Tuesday 22 August 2017
(Xinhuanet 08/03/17)
Trade between China and Africa reached 85.3 billion U.S. dollars in H1, surging 19 percent year on year as the two sides strengthened cooperation in a wide range of areas, official data showed Thursday. The data reversed the negative growth trend since 2015, according to Gao Feng, spokesperson with the Ministry of Commerce. During January-June, Chinese imports from Africa, including minerals, agricultural products and fruits, amounted to 38.4 billion U.S. dollars, jumping 46 percent from the same period last year, while exports gained 3 percent to 47 billion U.S. dollars. Transport equipment has become a bright spot in China's exports to African countries, with that of ships, trains and aerospace equipment up 200 percent, 161 percent and 252 percent respectively,...
(Bloomberg 08/02/17)
Julien Ochala can’t live without his morning cup of Joe. But not just any coffee will do. For the past five years, the 37-year-old physiology lecturer at King’s College London has visited the same store every week to grab a pack of his beloved Kenyan brew. And he’s not put off by the cost: at 37 pounds a kilogram ($22 a pound), it’s more than double a similar supermarket product. "I take Kenyan coffee every morning," said Ochala, who buys his beans from Monmouth Coffee Company in Borough Market. "I love it because of the relatively higher acidity level. It keeps me active in the afternoons." Customers willing to pay a premium for African brews, known for their floral, fruity...
(Bloomberg 08/01/17)
British American Tobacco Plc faces a formal probe by the U.K.’s Serious Fraud Office following reports that the maker of Dunhill cigarettes bribed African government officials to influence tobacco legislation. BAT said Tuesday it is running its own investigations, via external legal advisers, into allegations of misconduct and is cooperating with the U.K. prosecutor. A BBC report two years ago said BAT had a lobbyist arrange bribes totaling $26,000 for three public officials in Rwanda, Burundi and the Comoros Islands in 2015. The British broadcaster said the bribery was revealed by a former employee, Paul Hopkins. At the time, BAT said “we do not tolerate corruption in our business, no matter where it takes place.” The SFO investigation adds to...
(Xinhuanet 07/31/17)
Tunisia and Saudi Arabia signed eight cooperation agreements in economic and commercial fields on the sidelines of the 9th Tunisian-Saudi Joint Commission held here on Friday. The eight bilateral agreements included a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in export valued at 200 million U.S. dollars. The two parties also signed a MoU on a joint work plan between the High Authority for Investment in the Saudi Arabia and the Foreign Investment Promotion Agency (FIPA) of Tunisia. Besides, the two governments signed a cooperation agreement on a grant from Saudi Arabia to build a university hospital named as "King Salman Ben Abdelaziz Hospital" with a cost of 85 millions dollars, which will be built in Kairouan, a province located in the center...
(AFP (eng) 07/28/17)
Human Rights Watch on Thursday hailed a new law to fight domestic violence in Tunisia as a "landmark step" towards protecting women's rights but called for funding to fully implement it. The law, passed Wednesday and expected to enter into force next year, provides for help to victims of domestic violence and removes a controversial article that allows rapists to escape punishment if they marry their victim. The law also criminalises sexual harassment in public places and the employment of children as domestic workers, as well as fines employers paying women less than their male counterparts, HRW said in a statement. "Tunisia's new law provides women
(The Guardian 07/28/17)
Tour companies can send holidaymakers to north African country, government guidance says, with a warning to be vigilant. The Foreign Office has changed its Tunisia travel advice for British tourists, meaning tour companies can start sending holidaymakers to the north African country again. Tourists were warned in 2015 not to travel to Tunisia after 38 people, including 30 Britons, were killed by a gunman at Sousse, and tour companies and cruise operators suspended visits for more than two years. The country, which used to be a popular tourism destination, remains in a state of emergency after a suicide attack on a police bus in November 2015. The Foreign Office continues to warn that “terrorists are still very likely to try...
