North Africa News May 2023
EGYPT – Egyptian-French-Japanese consortium to build a 500-megawatt wind farm in the Gulf of Suez
The Red Sea Wind Energy Consortium, composed of French energy operator Engie (35%), Egyptian company Orascom Construction (25%), and the Japanese Toyota Tsusho Corporation (20%) and Eurus Energy Holdings Corporation (20%), has signed a financial closing agreement worth USD 680 mn to build a 500-megawatt wind farm in the Gulf of Suez. The project is financed by the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). The wind farm is set to become operational during the third quarter of 2025.
Apr. 5, 2023
EGYPT – Indian manufacturer Flex begins the construction of a plastic factory in Egypt
Indian manufacturing company Flex has launched the construction of a polyethylene production unit in the industrial zone of Ain Sokhna, on the coast of the Gulf of Suez. The project has a global investment budget of USD 110 mn and is expected to have a production capacity of 30,000 tonnes per month. Built over a total surface of 250,000 square meters, the factory will become operational in mid-2024.
Apr. 10, 2023
EGYPT – Egypt’s tourism revenue grows by 25.7% in the second half of 2022
Egypt’s tourism revenue recorded an annual growth of 25.7% during the second half of 2022, reaching a total value of USD 7.3 bn. The hike in tourism revenues is attributed to a 27.5% increase in tourist arrivals, with 6.8 million tourists visiting the country between June and December 2022, as well as a 27.2% rise in the number of tourism nights, reaching 78.4 million.
May 3, 2023
MOROCCO – Spanish company Hallotex to build a factory in Tangier for recycling textile waste
Spanish textile group Hallotex has signed an agreement with Morocco’s Ministry of Industry to build a production unit for recycled thread, fabric, and clothes in Tangier, northern Morocco. The factory, operated by Hallotex’s subsidiary Reciclados, has an investment budget of MAD 695 mn (EUR 62.5 mn) and is expected to generate over 6,200 direct and indirect jobs. The production unit will specialize in the treatment and recycling of textile waste generated by other clothing manufacturers in Tangier.
Apr. 18, 2023
MOROCCO – Vivo Energy and Chariot Oil & Gas launch a joint venture to distribute gas in Morocco
The Moroccan subsidiary of Dutch energy company Vivo Energy has signed a partnership agreement with Britain’s Chariot Oil and Gas to launch a joint venture for the distribution of natural gas in Morocco. The joint venture will distribute the natural gas produced from the Anchois gas field in northern Morocco, which is currently operated by Chariot Oil and Gas. It will sell natural gas to industrial clients across the country.
May 2, 2023
TUNISIA – Edelweiss Air launches two weekly flights between Switzerland and Tunisia
Swiss airline Edelweiss Air has launched two new weekly flights between Zürich, in Switzerland, and Djerba-Zarzis, in southeastern Tunisia. The flights will be operated on Thursdays and Sundays.
Apr. 2, 2023
TUNISIA – Panoro Energy takes full ownership of the Sfax Petroleum Corporation
British company Panoro Energy has taken full ownership of the Sfax Petroleum Corporation after acquiring the 40% minority share held by Beender Tunisia Petroleum. Panoro Energy previously held 60% of the Sfax Petroleum Corporation. The deal between Panoro Energy and Beender Tunisia Petroleum is valued at USD 18.2 mn.
Apr. 18, 2023
TUNISIA – German manufacturer Marquardt begins the construction of a new factory in Tunisia
German manufacturer Marquardt has launched the construction of its second factory in the Neopark El Fejja industrial zone, northern Tunisia. The factory will cover a total area of 126,000 square meters and will specialize in the production of electromechanical and electric switches for the automotive industry. The project has a global budget of over TND 200 mn (EUR 59.4 mn). It is expected to become operational in 2024 and generate around 1,500 new jobs. Marquardt has been present in Tunisia for over 32 years and it already has a factory that employs around 2,200 workers.
May 4, 2023
ALGERIA – French public transport operator RATP sells its shares in Algerian tramways
French public transport operator RATP has sold its 49% stake in Algerian tramway company SETRAM to public Algerian company TRANSTEV. The value of the deal was not disclosed. RATP has been a stakeholder in Algerian tramways since their launch in 2011. SETRAM operates tramway networks in seven Algerian cities.
Apr. 15, 2023
ALGERIA – Air Algerie to acquire 15 new planes from Airbus and Boeing
Algerian national airline Air Algerie has decided to acquire 15 new airplanes, including seven units from Airbus and eight from Boeing. Airbus will provide the Algerian company with five A350-900 planes and two of the A350-1000 model. Meanwhile, Boeing will deliver eight B737 MAX 9 airplanes.
