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Beekeepers in Mannouba, Tunisia. The country has 305,000 hives

Tunisia’s honey production hit by global warming

Almost three-quarters of beekeepers in Tunisia have seen their honey production curtailed by climate change. The North African country has 305,000 hives tended by 13,000 beekeepers, according to Hassene Ben Salem, chief engineer at the Office of Livestock and Pastures. But he said extreme weather conditions have almost halved honey production, from an average of […]

Tunisia olives

Soaring olive oil exports help Tunisia balance books

Tunisia’s soaring olive oil exports have almost doubled to close to $1 billion in just five months, helping it claw back its current account deficit.   However the increased revenues merely “paint over the cracks” and the country is still probably heading towards a sovereign default, according to an economic expert. Tunisia’s current account deficit narrowed […]

Tunisian president Kais Saied rejected the terms of an IMF deal but the country has secured other funding, including from the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation

Tunisia signs $1.2bn deal to improve energy imports

Tunisia has signed a deal with the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation, which will disperse $1.2 billion in financing to the North African country over the next three years. The money will be used to fund energy imports, according to a statement from Tunisia’s Department of Economy. Tunisia is facing a financial crisis and has […]

Tunisair passenger numbers were up slightly in the first quarter of 2024

Tunisair reports ‘steady’ revenue rise in first quarter

Tunisian national flag carrier Tunisair has reported a “steady” start to the year with a 5.6 percent increase in revenue for the first quarter. The airline is attempting to restructure in order to resolve legacy financial difficulties and refresh its fleet. Revenues rose to TND 316 million ($100 million) at the end of March, according […]

Migrants attempting to reach Italy from Tunisia. About 270,000 so-called irregular migrants arrived in the EU via sea crossings last year

EU reveals total aid to North Africa to combat migration 

The European Union provided €673 million ($718 million) in funding to four North African countries from 2021-23 to help the quartet reduce what it calls irregular migration to the 27-member bloc, official data shows. Last year about 270,000 “irregular migrants” arrived in the EU via sea crossings, 64 percent more than in 2022. Crossings from […]

The Elmed undersea power line will run from the electrical substation at Partanna in Sicily to a substation at Mlaabi, Tunisia

Tunisia-Italy power project gets $285m investment 

The Tunisian Electricity and Gas Company (STEG) has revealed plans to invest about €266 million ($285 million) to complete the Tunisian-Italian Elmed Interconnector Project, a 220km power line connecting the two countries. The investment will fund the Tunisian side of the project, which includes laying a 100km submarine power cable worth €125 million and the […]

A worker threshes harvested wheat at a farm in Tunisia. The government has supplied wheat seeds to more than 16,000 small-holder farmers.

Tunisia secures $520m in loans to attack food crisis

The World Bank has approved loans worth $520 million to address Tunisia’s food security challenge, but experts are calling for the government to devise a new long-term policy. A loan of $300 million will supplement the Emergency Food Security Response Project, which aims to minimise the impact of four consecutive years of drought in Tunisia, […]

People are seen out shopping in the old city of Tunis, Tunisia, 23 August 2023. Tunisia's Ministry of Tourism and Handicrafts has officially restarted tourism in the country after the challenges caused by COVID-19 in 2020. Up to 10 August 2023, a total of 5.4 million tourists have picked Tunisia for their vacations (Photo by Yassine Mahjoub/NurPhoto)NO USE FRANCE

EU throws Tunisia a financial lifeline with $163m grant

The European Union has handed Tunisia a €150 million ($163 million) grant to support economic reforms and fiscal stability as the North African country attempts to fend off a financial crisis. Almost $4 billion in external debts are due for repayment this year, up 40 percent on 2023. Although Tunisia managed to pay an €850 […]

A worker at a phosphate production plant in Metlaoui, Tunisia. Phosphate accounts for 15% of Tunisia's exports

Saudi Arabia loans $55m for Tunisian rail renewal

Saudi Arabia has signed a $55 million loan deal with Tunisia to finance the renewal of the North African country’s rail network.  The railway is used to transport phosphate, a sector that makes up around 4 percent of Tunisia’s GDP and 15 percent of the country’s exports. Tunisia plans to produce eight million tonnes by […]

Tunisian President Kais Saied has refused the terms of an IMF loan, raising doubts about the country's debt repayments

Tunisia debt repayment reaching ‘crunch point’

