Key Insights On Digital Activities Across Some North African Countries

There are about 238 million people across the seven countries in North Africa according to a UN-based report. The region has an internet penetration rate of 49%, second only to Southern Africa’s 51%. Social Media penetration in the region is 38%, the highest on the African continent with the most used messenger apps being Facebook Messenger and Whatsapp. In terms of development, the region has some of the highest HDI figures in Africa per a UNDP report released in 2016. Algeria and Tunisia have high HDI figures of 0.745 and 0.725, ranking 83rd and 97th…

Algerian holidaymakers boost Tunisia’s tourism numbers

Tunisian officials predict that approximately 8 million tourists will spend holidays in Tunisia this year. On July 10, a day after jihadists killed six members of Tunisia’s security services near the Algerian border, Algerian Interior Minister Noureddine Bedoui stood at the main border crossing between the two countries to personally supervise the flow of Algerian tourists into Tunisia. Bedoui’s presence on the border, encouraging Algerians to visit Tunisia, reflected the country’s long-standing economic and security support for its neighbour. A month later, Algerian tourist numbers had improved, jumping from a…

Tunisia’s foreign currency reserves drop to record lows

The Central Bank said reserves stood at the equivalent of 70 days of imports — the lowest level in more than 25 years. Tunisia’s foreign currency reserves plunged to their lowest level in more than 25 years, even as the country secured loans and aid pledges from international lenders, increased farming exports and entered a promising tourism season. The contrast raised alarms about the country’s economic malaise, underscored by a weakened currency and higher import bills for oil and wheat. Tunisia’s Central Bank said foreign currency reserves on August 7…

Equal inheritance rights for women in Tunisia, landmark initiative for equal society

The proposal of the inheritance law sparked debate among Tunisians who were divided between the secular who commends the proposed law and support women’s equal rights in accordance with the Tunisian constitution and the cleric conservatives who opposed any changes on the law that might be seen as challenging the Islamic laws. The bill to be submitted to parliament soon aims to give women equal inheritance rights with men, as the debate over the topic of inheritance arouses a controversy among the different fringes of the Tunisian society. President Beji…

UK leisure travel rises in destinations previously hit with terror threats

Tourists from the UK this summer have returned to popular travel destinations previously considered at risk for unrest or terrorism, according to data from ForwardKeys and GfK, which showed a 4.9 percent jump in UK leisure travel. “These findings illustrate the ultimate resilience of travel and tourism. Tourists are prepared to reassess their impressions of a destination if it manages to remain safe for an extended period of time. It’s encouraging that the countries previously affected by unrest are seeing their tourist-marketing efforts pay off in hard figures,” Olivier Jager, CEO and co-founder…

Did Morocco let more migrants make dangerous Spain crossing?

 Morocco may have relaxed migration controls into Europe as leverage in key negotiations with Brussels, it’s been claimed. The country, 14 kilometres from Andalucía, is in fresh focus after its northern neighbour Spain emerged as the busiest route into the EU for migrants. Experts say while they cannot be certain, there are suspicions border checks were eased ahead of negotiations on a fisheries agreement and how much Brussels should give Rabat for helping protect the EU’s external border. It’s controversial because the sea crossing to Spain can be deadly —…

Record heatwave points to looming climate crisis for Maghreb

Temperatures this year are expected to remain above 35 degrees for more than 32 days in parts of the Maghreb. Southern Algeria likely registered Africa’s all-time highest temperature, hitting 51.3 degrees Celsius on July 5, part of a weeks-long heatwave that has turned North African cities into tinderboxes. The record temperatures were made worse by breakdowns in water supplies and rolling power outages, which prompted residents throughout the region to demand government action. In Tozeur, an oasis town on the edge of the Sahara in Tunisia, temperatures reached 49 degrees…

Can Tunisia revive its tourist industry?

Seven years after its revolution, the country is luring visitors back with desert settlements and a diverse history In the cool interior of his troglodyte cave, Ali Diglish is speaking at full tilt. The 26-year-old guide from Chenini barely draws breath. Like much of the country these days, this Berber village in southern Tunisia doesn’t get many visitors, so Diglish is seizing his chance. “Before the revolution we had 500 or 1,000 tourists coming each day,” Diglish says. “Now only 20 people come here. There used to be 12 local…

Home’s where the heart is: Tunisia in comeback

THERE’S a knack to eating a Brik, the traditional Tunisian delicacy of a runny fried egg stuffed inside a triangular case of pastry. And, as I sat under the scorching sun outside an open-air café, I hadn’t got it. You’re supposed to hold the concoction up over your head, take a bite and then let the egg trickle straight into your mouth. Only I missed and splashed a yellow splodge down my clean white T-shirt. “Ha, ha,” giggled my unsympathetic companion, “the yolk’s on you!” Well, at least I hadn’t…

German government aims to streamline returns of irregular migrants to Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia and Georgia

The Cabinet of Germany’s federal government has decided to add Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia and Georgia to the category of “safe countries of origin”, which makes it easier to return irregular migrants who have not obtained a right to stay in Germany. Before this change can be signed into law, it still needs to pass Germany’s two legislative bodies – the Bundesrat and the Bundestag. Find out more about the implications and what happens if these bodies decide in favour of the law. What are the safe countries of origin? Germany…