Apr. 27, 2023
EGYPT – Japanese Prime Minister makes an official visit to Egypt
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has conducted an official visit to Egypt and met with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi. During the visit, Egypt and Japan signed a series of MoUs in the fields of communication and information technology, legal and judicial cooperation, and transport infrastructures. The two leaders also discussed the means to encourage further Japanese companies to invest in Egypt.
Apr. 30, 2023
MOROCCO – King Mohammed VI makes the Amazigh New Year an official public holiday
King Mohammed VI of Morocco has decided to make the Amazigh New Year an official public holiday in the country. The Amazigh New Year is based on the Amazigh calendar, which was used by the indigenous people of North Africa (Berbers). Amazigh people represent an important part of the Moroccan population and they have been campaigning for many years for further recognition and promotion of their culture and heritage. The Amazigh New Year is usually celebrated on January 12 of each year.
May 3, 2023
TUNISIA – Foreign countries criticize Tunisia for repressing the political opposition
Several countries, including the United States, France, and Germany, have expressed their concern about the situation in Tunisia following the shutdown of the opposition political party Ennahdha and the arrest of many of its members, including its leader Rached Ghannouchi. In response, Tunisian President Kaïs Saïed said that his country considers foreign interference in its domestic affairs as “unacceptable”.
Apr. 20, 2023
ALGERIA – Algeria opens a Consulate General in Naples, Italy
Algeria has opened a Consulate General in Naples, southern Italy. The new diplomatic representation will cover six regions in southern Italy. Meanwhile, the Algerian Embassy in Rome will reduce its consular circumscription to only five regions in the center of the country. Meanwhile, the remaining nine regions in northern Italy are covered by the Algerian Consulate in Milan.
Apr. 28, 2023
ALGERIA – Algeria extends the paid vacation days for religious holidays from 2 to 3 days
The Algerian government has decided to increase the duration of the two main religious holidays – Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha – from two days of paid vacation to three days. The decision concerns both the public and private sectors.
Apr. 30, 2023
EGYPT – Annual inflation rate in Egypt climbs to 33.9% in March 2023
The annual inflation rate in Egypt has maintained its upward trend, reaching 33.9% in March 2023, up from 32.9% in February. Fruits and vegetables are the most affected products by inflation, with their prices increasing by 34.6% between March 2022 and 2023. Egypt has been witnessing this accelerating inflationary wave since the beginning of 2022, as a result of the high costs of importing energy and food, as well as the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Apr. 10, 2023
MOROCCO – Morocco’s inflation rate declines to 8.2% in March 2023
Morocco’s annual inflation rate has declined from 10.1% in February 2023 to 8.2% in March. The figure is attributed to a decline in the inflation rate of food products from 20.8% in February to 16.1% in March. The food products that witnessed the most important declines in prices were meat (0.8%) and oils (0.2%).
Apr. 20, 2023
MOROCCO – Unemployment rate in Morocco climbs to 12.9% in Q1-2023
The unemployment rate in Morocco has increased for the third quarter in a row, reaching 12.9% in the first quarter of 2023, up from 12.1% in the fourth quarter of 2022. The unemployment rate in urban areas (17.1%) is higher than the one recorded in rural areas (5.7%). Unemployment is also prevalent among youth aged between 15 and 24 (35.3%), among university graduates (19.8%), and among women (18.1%).
May 3, 2023
TUNISIA – Tunisia’s inflation rate slightly decreases to 10.3% in March 2023
Tunisia’s annual inflation rate has slightly declined to 10.3% in March 2023, down from 10.4% in the previous month. This is the first time that Tunisia’s inflation rate has declined since October 2021. Food products remain the most affected by inflation, with a rise in prices of 15.7% between March 2022 and 2023. The food products with the highest increase in prices are sheep meat (34.2%), eggs (31.3%), poultry (23.8%), cooking oils (23.7%), and beef (21.8%). Meanwhile, the inflation rates of manufactured goods and services are 9.8% and 7.3%, respectively.
Apr. 5, 2023
ALGERIA – Algeria increases the reserve rate for banks from 1% to 3%
Algeria’s central bank has increased the reserve rate for banks – the portion of liquidity that commercial banks must hold onto instead of lending out or investing – from 1.0% to 3.0%. According to the Bank of Algeria, the decision aims to counter inflation and maintain healthy liquidity reserves without inducing any additional costs.
Apr. 16, 2023
ALGERIA – Algeria’s inflation rate reaches 10.1% in March 2023
The annual inflation rate in Algeria has increased to 10.1% in March 2023, up from 9.9% in February. Food products witnessed the highest increase in prices between March 2022 and 2023 at 14.9%, notably sheep meat (46.4%), fruits (43.2%), vegetables (24.8%), and dairy products (12.4%). Meanwhile, the prices of manufactured products increased by 7.2% from March 2022 to 2023 and the prices of services by 3.1%.
Apr. 26, 2023
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