(Xinhuanet 07/28/17)
The number of forest fires decreased by 50% during the summer season in Tunisia, compared with the same period of last year, the Tunisian Ministry of Agriculture said on Thursday. On average, some 107 fires are triggered annually in several Tunisian provinces, particularly in the northern, western and northwestern parts of the country known as dominant forest areas. "The current year has been very difficult, given a severe winter, a dry spring and a remarkably hot summer," said Mohamed Abid, the General Directorate of Forests under the ministry. In Tunisia, the most common cause of the fire is due to farmers and heads of agricultural projects who neglect security measures. The forest area covers only 8% of Tunisia's land area...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/28/17)
Barclays reported a 1.2 billion pound ($1.57 billion)attributable first half loss on Friday after taking a 2.5 billion pound hit from the sale of its Africa business and calling an end to its restructuring. The British bank said it had made a 1.4 billion pound loss on the sale of 33 percent of Barclays Africa Group, and took a further 1.1 billion pound impairment charge on the sale. Barclays in June cut its stake in Barclays Africa Group to 15 percent, ending more than 90 years as a major presence in the continent as it shifts its focus back to Britain and the United States. The losses from the sale of unwanted assets including the Africa business showed the costs...
(AFP (eng) 07/27/17)
Tunisia's parliament on Wednesday passed a bill designed to "end all violence against women", strengthening protection and help for victims in a move welcomed by rights groups. "It's a very moving moment and we are proud in Tunisia to have been able to gather around a historical project," said women's minister Naziha Laabidi. The new law, which is expected to enter into force next year, recognises "physical, moral and sexual" violence, lawmaker Bochra Belhaj Hmida told AFP after the vote. It will provide for judicial and psychological assistance for victims of domestic violence and removes a controversial article that allows men to escape punishment for rape if they marry their victim. Tunisia is seen as a pioneer of women's rights...
(AfricaNews 07/27/17)
At a time when Africa is going through a difficult situation, the blue economy is emerging as a stepping stone to relaunch the continent in the right economic direction. But this type of economy is seriously threatened by “predators” who do not hesitate to plunder resources. The “cancer of illegal fishing” costs Africa about $ 1.6 million annually based on Economic Commission for Africa’s estimates. This and more on this week’s edition segment on Business on the Morning Call with Jean David Mihamle.
(BBC News Africa 07/26/17)
The government has revised its travel advice for Tunisia where 31 Britons were killed in a terror attack at a resort in Sousse in 2015. For two years, travellers were told to stay away from the country for all but essential travel. The Foreign Office has now lifted the advice for the capital Tunis and major tourist resorts. Britons are still being warned to avoid parts of the south and interior, and the Algerian and Libyan borders. On 26 June 2015 student Seifeddine Rezgui opened fire on holidaymakers in the resort of Port El Kantaoui, killing 38 people in total. During the inquest into the death of the 31 Britons a UK judge said that the Tunisian police's response was...
(AFP (eng) 07/26/17)
Britain on Wednesday lifted its warning against "all but essential travel" to Tunisia, two years after a shooting spree by a jihadist attacker at a beach hotel in which 30 British tourists were killed. "This update reflects our latest assessment that the risk to British nationals in Tunisia has changed," Alistair Burt, junior foreign minister for the Middle East and North Africa, said in a statement. "This is in part due to the security improvements that the Tunisian authorities and tourist industry have made since the tragic terrorist attacks in 2015, with support from the UK and international partners." While Britain revised its travel advice for virtually all of Tunisia's Mediterranean coastline, it continues to warn against all or all...
(Xinhuanet 07/26/17)
Tunisia's trade deficit in the industrial sector widened in the first half of 2017, reaching more than 4,600 million dinars (1,886 million USD), the Agency for Promotion of Industry and Innovation (APII) said on Tuesday. It increased by 26.24% compared to the same period of 2016, the agency said. The APII said that Tunisian industrial exports have grown by 10.7% in the first six months, reaching over 14,502 million dinars(5,946 million USD). Meanwhile, the imports also increased by 14.1% to about 19,103 million dinars(7,832 million USD), which deepened the trade deficit in industrial sector. Enditem
(Xinhuanet 07/25/17)
Enhanced international cooperation is needed to adopt a collective approach to fight illegal immigration, Tunisian Interior Minister Hedi Majdoub said Monday. "No country in the world can confront by itself the phenomenon of the illegal immigration and its adverse impacts," Majdoub said in a speech at the second meeting of Mediterranean Countries Contact Group over immigration. European countries are obliged to participate actively in the fight against illegal immigration by creating action plans and projects for socio-economic integration of immigrants, he added. Tunisian Prime Minister Youssef Chahed noted that illegal immigration is closely linked to the expansion of terrorism, religious extremism and organized crime. He added that Tunisia is developing a national strategy to encourage legal immigration by Tunisians. Chahed...
