North Africa

Political change fails to quell unrest in Tunisia

10 January 2013 MEED When President Moncef Marzouki visited the small town of Sidi Bouzid in western Tunisia on 17 December, he met with a hostile reception. In a conscious echo of the protests in January 2011 that brought the end of the 23-year rule of Marzouki’s predecessor, Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, demonstrators chanted “the [...]

Referendum victory a hollow one for Morsi

President Morsi must turn his attention from parliamentary politics to building a genuine consensus After a first round of voting in Egypt’s referendum on a new constitution, the ‘yes’ campaign is set for certain victory. Ten out of 27 governorates have voted, and the ‘yes’ vote is in the clear with 57 per cent, according [...]

Algeria moves to bolster oil and gas reserves

Sonatrach plans five new refineries and accelerated gas exploration as part of $80bn spending programme In early November, Algerian state energy company Sonatrach announced plans to invest $80bn in oil and gas projects over the next five years. The plans include a 50 per cent increase in the firm’s annual spend, to $15bn in 2013 [...]


Cereal price rises threaten civil unrest

The Middle East must ensure food supply amid spiking global prices or risk potential civil unrest The current drought-induced surge in global food prices is causing disquiet in the Middle East and North Africa. Memories do not need to be very long to recall that when protesters took to the streets of cities across the [...]

Algiers’ smoke screen of reform

Against the backdrop of popular unrest in the region, Algiers promised political change. Yet, despite concessions, the regime is maintaining its grip on power Ever since January 2011, when Algerians took to the streets to protest their economic plight and demonstrate their political frustration alongside their neighbours in Tunisia and Egypt, the government has promised [...]

Algeria projects report 2012

Algeria projects report in print

24th June 2012 The most comprehensive business intelligence report on Algeria’s economy is now in print. The culmination of several months of research and a decade of accumulated knowledge, this 180-page report is the most detailed and up-to-date study of the projects market in Algeria. It is the perfect time to be informed about the [...]


Lindsey Hilsum at the Frontline Club, 26 April 2012

Writing Libya’s revolution

Speaking to a packed Frontline Club on 26th April, Channel 4 News’ international editor Lindsey Hilsum shared a fascinating personal insight into the revolution in Libya last year that overthrew the regime of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi after 42 years in power. In Hilsum’s words, Libya was the “only true revolution of last year – where the [...]

The political crisis in Egypt is threatening the transition to a new democratic regime

Political crisis threatens transition in Egypt

6 April 2012 Egypt is enduring one of its most politically fragile periods since Hosni Mubarak was forced from office A little more than 12 months after President Hosni Mubarak was removed from office, Egypt is teetering on the brink of a political and economic crisis. