Posts Tagged ‘ Tunisia ’

Literacy in North Africa, can you tell me what is going on

Algeria has been independent for 51 years and still its literacy rate is very low. So what happened. we cannot blame the low rates on old illiterate grandmas/ grandpas any more, a hold over from the 11 percent illiteracy rate from the colonial days. Every student that goes through school should be “literate” by the time they are finished and if kids are not going to school there parents should be given an opportunity to change the situation. Of course some students are taken from school to help family finances but that is unacceptable and that should be remedied as soon as possible.

The question is in North Africa, Algeria Tunisia and Morocco (Libya looks to be a bit okay) is that how do you define literacy. Students in elementary schools(Let’s assume the most basic and widespread institution) have to “read” in Arabic and in French. In Arabic you have signs that show the vowels on top or bellow the consonant letters, and usually in more advanced texts/city signage) they remove the signs. So my question is how does someone with an elementary school education cope with reading in everyday life, does he spend 5 minutes on one sentence.

In review I believe that

The older generation should be taught at home or in specialized classes in order to teach them how to read and write. I think that they should be taught for the sake of honor.

At “risk” youth should be put aside one on one in order to test them and to try to figure out what level they are at and whether they should catch up to the class.

Parent should be responsible and punished if there children “skip” classes.

literacy rates in algeria is at around 70% men about 80% and women at 60%

any comments or questions


Four Fish Algeria Morocco Tunisia Libya

Salmon,Tuna,Bass,Cod The fish we all love.

The most popular “fishs” in the sea already over fished. Wild populations of these fish are being depleted. New solutions need to be found. Should fish be hunted or should they be herded or should they be farmed.

These questions are especially important to North Africa because right now they are developing “industrial” fishing boats and they have an increased appetite for the protein and calories of fish.

In order to domesticate fish and other animals, those animals need to be

1. hardy

2. endowed with an inborn liking for man

3. comfort-loving

4. able to breed freely

5. needful of only a minimal amount of tending

yet most of these fish that we love cannot be easily farmed for one thing there mating seasons are very complex some fish will ram against the glass or not eat, there offspring are very microscopic and require rotifers to eat then Artemia “sea monkeys” when they are a little bit larger. Since most of these fish are carnivores most of them eat more than they produce by a factor of 5 to 1

Algeria Morocco Tunisia and Libya need to be mindful to not repeat others mistakes.

Do no harm, do not let bottom scrapers industrial fish to fish in their waters.

And if they want to farm fish, pick fish that are hardy and are vegetarians like asian sea bass or tilapia or Basa

just something to think about.


New website tracks graft in Tunisia

This is also what Algeria needs and Morocco.

Tunisia’s “I Watch” organisation on Saturday (April 13th) launched a new online “crowd-map” for reporting cases of corruption.

The name chosen for the site is “Billkamcha”, a slang term for a person “caught in the act”. Just 48 hours after the site went live, it already collected 7,000 supporters.

“This interactive website is designed to enable the victims of corruption to immediately report what happened to them whether this corruption is financial, administrative or in the form of favouritism,” I-Watch Tunisia President Achraf Aouadi explained at the event launch.

  • [] Any Tunisian can log on to to report incidents of corruption.[] Any Tunisian can log on to to report incidents of corruption.

According to Aouadi, the site allows whistleblowers to remain anonymous while helping them to seek justice. “If they refuse this option, we offer to apply pressure on the media in order to uncover corruption and corrupt individuals,” he said.

“Control of corruption in Tunisia requires the efforts of everyone and the role of civil society is necessary and inevitable,” Taoufik Chammari, president of the National Anti-corruption Network, told Magharebia.

“We have to go to the people and reinforce the concept of anti-corruption in them and show them all methods and techniques used by corrupt people,” he added.

Imed Ben Khemisa, a former member of the national commission investigating corruption and embezzlement, also praised the project.

“Personally I find the idea really good, fruitful and meaningful for our country,” he told Magharebia.

He explained that his committee’s work after the revolution “resulted in the transfer of more than four hundred cases to the public prosecutor after review of more than five thousand”.

For her part, Salma ben Jemii, a bank executive said, “Such a site will encourage hesitant people and those who fear administrative prosecution on charges of disclosing trade secrets to reveal what is going on around them in terms of tampering with public money, especially with regard to public banks.”

Tunisia’s rating in the annual Corruption Perceptions Index of Transparency International fell from 59th in 2010 to 75th in 2012.

During the World Social Forum hosted by Tunisia last month, Farid Farid, media co-ordinator for the Middle East at Transparency International, said that the most important factors that led to the worsening corruption were “acceptance by society of bribery and toleration of it, as well as the failure of regulatory institutions, the non-activation of laws and the lack of transparency and good governance in institutions”.

The latest opinion poll carried out by the Tunisian Centre for Corporate Governance published in September 2011 indicated a level of corruption in the police sector reaching 72 per cent, 70 per cent within political parties, 57 per cent in customs and 57 per cent in the transitional government, 40 per cent of lawyers and 39 per cent of judges.

I Watch was created in March 2011 as a local non-profit watchdog with two main objectives: transparency and fighting corruption.

“It is the duty of citizens to exercise caution and avoid selfishness when seeking help without falling victim to corrupt individuals,” commented Hatem Omri, a human rights activist. “We have to condemn the briber and the bribed. It is then that we can talk about beginning to eliminate corruption.”

In February of last year, Abderrahmen Ladgham, the minister for governance and combatting corruption, said that a third of Tunisians were involved in cases of corruption at least once in their lives.

“According to statistics available to us, 90 per cent of Tunisians consider corruption a crime yet we find that one person out of three either accepted a bribe or paid it,” he said.

I Watch will co-ordinate with a number of lawyers to process the files that it has begun to receive. The site has a team of six active members in charge of receiving complaints and reports relating to corruption. It will also depend on ten bloggers whose mission is to expose and detect cases of corruption received by the site.

Algerian or Tunisian Sodas : identity of soda booming in France

As you all know Muslims do not drink alcohol so they tend to drink more sodas and Juices. So the question is why not make the sodas instead of consuming them.

In Algeria we have Hamoud Boualem which was founded all the way in 1878. Ifri and so on.

the market for soft drinks has been growing recently in France. Algerians, Tunisians and Moroccans want to rediscover the tastes of their home countries.

They are a few questions remaining.

Continue reading

Tunisia gets $29m from ex-regime assets


Ali Bin Fetais al-Marri, a UN-appointed stolen asset recovery specialist, on Thursday handed President Moncef Marzouki a $28.8m cheque secured from a Lebanese bank account belonging to Leyla Trabelsi, the wife of the longtime deposed autocrat Zein al-Abidine Ben Ali.

Still, the amount recovered is considered to be a tiny proportion of the billions Tunisians suspect Mr Ben Ali, his relatives and his inner circle stashed away in bank accounts under fake names across the world – including in the UK, US, France, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Austria, Canada, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Lebanon and Morocco, according to legal experts.

But Mr Marri said the symbolism of the cheque for now was more significant than the actual cash. “A revolution is not easy, but what follows a revolution is not easier,” he told reporters, according to the English-language news website Tunisia Live.

The country is now facing serious economic troubles and is finalising a $1.78bn contingency loan with the International Monetary Fund as its finances continue to deteriorate.

The country has struggled to recover the ill-gotten riches of the former regime. The EU only last November took steps to allow frozen assets belonging to former regimes in Tunisia and Egypt to be handed back to current governments after proper judicial procedures. Since 2011, cash and assets of 48 Tunisians have been frozen.

At a glitzy, high-profile auction last December, Tunisia’s ministry of finance began selling off Mr Ben Ali’s sometimes tacky, high-priced possessions, including cars, paintings, rugs, jewellery and yachts, though there is no word yet on how much the sale has raised.

Yet they need to do more. 29 million is only change. Tunisians need to reduce corruption and to make opportunities accessible to everybody.


