Tunisia: monthly report June 2024

The country seeks to bolster its digital sector. The Ministry of Information and Communication Technologies launched a tender for the installation of a national 5G network, open to both domestic and foreign enterprises. Complete coverage will be achieved, according to minister of Information Nazir ben Neji, by the end of 2024. Tunis already boasts one of the most efficient telecommunications networks in Africa, with ICT services currently accounting for 7,5% of national GDP. The growth of Tunisia’s ICT sector mirrors the country’s status as a central node for telecommunications, with three optic-fibre cables connecting Kelibia to Sicily (Didon, Hannibal, KELTRA-2) and a tranche of the trans-Mediterranean Medusa cable set to connect Bizerte to Marseille by 2025. Moreover, Bizerte recently inaugurated a new extension of the PEACE, and SEA-ME-WE cable systems, crossing Suez to connect the Mediterranean to the Pacific Ocean. Italy has also showed interest in Tunisia’s digital potential, with minister of Entreprises and Made in Italy Adolfo Urso signing a memorandum of understanding with ben Neji during his visit in Tunis at the end of May.

Meanwhile, tensions in Ras Ajdir deepened ties between Tunisia and western Libya (Tripoli). Following a phone call between Tunisian president Kais Saied and Tripoli’s Prime minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, officials from the two countries met on June 11th to discuss the implementation of custom procedures and ensure the reopening of the border crossing. The issue was at the center of the in-person meeting between Saied and Dbeibah on the sidelines of the China-Arab States cooperation forum, which Beijing had hosted at the end of May.

News in domestic politics, finally, as Saied announced a 7% raise of the minimum private sector salary. The measure – which Saied announced after a meeting with minister of Social Affairs Kamel Maddouri – will enter into force by next month and will be retroactively applied up to May 2024. A new salary increase up to 7,5% is scheduled in 2025. The announcement also raises doubts due to the state of the Tunisian economy, which suffers from high public debt, unemployment, and inflationary pressures on food staples. It should be noted that Saied’s statement also comes as he faces its first elections as incumbent, scheduled for October 6th, 2024.

Download the June 2024 report

Italy looks to Tunisia for a solution to the crisis

Italy confirms its support to the country, which looks increasingly precarious economically and affected by anti-western actors’s agendas. By Francesco Meriano

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Russia and China in the scramble for nuclear power in Africa

The number of African countries thinking of developing a nuclear programme is growing, while collaboration projects with Russia and China are increasing. By Emanuele Rossi

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