North Africa News October 2021
(as at October 5, 2021)
EGYPT – Egyptian company Domty to acquire two bakery production lines worth EUR 2.4 mn
The Egypt-based Arabian Food Industries company, known as Domty, has signed contracts with American bakery systems manufacturer AMF to acquire two production lines for EUR 2.4 mn. One line will produce baked goods, while the second will be reserved for the production of croissants. AMF is expected to deliver the new production lines to Domty in the middle of 2022.
Sep. 7, 2021
EGYPT – Plug and Play opens new office in Egypt
American startup incubator Plug and Play has launched a new office in Cairo in partnership with the Egyptian Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) to boost Egypt’s entrepreneurship and startup ecosystem. The office will host high-potential Egyptian startups and provide them with financial and technical support. The agreement between Plug and Play and ITIDA seeks to accelerate 60 growth-stage startups and incubate 60 early-stage startups, as well as attract USD 20 mn of investments and create 500 job opportunities.
Sep. 23, 2021
MOROCCO – Stellantis to increase local sourcing for Moroccan factory to EUR 3 bn by 2025
Multinational automobile manufacturer Stellantis has signed an amendment to the industrial partnership agreement it had signed with Morocco’s Ministry of Industry in 2015. According to the amendment, Stellantis is engaged to increase the value of local sourcing for its factory in Morocco to EUR 2.5 bn by 2023 and EUR 3.0 bn by 2025. Stellantis is also engaged to create 3,000 jobs for Moroccan engineers and technicians by 2025, adding up to the 2,500 local employees already working at the Kenitra factory, near Rabat.
Sep. 2, 2021
MOROCCO – Customer service company Majorel to join Euronext before the end of 2021
International customer service company Majorel, half-owned by Moroccan holding Saham Group, is set to join European exchange group Euronext before the end of 2021. The move seeks to provide Majorel with sufficient funds to become one of the top five companies worldwide in the field of customer service.
Sep. 7, 2021
MOROCCO – Morocco’s OCP Group to build USD 2.4 bn fertilizer plant in Ethiopia
Morocco’s phosphate company, OCP Group, has signed an agreement with the Ethiopian government to build a fertilizer plant in eastern Ethiopia. The project has an estimated initial budget of USD 2.4 bn and the plant is expected to produce 2.5 million tonnes of fertilizers per year by the end of 2022. The agreement also provides for an expansion of the plant to produce 3.8 million tonnes per year by 2025, increasing the total investment budget to USD 3.7 bn.
Sep. 18, 2021
TUNISIA – German company Tristone Flowtech to launch a production unit in Tunisia
Tristone Flowtech, a German company specialized in developing cooling solutions for the automotive industry, has decided to launch a production unit at the Neopark Monastir industrial zone, in northeastern Tunisia. Tristone Flowtech is set to invest TND 50 mn (EUR 15.2 mn) in the project, which is expected to generate 800 jobs.
Sep. 11, 2021
TUNISIA – American tire manufacturer Firestone opens its first store in Tunisia
The US-based Firestone Tire and Rubber Company has opened its first store and service station in Tunisia. The store is located at the Barki gas station in Tunis, operated by TotalEnergies. The opening is part of a partnership between the Tunisian branch of TotalEnergies and Firestone, according to which the American company will open stores and service stations in six different locations across the country.
Sep. 12, 2021
TUNISIA – Japan’s Toyota Tsusho Corporation announces the opening of a new office in Tunisia
Japanese conglomerate Toyota Tsusho Corporation has announced its intention to open an office in Tunisia to make new investments in the country. A delegation from the Japanese corporation visited Tunisia and met with the General Director of the Tunisian Agency for the Promotion of Foreign Investments (FIPA-Tunisia) to discuss the future opening. The two parties also discussed the upcoming Tokyo International Conference on the Development of Africa (TICAD 8), set to take place in Tunisia in 2022. Toyota Tsusho Corporation is already present in several African countries. In 2020, the Japanese corporation achieved a turnover of EUR 6.7 bn from its activities in Africa.