(Voice of America 07/25/17)
European and African ministers are meeting in Tunisia about efforts to regulate the flow of refugees from Africa to Europe, primarily along the deadly central Mediterranean route originating in Libya. In a declaration Monday in Tunis, the capital, the ministers said they agreed on a multi-pronged approach to the crisis, including informing people about the risks of illegal migration and the possibility of voluntarily returning home, addressing why migrants leave home and beefing up actions against human traffickers. Participating in the meetings were interior ministers from Algeria, Austria, Chad, Egypt, France, Germany, Italy, Libya, Mali, Malta, Niger, Slovenia, Switzerland, Tunisia and Estonia, which currently holds the EU Council presidency. Through the first half of 2017, nearly 84,000 migrants arrived in...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/21/17)
Tunisia's prime minister vowed on Thursday to push ahead with a war against corruption to restore trust in the state, adding this would exclude no-one whatever their political affiliation. Youssef Chahed's speech to lawmakers is part of a campaign that has gained him some plaudits among Tunisians even as he tries to push through unpopular austerity measures. Corruption was one of main catalysts of the 2011 revolt against autocrat Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali and many Tunisians complain graft is as widespread six years after their North African country emerged into democracy and free elections. During the two last months, Tunisia's government has confiscated the property and frozen bank accounts
(AFP (eng) 07/21/17)
The 2019 Africa Cup of Nations will expand from 16 to 24 teams and be staged in June and July, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) announced on Thursday. The tournament has traditionally been held in January and February, with the timing of the tournament a source of frustration to European clubs forced to release players in the middle of the season. The CAF executive committee confirmed the changes to the format following a two-day symposium in Rabat, although the tournament will continue to be held every two years and exclusively on African soil. The decision to increase the number of teams mirrors a similar one taken by UEFA to expand the European Championship, with 24 nations taking part at...
(Xinhuanet 07/20/17)
The number of foreign tourists to Tunisia during the first half of 2017 increased by 29.3 percent compared with the same period of 2016, with more than 2.5 million visitors to the country, according to the Tunisian Federation of Hotels (TFH) on Wednesday. "This performance is primarily due to the restoration of growth in the various European issuing markets," said Mouna Ben Halima, the TFH general secretary. According to Ben Halima, European tourists visiting Tunisia could rise by 30 percent in 2017 to 2 million compared with 1.5 million in 2016. The Maghreb countries, mainly Algeria and Libya, remain the top source of tourists to Tunisia with a 44.7 percent increase or 1,413,502 tourists, according to the TFH. Among them,...
(AFP (eng) 07/20/17)
A Tunisian court has banned the US film "Wonder Woman" which stars an Israeli actress, more than a month after it had been scheduled to open at cinemas in the Arab state, a legal source said Wednesday. Lebanon has also banned Wonder Woman, on the grounds of a long-standing boycott of Israel. The film was to have been screened at two venues in Tunis in early June but the showings were "suspended" following a complaint from the nationalist Al-Chaab party. The court finally decided to impose the ban last Friday, prosecution spokesman Sofiene Sliti said, although the verdict was only disclosed to the media this week without a reason given for the judgement. Al-Chaab demanded the film be banned because...
(AFP (eng) 07/20/17)
A steak dubbed the "Grilled Freedom" is just one stand-out dish on the menu of the Tunisian capital's "Le Dictateur" restaurant, which is not exactly to the taste of officialdom. Six years after the North African country's revolution that sparked the Arab Spring, "Le Dictateur" vies for the foodie business in the upmarket Cite Ennasr suburb of Tunis. "We had to make ourselves known, to come up with a name and concept that attracted attention because good cuisine alone is often not enough," said owner Seif Ben Hammouda. "Dictatorship was a taboo subject for decades, and it's still very relevant here as efforts continue to bring about freedom and democracy," said the savvy entrepreneur in his 30s. Against a bricked...

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