North Africa News September 2022
EGYPT – China’s Haier Group Corporation to build a USD 130 mn industrial complex in Egypt
Chinese corporation Haier Group has signed an MoU with Egypt’s General Authority for Investment and Free Zones to build an industrial complex for manufacturing household appliances. The complex will be located in the 10th of Ramadan City, northeast of Cairo, and will have a total surface of 200,000 square meters. The project will require a total investment of USD 130 mn and is expected to create more than 2,000 new jobs. When operational, the complex will have a production capacity of 900,000 devices annually, aimed at African and Asian markets.
Aug. 4, 2022
EGYPT – UAE’s Chimera Investment acquires a majority stake in Egypt’s Beltone Financial Holding
Emirati investment firm Chimera Investment has acquired a majority stake in the shares of Egypt’s Beltone Financial Holding Company. The Abu Dhabi-based company acquired 259.12 million shares of Beltone Financial Holding Company, with a total value of EGP 384.8 mn (EUR 20.0 mn). The acquisition represents 55.9% of the total shares of Beltone Financial Holding Company.
Aug. 4, 2022
EGYPT – Maersk Group to invest USD 500 mn to upgrade infrastructure in the Suez Canal
Danish shipping company Maersk Group has signed a cooperation agreement with the Suez Canal Authority to invest USD 500 mn in the canal. The investment will finance the construction of a new container berth in east Port Said. The berth will be 1,000 meters long, adjacent to the existing berth of 500 meters, and it will increase the number of cranes to 30. The project seeks to increase the rate of ships transiting the Suez Canal.
Aug. 11, 2022
EGYPT – Hyundai Rotem to manufacture 40 new metro trains in Egypt
South Korea’s Hyundai Rotem has signed a contract with Egypt’s National Authority for Tunnels to manufacture and supply 40 new metro trains with a total of 320 wagons. Hyundai Rotem will partner with the National Egyptian Railway Industries Company to manufacture the new trains locally in Egypt, with a localization ratio of around 30%. The contract has a value of USD 656 mn and includes a two-year warranty and eight years of maintenance.
Aug. 24, 2022
EGYPT – Egypt signs seven MoUs to establish a green hydrogen complex near Suez Canal
Egypt has signed seven new MoUs to establish a green hydrogen production complex in the Ain Sokhna industrial zone, on the western coast of the Gulf of Suez. The agreements were signed between several Egyptian government agencies on one side and seven international companies on the other. The companies that signed the MoUs are the UK’s Globelec and Actis, the UAE’s Alcazar Energy and KK Power International, Saudi Arabia’s Alfanar, India’s ACME Group, and the American-Egyptian Mediterranean Energy Partners.
Aug. 25, 2022
MOROCCO – Luxury hotel chain Waldorf Astoria to launch its first African hotel in Morocco
Luxury hotel chain Waldorf Astoria has decided to launch a project in Tangier, northern Morocco. The project, called “Star Hill,” will require a global investment of MAD 1.5 bn (EUR 142.2 mn) and will include 95 rooms and suites, 20 luxurious riads, and a “Royal villa” reserved for VIPs. The hotel is set to open in by the end of 2024. The project is Waldorf Astoria’s first expansion in Morocco and in Africa.
Aug. 27, 2022
TUNISIA – Germany’s PSZ Electronic to launch a new automotive wiring factory in Tunisia
German electrical manufacturing company PSZ Electronic is set to launch an industrial unit specializing in automotive wiring in Bizerte, northern Tunisia. The project will be located in the Ghezala industrial zone and will require an investment budget of TND 100 mn (EUR 31.4 mn). The project is expected to generate 3,200 new jobs. The new factory will be PSZ Electronic’s fourth production unit in Tunisia.
Aug. 5, 2022
TUNISIA – SMART Tunisie becomes the official distributor of Canon products in Tunisia
Tunisian high-tech products importer SMART Tunisie has signed an agreement with Japanese optical and imaging products manufacturer Canon to become its official distributor in Tunisia. Under the agreement, SMART Tunisie will commercialize all types of products under the Canon brand, including printers, scanners, cameras, etc.
Aug. 25, 2022
TUNISIA – Tunisian and Japanese companies launch a medical R&D joint venture
Tunisian pharmaceutical company UNIMED and Japanese incubator G-CUBE have signed a contract to launch a medical research and development joint venture called NIPPOMED. The new company will manufacture and sell testing kits for COVID-19 and some other diseases. The joint venture contract was signed during the TICAD 8 conference held in Tunis.
Aug. 26, 2022
ALGERIA – Sonatrach announces a new oil discovery in the Algerian desert
Algeria’s national oil and gas company Sonatrach has announced a new oil discovery in the region of Adrar, southeastern Algeria. According to preliminary estimations, the newly-discovered location has a potential volume of between 48 and 150 million oil barrels. The oil discovery is the first of its kind in the region since 1994.
Aug. 24, 2022
ALGERIA – Germany’s Bosch begins talks to open a subsidiary in Algeria
German multinational Bosch has begun official talks with Algerian authorities to launch a subsidiary in Algeria. The Algerian Minister of Industry and Trade received several representatives from Bosch, alongside the General Director of the German Chamber of Commerce in Algeria to discuss the future expansion. The project would allow Bosch to increase its presence in Africa by using Algeria as a logistics hub.
Aug. 27, 2022
EGYPT – Egyptian Parliament approves a government reshuffle
The Egyptian House of Representatives has approved a government reshuffle concerning the replacement of 13 different ministers, while the remaining 18 kept their positions. The replaced ministers are those of education, irrigation and water resources, health, higher education and scientific research, immigration, tourism and antiquities, trade and industry, civil aviation, manpower, culture, local development, public enterprise, and military production.
Aug. 10, 2022
MOROCCO – King Mohammed VI calls on Morocco’s partners to clarify their Western Sahara position
King Mohammed VI has called on Morocco’s partners to explicitly clarify their position regarding the Western Sahara issue. The Monarch made the invitation during his speech on the occasion of the 69th anniversary of the Revolution of the King and the People. “I should like to send out a clear message to everyone: the Sahara issue is the lens through which Morocco looks at the world. It is the clear, simple benchmark whereby my country measures the sincerity of friendships and the efficiency of partnerships,” he declared. “I therefore expect certain states among Morocco’s traditional partners as well as new ones, whose stances concerning the Moroccanness of the Sahara are ambiguous, to clarify their positions and reconsider them in a manner that leaves no room for doubt,” the King added.
Aug. 20, 2022
MOROCCO – Germany officially supports Morocco in the Western Sahara dispute
Germany has expressed support for Morocco’s Autonomy Plan in Western Sahara in a joint declaration published during the visit of the German Minister of Foreign Affairs to Rabat. The joint declaration marks a new official position for Germany regarding the Western Sahara dispute in favor of Morocco. Previously, Germany claimed neutrality regarding the issue.
Aug. 25, 2022
MOROCCO, TUNISIA – Morocco and Tunisia enter a diplomatic crisis over the Western Sahara dispute
Morocco has decided to recall its ambassador to Tunisia and cancel its participation in the TICAD 8 conference held in Tunis. The Moroccan decision came after Tunisian President Kais Saied held an official reception ceremony in Tunis for Brahim Ghali, the leader of the Polisario Front, the party that claims independence in the Western Sahara region. In response to the Moroccan decision, Tunisia also decided to recall its ambassador to Rabat.
Aug. 26, 2022
TUNISIA – New Tunisian constitution enters into force
Tunisian President Kais Saied announced the entry into force of the country’s new constitution on August 18. The new constitution firmly centralizes power in the hands of the President, as it allows him to unilaterally appoint the Prime Minister and the Government. It also states that the President cannot be impeached. The new constitution was passed in a national referendum on July 25 with 94% of the votes. The participation rate, however, did not exceed 30%.
Aug. 18, 2022
ALGERIA – France and Algeria begin “a new phase” in bilateral relations with the signature of a pact
France and Algeria have signed a “renewed partnership” pact during an official visit of French President Emmanuel Macron to the North African country. The pact, signed by President Macron and his Algerian counterpart, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, marks the beginning of “a new phase” in political relations between the two countries. During the signing ceremony, French and Algerian officials also signed four other cooperation agreements in the fields of scientific research, higher education, sports, and diplomacy.
Aug. 27, 2022
EGYPT – Unemployment rate in Egypt stands at 7.2% in the second quarter of 2022
Egypt’s unemployment rate stood at 7.2% in the second quarter of 2022, which is the same figure recorded in the previous quarter. The estimated size of the Egyptian labor force recorded a 0.3% increase between the first and second quarters of 2022, standing at 29.98 million individuals. Youth unemployment remains high in Egypt, standing at 61.3% among males aged 15 to 29 years.