Sep. 16, 2021
ALGERIA – Algeria exempts employers from penalties on late social security payments
The Algerian government has extended the exemption of employers from late payment penalties on social security contributions until January 31, 2022. The decision seeks to reduce the expenses of companies as the Algerian economy is still recovering from the COVID-19 crisis. According to the Ministry of Labor, the exemption will concern more than 760,000 employers.
Sep. 15, 2021
EGYPT – Egypt and Turkey hold political consultations to improve relations
Egypt and Turkey have held a second round of political consultations in Ankara with the aims of “advancing and normalizing relations on the basis of mutual benefit.” The consultations come as a follow-up to the resumption of diplomatic contact between the two countries earlier in 2021. Egypt and Turkey have had tense relations since 2013. Recently, however, the two countries began showing a willingness to improve cooperation. Following the political consultations in Ankara, the Egyptian Foreign Minister announced that Turkey and Egypt are making progress toward the normalization of ties.
Sep. 7, 2021
EGYPT – Egypt allows businesses to remain open for longer during winter
The Egyptian government has decided to implement the winter closure timing for businesses, starting October 1. The new closing time for shops is set at 11 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays and 10 p.m. on the rest of the week. Meanwhile, the opening time is set at 7 a.m. As for restaurants and coffee shops, the opening time is set at 5 a.m., while the closing time is set at midnight, with the possibility of an hour extension on official holidays. Finally, workshops and craft shops located in residential areas can open at 8 a.m. and must close at 6 p.m., except for workshops located on roads and gas stations. The new closing hours are not applicable for supermarkets, pharmacies, bakeries, and grocery stores.
Oct. 1, 2021
MOROCCO – National Rally of Independents wins 2021 Moroccan legislative elections
The National Rally of Independents (RNI), a liberal political party, has won the 2021 Moroccan legislative elections, earning 102 out of 395 seats at the House of Representatives, the lower house of the Moroccan Parliament. The Party of Authenticity and Modernity (PAM) came second, with 86 seats, followed by the Party of Independence (PI), with 81 seats. The Islamic Party of Justice and Development (PJD), the ruling party in Morocco between 2011 and 2021, came in the eighth position, with only 13 seats.
Sep. 9, 2021
MOROCCO – Morocco’s new Head of Government announces three-party coalition
The RNI President, Moroccan billionaire Aziz Akhannouch, has announced that the new government coalition in Morocco will include the three leading parties from the legislative elections: RNI, PAM, and PI. Aziz Akhannouch was nominated by King Mohammed VI on September 10 as Morocco’s new Head of Government after his party won the legislative elections.
Sep. 22, 2021
MOROCCO – Moroccan government alleviates COVID-19 restrictions
The Moroccan government has alleviated a series of COVID-19 restrictions following the improvement of the epidemiological situation in the country. The starting time of the nationwide night curfew was moved from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. The closing time for shops, restaurants, and coffee shops was also pushed to 11 p.m. instead of 9 p.m. Finally, public bathhouses and gyms can now reopen to the public, on the condition of not exceeding 50% of their maximum capacity. The alleviated measures have all went into effect on October 1.
Oct. 1, 2021
TUNISIA – Tunisian President extends suspension of Tunisian Parliament
Tunisian President Kaïs Saïed has enacted a new Presidential decision, extending the suspension of the Tunisian Parliament and the lifted immunity and privileges on Tunisian deputies. The Tunisian Parliament has been suspended since July 25, giving President Saïed complete executive power over the country.
Sep. 22, 2021
TUNISIA – Tunisian President appoints first female Head of Government in history of Tunisia
Tunisian President Kaïs Saïed has nominated Najla Bouden Romdhane as Head of Government and tasked her to create the new Tunisian government. Bouden Romdhane is the first woman to become Head of Government in the history of Tunisia. The nomination came more than two months after President Kaïs Saïed dismissed the former Head of Government, Hichem Mechichi.
