Friday 24 November 2017
(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...
(The Associated Press 07/20/17)
BEIJING (AP) — The foreign ministers of China and Tunisia called Wednesday for new efforts to reach a negotiated peace in Libya and prevent the unstable North African nation from dissolving into a humanitarian disaster on a level with Syria. China’s Wang Yi said Libya is attracting militants from across the globe now being driven from Iraq and Syria, requiring the international community to step in and prevent the country becoming “a new source of international terrorism.” “We should prevent Libya from becoming the next Syria,” Wang told reporters. Tunisia’s Khemaies Jhinaoui, whose country borders Libya, said a political rather than military solution is needed based on a 2015 United Nations-brokered peace deal. “Libya should realize its security, independence and...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/20/17)
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Africa's major central banks are entering an easing cycle as they try to stimulate growth after months of drought, austerity drives and confidence issues across the continent, a Reuters poll found on Thursday. Much of southern and eastern Africa is still recovering after an El Niño-related drought wilted crops last year. Poor business confidence in South Africa and foreign exchange restrictions in Nigeria have also hampered growth. "We expect that African monetary policy is entering a widespread and protracted period of policy easing. This will provide a boost to growth," said John Ashbourne, Africa analyst at Capital Economics. Ghana, which agreed a three-year fiscal discipline deal with the International Monetary Fund in exchange for aid in 2015,...
(Bloomberg 07/19/17)
Vodacom Group Ltd. sees the expansion of mobile-banking services into new markets in sub-Saharan Africa as a top priority following a shareholder vote to rubber stamp its purchase of a 35 percent stake in Safaricom Ltd., Kenya’s biggest company. “We will use Safaricom to enter other markets where neither Vodacom nor Safaricom are,” Chief Executive Officer Shameel Joosub said in an interview at the wireless carrier’s annual general meeting in Johannesburg on Tuesday. The two businesses have a combined 30 million mobile-banking customers, giving them “a very sizeable platform on the continent,” he said. Vodacom’s purchase of the Safaricom stake from U.K. parent company Vodafone Group Plc gives the South African company access to the fast-growing M-Pesa platform, which processed...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/18/17)
Three years after he risked his life crossing the Mediterranean Sea from Libya to Italy on a small boat crammed with migrants, 22-year-old Sow Muhammed can hardly believe his luck. The former street hawker from Guinea now works as a caterer in Venice, rents his own apartment, and sends money back home regularly to his mother and siblings in the West African nation. "I am happy I came to Europe, and my family is also happy," he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation as he packed up leftovers at a training event for people who work with refugees, where he had served a menu which included traditional African dishes. "I talk to my family frequently, ask them their needs, and help...
(Xinhuanet 07/17/17)
Africa is making progress towards the establishment of a trade zone by Oct. 30 that will cover approximately half of the continent's member states. The Common Market for the Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Director of Trade and Customs, Francis Mangeni, said in a commentary published in the Star Newspaper on Monday that so far 19 of the 26 countries involved have signed the agreement. "Three outstanding annexes had meant the tripartite agreement was not complete and this was advanced by some countries as the reason they could not sign or ratify the agreement. However their adoption represented a milestone in the negotiation, as it removed the last obstacle to signing and ratifying the agreement," Mangeni said. The tripartite free...
(Xinhuanet 07/12/17)
Tunisian Foreign Minister Khemaies Jhinaoui will visit China from July 17 to 21 at the invitation of his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, a Foreign Ministry spokesperson said Wednesday. Geng Shuang told a daily news briefing that China-Tunisia relations have enjoyed healthy and stable development since their establishment 53 years ago. China supports Tunisia's efforts of safeguarding the national stability and promoting its development, he said, adding that China stands ready to work with the country to deepen political mutual trust, enhance cooperation on various fields, and promote the continuous growth of bilateral ties. Geng said it will be Jhinaoui's first visit to China since taking office, which is significant for both countries.
(Xinhuanet 07/12/17)
Thirty-six people were injured in a accident when a bus skidded off the road Monday evening in the southwestern Tunisian province of Gafsa, authorities said Tuesday. The bus, traveling from the capital city of Tunis to Tozeur, a southern province, crashed at a site about 90 kilometers from Gafsa, the capital city of Gafsa province, said the regional Director of Civil Protection Adel Labidi. "Thirty-three passengers have already left the regional hospital in Gafsa while three others remain there for more care given the delicacy of their state of health," said Labidi. The number of road accidents in 2017 has dropped by 17.42% from 4,001 in 2016 to 3,304, according to the latest report of National Road Safety Observatory (ONSR)...
(Agence Ecofin 07/12/17)
The International Monetary Fund (Fund) forecast a 2.3% growth for the Tunisian economy this year after a relatively sluggish year in 2016. The new forecast will be mainly driven by the tourism and phosphate sectors. Yet, the Bretton Woods institution stresses on the fragility of the economy of this country which is currently experiencing a particularly complex socio-political situation. The Fund also highlights structural drawbacks and an overvalued exchange rate which do not favor investment, in a context where trust in the country is still weak, two years after the terrorist attacks that hurt the economy. External shocks and the blunders during implementation of new policies widened the budget deficit to more than 10% of the country’s gross domestic product...
(Cnbc Africa 07/12/17)
"Africa is an awakening giant," according to the former South African President Frederik Willem de Klerk speaking at the World Petroleum Congress in Istanbul. The leader who oversaw the transition of his country's power to Nelson Mandela said Tuesday that the future looks bright for a continent previously blighted by war, famine and a lack of infrastructure. "I believe Africa is an awakening giant and, yes, it is not performing according to what we expected soon enough, but it will perform," he said. De Klerk believes that African countries are primed to take advantage of the world's growing size. "If we look at food shortages for the rest of the world with a growing population, Africa is the solution," he...
(AFP (eng) 07/11/17)
A trial opened in Tunisia on Tuesday over the 2015 attack on the Bardo museum that killed 21 foreign tourists and a police officer, court officials said. Two gunmen opened fire at the National Bardo Museum in an operation claimed by the Islamic State group. Some 21 detained suspects, including two women, attended Tuesday morning's unannounced hearing, defence lawyer Samir Ben Amor said. Three others, who were not under arrest, were not present, he said. About 30 people are also on trial in absentia, defence lawyer Rafik Ghak said. The suspects were not named. Since its revolution in 2011, Tunisia has faced a series of jihadist attacks that have claimed the lives of more than 100 soldiers and police along...

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