Aug. 15, 2022
EGYPT – Central Bank of Egypt cancels the cash deposit limit and increases the daily withdrawal limit
The Central Bank of Egypt has decided to cancel the maximum deposit limits for individuals and companies in banks and ATMs. The central bank also decided to increase the daily withdrawal limit for individuals and companies in banks from EGP 50,000 (EUR 2,596) to EGP 150,000 (EUR 7,788). Meanwhile, the daily withdrawal limit from ATMs remains set at EGP 20,000 (EUR 1,038). The deposit and withdrawal limits were implemented in April 2020 as a precautionary measure against the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Aug. 25, 2022
MOROCCO – Morocco’s trade deficit records a 53% annual increase in the first seven months of 2022
Morocco’s trade deficit has recorded an annual increase of 53.0% in the first seven months of 2022. This is attributed to a 45.9% annual increase in importations, from MAD 294.4 bn (EUR 27.7 bn) at the end of July 2021 to MAD 429.5 bn (EUR 40.4 bn) in July 2022, and a lesser increase of 40.7% in exportations, from MAD 175.0 bn to MAD 246.0 bn (EUR 16.5 bn to EUR 23.1 bn). The sectors that witnessed the highest increase in export value were phosphates (+81.1%), automobile (+31.6%), textile and leather (+28.8%), and agriculture (+23.3%). Meanwhile, the sectors with the highest increase in the value of imports were energy (+140.7%), raw products (+80.3%), semi-finished goods (+55.6%), and food products (+52.8%).
Aug. 31, 2022
MOROCCO – FDIs in Morocco record a 40.3% annual increase in the first seven months of 2022
The value of FDIs in Morocco has recorded an annual increase of 40.3% in the first seven months of 2022, climbing from MAD 16.95 bn (EUR 1.59 bn) at the end of July 2021 to MAD 23.80 bn (EUR 2.24 bn) in July 2022. Meanwhile, Moroccan direct investments abroad declined by 7.6% between the end of July 2021 and July 2022, dropping from MAD 7.71 bn (EUR 725 mn) to MAD 7.12 bn (EUR 669 mn).
Sep. 1, 2022
MOROCCO – Morocco’s national minimum wage augmentation goes into effect
The augmentation of the private sector minimum wage in Morocco went into effect at the beginning of September 2022. The minimum wage was increased by 5%, from MAD 14.81 per hour to MAD 15.55 (EUR 1.40 to EUR 1.47). The new monthly minimum wage is set at MAD 2,970 (EUR 280). The minimum wage of the agricultural sector, which is separate from other sectors, was also increased by 10%, from MAD 76.70 per day to MAD 84.37 (EUR 7.22 to EUR 7.94). In the public sector, the minimum wage witnessed an augmentation from MAD 3,300 per month to MAD 3,500 (EUR 311 to EUR 330). The minimum wage in the private sector – both general and agricultural – is set to witness another 5% increase after one year, in September 2023.
Sep. 1, 2022
TUNISIA – Tunisian economy records a 2.8% annual growth in the second quarter of 2022
The Tunisian economy has recorded an annual growth of 2.8% in the second quarter of 2022, against a growth of 2.4% in the previous quarter. The tertiary sector witnessed the highest annual growth, at 5.2%, mainly thanks to the good performance of the accommodation and catering industry (+42.5%) and the transport industry (19.0%). In the industrial sector, the textile industry (+16.4%) and mechanical and electric industries (+6.3%) recorded the highest growth. Meanwhile, the sectors that recorded a decline in activity between the second quarter of 2021 and the second quarter of 2022 are extractive industries (-15.7%), the construction sector (-11.6%), the construction materials industry (-6.9%), and the chemical industry (-2.0%).
Aug. 15, 2022
TUNISIA – Unemployment rate in Tunisia declines to 15.3% in the second quarter of 2022
Tunisia’s unemployment rate has declined to 15.3% in the second quarter of 2022, compared to 16.1% in the previous quarter. The size of the Tunisian active population stands at 4.08 million individuals, including 2.84 million males and 1.24 million females. The unemployment rate among females (20.5%) is higher than the unemployment rate among males (13.1%). By age, Tunisian youth aged between 15 and 24 remain the most affected by unemployment, with an unemployment rate of 37.2%.
Aug. 15, 2022
ALGERIA – Algeria adopts a complementary budget bill with increased public expenses
The Algerian government has adopted a complementary budget bill for 2022 in light of the macroeconomic changes in Algeria and the world. The complementary budget bill expects several economic indicators to improve, notably the value of oil and gas exports, expected to reach DZD 3,211 bn (EUR 22.9 bn) in 2022, compared to the DZD 2,104 bn (EUR 15.0 bn) expected in the initial budget bill. The new budget bill also predicts an increase in fiscal revenue from customs and value-added taxes. On the other hand, the estimated public expenses of Algeria increased by 16.3%, from DZD 6,311 bn (EUR 45.0 bn) in the initial budget bill to DZD 7,697 bn (EUR 54.8) in the complementary bill.
Aug. 7, 2022
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