and employers’ association CGEM signed on the eve of Labor’s Day a social pact to make a series of amendments to the country’s labor law. One of the main conclusions of the agreement is the increase of the national monthly minimum wage in the public sector from MAD 2,638 (EUR 250) to MAD 3,500 (EUR 332). The agreement also provides for a 15-day paid paternity leave for public sector employees. For the private sector, the national monthly minimum wage is set to increase by 10% over two years: 5% in September 2022 and 5% in September 2023. It is expected to go from MAD 2,638 to over MAD 3,000 (EUR 285). Other amendments also include the possibility for employees to benefit from retirement pension after only 1,320 days of social security contributions instead of 3,240 days, as well as an increase in family allocations given to employees with more than three children.
Apr. 30, 2022
TUNISIA – Tunisian Government announces 50 ‘urgent’ measures for economic recovery
The Tunisian Government has announced a series of 50 “urgent” measures for economic recovery. The measures are divided into four axes: Supporting the treasury and access to financing, attracting investment, making the business environment more friendly, and promoting exportation by simplifying its procedures. The measures mainly include amendments to Tunisian legal texts in the hopes of reinvigorating the Tunisian economy after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Apr. 1, 2022
TUNISIA – World Bank expects 3.0% growth in Tunisia in 2022 and 3.5% in 2023
The World Bank has predicted the Tunisian GDP to grow by 3.0% in 2022 and 3.5% in 2023. The World Bank has also expected Tunisia’s inflation rate to be around 6.5% in both 2022 and 2023. Finally, the financial institution has forecasted the country’s current account balance to stand at -7.6% in 2022 and -7.2% in 2023.
Apr. 14, 2022
ALGERIA – Algerian President orders the increase of retirement pensions
The Algerian President has ordered his government to increase retirement pensions for Algerian citizens. Pensions lower than DZD 15,000 (EUR 98) per month would increase by 10%, pensions between DZD 15,000 and DZD 20,000 (EUR 98 – EUR 131) would increase by 5%, pensions between DZD 20,000 and DZD 43,000 (EUR 131 – EUR 282) would increase by 3%, and pensions higher than DZD 43,000 (EUR 282) would increase by 2%.
Apr. 10, 2022
ALGERIA – Algeria’s hydrocarbon records a 3.1% annual growth in 2021
Algeria’s hydrocarbon sector has witnessed a 3.1% annual growth in 2021, according to the Algerian National Statistics Office (ONS). The increased revenue of the Algerian hydrocarbon sector comes after an 8.2% drop in the previous year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The subsector of crude oil and unprocessed natural gas began its recovery in the second quarter of 2021, recording quarterly increases of 3.1% (Q2), 4.5% (Q3), and 8.4% (Q4). Liquefied natural gas also recorded significant growth, averaging 11.4% over the entire year. The only subsector that recorded a decline in growth was refined oil, with an annual decrease of 0.5%.
Apr. 20, 2022
ALGERIA – IMF increases its predicted GDP growth in Algeria to 2.4% in 2022
The IMF has raised its forecast for Algeria’s GDP growth in 2022 to 2.4%. The financial institution predicted in October 2021 that the Algerian economy would only grow by 1.9%. The new forecast is based on estimated GDP growth of 4.0% in 2021, compared to an earlier estimation of 3.4%. The IMF also expects Algeria’s unemployment rate to drop from an estimated 14.7% in 2021 to 11.1% in 2022 and 9.8% in 2023.
Apr. 28, 2022
Key Economic Indicators