Tunisia looks to tourism to heal economy hit by Arab Spring

Tourists take pictures as they tour the medina, the old city of Tunis. Tunisia, the cradle of the Arab Spring, wants to revive its battered tourism industry more than two years after the revolution. Zoubeir Souissi / Reuters

But the real question is Can Tunisia build an economy with innovation and free from coruption.

Tunisia  wants to revive its battered tourism industry more than two years after the uprising and in the face of the euro-zone crisis that has affected the incomes of many Europeans.

While nearly 6 million visitors came to the country last year, up from 4.5 million a year earlier, the number was still 60 per cent less than in 2010, Khaled Fourati, the chief executive of the Continental Hotel in the capital city of Tunis and vice president of Groupe Interprofessionnel du Tourisme, said last month.

After last year’s start of a fragile tourism recovery in the North African country, hotel bookings nosedived again after the assassination of the opposition leader Chokri Belaid on February 6.

“That event has led to a new round of political challenges, and thus the [general economic] recovery will depend heavily on how quickly the government can get back to work,” said Ann Wyman, a senior officer at AfricInvest, a Tunis-based pan-African private equity fund.

Before the killing, “growth predictions for 2013 centred around 3 per cent, with a recovery expected in many sectors”, she said.

Libyans represented two thirds of visitors last year, with Tunisia also depending heavily on guests from France, Germany, England, Spain and Italy.

Package holidays booked from France  by one major tour operator fell by 90 per cent in the week following the killing of Belaid, said Mehdi Allani, who runs Le Sultan, a hotel in Hammamet, 60 kilometres south of Tunis on the Mediterranean.

“These clients are not waiting for change but choosing other destinations,” Mr Allani said.

Tunisia is bidding to transform its tourism industry from being a winter sun destination to attracting more culture seekers, business travellers and those coming for medical treatment as it aims to attract 10 million tourists by 2016. The Tunisian ministry of tourism is organising a national conference on March 28 and has put together a set of targets for the next few years.

Negotiations with the IMF for US$1.78 billion (Dh6.53bn) in funding, which is at an advanced stage, could boost confidence, Ms Wyman said.

“Almost 80 per cent of the tourists come for the sea and the beach in Tunisia, and we are trying to change this for six, seven years, since before the revolution,” says Mr Fourati, whose family has been in the hotel business since 1948 and manages four other hotels along with the Continental across Tunisia.

Despite waning demand, many hotels have resisted cutting their prices because of the rising cost of living.

“Inflation is going up, wages are going up, and we can’t afford to cut prices,” Mr Fourati said.

Thomas Cook, the travel agency, reported its west European business was severely affected by poor performance of the French market because of “lower demand for holidays to the important French-speaking North African destinations”.

Arab Maghreb Union launches investment bank

Bank with $100m of capital will finance infrastructure projects in Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morroco and Tunisia.

The Arab Maghreb Union has launched a bank with $100m of capital to finance infrastructure projects in the region.

Sid Ahmed Ould Raiss, the governor of the Central Bank of Mauritania, said that the investment bank will finance projects in Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morroco and Tunisia, the five member states of the union.

Speaking at a meeting held in Noukachott, the Mauritanian capital, on Wednesday, Raiss said: “The bank is intended to finance development projects, such as highways, promoting new technologies and also investing in energy.

“The bank is destined to finance infrastructure programmes in the energy sector.”

Christine Lagarde, the head of the International Monetary Fund, lauded the creation of the bank saying it would foster integration and spur investments in the region.

“It’s the first foundation for an edifice being built,” said Lagarde, who was present at the meeting.

“[It is] something everyone thought necessary, from the economic activity point of view, which can be better shared, and true prosperity as well as from the point of view of job creation.”

The banks were first proposed in 1991, but the launch was delayed by tension between Morocco and Algeria over Western Sahara.

The tension hindered decision-making and the operation of the union, with no summit organised since 1994.

It is hoped the creation of the bank will create jobs and increase security in the region.

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