Coral smuggling degrades environment, economy

Due to their brilliant composition, design, and strategic locations, coral reefs serve superbly as natural shock absorbers from the relentless force of the sea. By absorbing energy from gentle or powerful waves, coral reefs protect beaches from erosion, preventing water from easily cutting into mounds of sand that lay far beneath the bare feet of beach-goers above them. Without this bulwark of coral, precious beach would degrade and collapse. Little made by man can replace this natural wonder. Although coral reefs comprise less than .01 percent of ocean life and…

Scholarships Prepare New Leaders in Tunisia

The success of Tunisia’s new constitutional democracy depends on the involvement of young people. In 2016, 38 percent of the Tunisian population was under the age of 25. But young people have not yet begun to take an active part in their country’s development in this new era. How can we encourage them to do so? Youth unemployment in Tunisia is at 30 percent, reaching 55 percent in some regions, and 60 percent among youth with higher education degrees, according to the OECD. Meanwhile, Tunisian youth are reluctant to engage…

Quality of life on rise for many Africans, report says

Africans are seeing a steady improvement in the quality of their lives, with some countries even nearing world averages, says a wide-ranging report out Monday on the continent’s future. While large portions of the continent’s 1.2 billion people live in poverty, many of Africa’s 54 nations have made significant progress in health, education and standard of living. “At least a third of African countries have now achieved medium to high levels of human development,” said the report published by the African Development Bank, referring to a composite measure of a…

Tunisia’s “Reconciliation Bill” threat to Revolution gains (Manach Msamhin” Association)

The controversy is growing in the latest few days on the ”Manach Msamhin” Association  (we do not forgive), as regards the Tunisian  Reconciliation Bill which according to them puts the gains of the Revolution at stake by giving to Ben Ali-era businessmen and officials the opportunity to join the economic and political life with entrenched impunity. For the first time l heard one of the association members speaking on the Tunisian TV channel, I deeply realized that we are facing a new conscious generation willing to do anything peacefully in…

Tunisia faces toxic landfill disaster – and no one is stopping the rot

Borj Chakir landfill has become a symbol of Tunisia’s waste crisis, as government struggles amid funding cuts and vested interests Borj Chakir, Tunisia – Ridha Trabelsi looks out over his village of Borj Chakir, a settlement on the outskirts of Tunis once renowned for its olive groves, and considers how things have changed. The crops are gone, subsumed by one of the country’s largest landfills and its mountain of rotting waste that grows every day. A stench hangs heavy over the village, the result of 2,500 tonnes of rubbish brought from…

Study reveals pay disparities between men and women

Income and education disparities between men and women are still conspicuous in Kenya even as the country makes gains in human development. The UNDP 2016 report Human Development for Everyone shows that the country has registered an annual average human development index growth of 0.64 per cent from 1990 to 2015. The progressive gain has seen Kenya climb from position 147 in 2014 to 146 in 2015, though the country remains at near bottom, only above Pakistan in the Medium Human Development group. Norway, Australia, Switzerland, Germany and Denmark occupy…

Youth in Tunisia find a way out of violence with tech

For young people, the power to choose a path away from violence can come from digital tech Students from deprived suburb in Tunisia use mapping tool to influence planning decisions Peace tech must be driven by young people and be embedded in their local realities Mapping project shows the most effective peace tech is driven by young people themselves, says Harriet Lamb. “Here we have drug problems, we have terrorism, but we want young people to change their minds — and to change people’s lives.” This is what an enthusiastic…

Jewish visitors to gather in Tunisia next month

The village of Hara Sghira in Djerba, an island off the coast of southern Tunisia will welcome Jewish visitors between 11 and 17 May 2017 to celebrate the Lag B’Omer holiday during a week of rituals as the village is home to the Ghriba synagogue which is believed to be the oldest Jewish temple in Africa. Displaying intricate tile walls bearing blue and yellow geometric shapes El Ghriba is the most famous and venerated of the twenty synagogues and prayer houses dotting the three Jewish villages on Djerba. Its surrounding…

It’s more vital than ever that Britain looks beyond Europe to forge commercial ties

As part of my role, I travel the world seeking out investment opportunities for British businesses that will not only create high-quality jobs for our partners overseas, but also long-term growth investments for UK firms. North Africa is a part of the world with many such opportunities to uncover. I recently returned from a visit to Algeria, Tunisia, and Morocco at the head of a City business delegation. During our time in Algiers, Tunis and Casablanca, we were able to identify much potential for UK business, in a region with…

Arab Women in the Legislative Process

Women continue to face challenges in accessing the higher echelons of political power, but also in playing a more substantive role in the policymaking process. n May 4, Algeria will hold its second legislative election since the introduction of women’s quota system in 2012. Many are set to see whether female legislators will be able to play a more pivotal role in the political realm. Over the past decade, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has witnessed a consistent, though slow, increase in the presence of women in…