Sep. 29, 2021
ALGERIA – Algeria seeks to vaccinate 70% of the population against COVID-19 by end of 2021
Algeria’s Ministry of Health has announced that the country’s national vaccination campaign against COVID-19 will be maintained until the end of 2021, to vaccinate 70% of the Algerian population. The vaccination campaign was initially launched in July, but it was only accelerated at the beginning of September with the opening of dozens of new vaccination centers across the country. Algerian health authorities seek to vaccinate at least one million citizens every week until the end of the year.
Sep. 11, 2021
ALGERIA – Algerian government reduces COVID-19 restrictions
The Algerian government has allowed the reopening of used cars markets, gyms, youth centers, cultural centers, and libraries in all Algerian governorates, starting September 13. The facilities, however, must not exceed 50% of their hosting capacity. Algerian authorities announced that the restrictions could still be reimplemented, depending on the evolution of the epidemiological situation across regions.
Sep. 12, 2021
ALGERIA – Algeria closes its airspace on Moroccan aircraft
Algeria has decided to close its airspace on all Moroccan aircraft, starting September 22. According to the Algerian President, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, the decision is due to “the continuous provocations and hostile practices from Morocco.” The decision came nearly one month after Algeria decided to cut its diplomatic ties with its western neighbor. The closure of the Algerian airspace on Moroccan aircraft has forced planes operated by Royal Air Maroc to adjust their routes that used to go over Algeria, slightly increasing their durations.
Sep. 22, 2021
EGYPT – Egyptian food exports increase by 14% in the first seven months of 2021
The exports of Egypt’s food industries have recorded an annual increase of 14.0% in the first seven months of 2021, gaining USD 297 mn. Their value reached USD 2.38 bn, compared to USD 2.09 bn during the same period of 2020. Saudi Arabia was the largest importer of Egyptian food products between January and July 2021 (USD 177 mn), followed by the United States (USD 129 mn), Libya (USD 116 mn), and Sudan (USD 112 mn).
Sep. 1, 2021
MOROCCO – FDIs in Morocco increase by 9% between July 2020-2021
Foreign direct investments (FDIs) in Morocco have recorded an annual increase of 9.0% in the first seven months of 2021. Their value went from MAD 9.8 bn (EUR 926 mn) in July 2020 to MAD 10.7 bn (EUR 1.01 bn) in July 2021. Moroccan investments abroad have also recorded a notable annual increase of 79.9% in the first seven months of 2021. They went from MAD 6.2 bn (EUR 586 mn) in July 2020 to MAD 11.1 bn (EUR 1.05 bn) in July 2021.
Sep. 2, 2021
TUNISIA – Tunisian exports record 7.3% monthly growth in August
Tunisian exports have increased by 7.3% between July and August 2021, while imports have only witnessed a slight 0.2% increase. The figures allowed Tunisia’s foreign trade coverage ratio to increase by 5.2% and stand at 79.7%. The increase in exports is mainly due to the growth of mechanical and electrical industries exportations (+15.1%), and textile, clothing, and leather (+7.7%). Meanwhile, the slight change in imports was driven by a 101.6% increase in the purchases of energy products, counterbalanced by a 44.7% decline in the volume of imported food products.
Sep. 23, 2021
ALGERIA – Algeria’s trade deficit drops by 87.9% between August 2020-2021
According to the Algerian Ministry of Finance, Algeria’s trade deficit has recorded a significant decline of 87.9% over the past 12 months. It went from USD 7.6 bn at the end of August 2020 to USD 926 mn at the end of August 2021. The evolution is mainly due to the large increase in exportations, from USD 15.1 bn in August 2020 to USD 23.7 bn in August 2021. The progress has pushed Algeria’s foreign trade coverage ratio from 66.6% to 96.2% between August 2020 and 2021.
Sep. 8, 2021
Key Economic Indicators