Just days after Tunisia announced it had cleared its debts from 2023, an expert is warning the country remains at real risk of a sovereign default, with extensive repayments due to creditors over the next two years. Finance minister Sihem Nemsia revealed earlier this week that the North African country had settled all domestic and […]

A Tunisian farmer picks red peppers on her farm in Nabeul. The country will pay $4 billion of foreign debts in 2024

Tunisia pays off all 2023 debt

Tunisia has repaid all of its 2023 domestic and external debts despite constraints on public finance and difficulties in accessing foreign funding, according to finance minister Sihem Nemsia. It had been feared that the North African country was headed towards a default on its debt repayments. Speaking at the opening of a debate on the […]

Bader Al-Kharafi and Aziz Aluthman Fakhroo

Gulf telcos sign deal to create $2bn tower company

Telecom operators Ooredoo and Zain Group on Tuesday said agreements have been signed to create the largest tower company in the Middle East and North Africa. The cash and share deal, which also involves Dubai-based Tasc Towers Holding, will establish a company comprising 30,000 telecom towers in Qatar, Kuwait, Jordan, Iraq, Algeria and Tunisia, with […]

Phosphate mining in Morocco

Future is rosy for Mena phosphate producers

With Morocco and Saudi Arabia now holding the bulk of the world’s high-quality, accessible phosphate rock reserves, the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region is a major centre for the phosphate mining industry’s future growth, analysts say. Morocco alone holds around 70 percent of the world’s total reserves of phosphate rock, the raw material […]

A woman collects water from a well in Tunis. Tunisia is having to operate a quota system for tap water

Droughts could cost Tunisia $1bn annually

Water shortages in Tunisia could cost the North African country up to $1.3 billion annually by 2030, according to a report from the World Bank. For the sixth year in a row, below-average rainfall impacted the country’s agricultural production. The sector’s value fell 9 percent in real terms in the first half of this year […]

Tunisia market

Tunisia to maintain fuel and food subsidies in 2024

Tunisia expects its economy to grow by 2.1 percent in 2024, up from 0.9 percent in 2023, and plans almost the same subsidies for fuel, electricity and food while raising taxes for banks, hotels and liquor firms, a bill on its budget showed on Tuesday. The bill included no reference to an agreement with the […]

An IMF mission plans to visit Tunisia to assess economic developments, said IMF Middle East and Central Asia director Jihad Azour

Tunisia yet to propose new terms for $1.9bn IMF loan

Tunisia has not yet proposed new terms for a long-pending $1.9 billion International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan, according to the fund’s Middle East and Central Asia director Jihad Azour. Speaking at IMF-World Bank annual meetings in Morocco this week, Azour called for the elimination of “wasteful and socially unfair subsidies” before the fund’s board could […]

Drought in Tunisia is a hurdle recognised by the World Bank

World Bank drops growth forecast for Tunisia further

Tunisia’s economic growth forecast has been downgraded further by the World Bank amid concerns over the drought-hit agricultural sector, as well as uncertainties over debt financing and the weak momentum of structural reforms. In its report, Balancing act: Jobs and wages in the Middle East and North Africa when crises hit, the World Bank noted […]

Amea Power Tunisia

Dubai’s Amea Power brightens Tunisia’s solar ambitions

Dubai’s Amea Power has reached financial close on its first 120 megawatt (MW) solar project in Tunisia as the North African country seeks to boost its renewable energy production.  The $86 million solar plant will be located in Metbassta, in the north-western Kairouan governate. It is being built by Kairouan Solar Plant, a company registered in […]

A woman shops at a fruit and vegetable market in Tunis. In June Tunisia was given a rating of CCC-, which is seven levels below investment grade

Tunisia repays 74% of debt to ease default fears

Tunisia has repaid 74 percent of its cumulative external debt due this year, defying predictions that the country is heading towards a default. As of September 10, the amount of debt repaid was TND6.6 billion ($2 billion), compared with TND8.9 billion forecast for the year in the 2023 budget, as reported by Agence Tunis Afrique […]

Tunisian President Kais Saied meets with Saudi minister of finance Mohammed al Jadaan.

Tunisia teeters on the edge over mounting debt

Saddled with mounting levels of debt and dwindling foreign reserves, Tunisia is intensifying concerns over its deteriorating public finances. Bailout talks with the International Monetary Fund have stalled since last October when a preliminary agreement for a 48-month loan worth close to $2 billion was reached. Tunisian president Kais Saied’s government refused to accept the […]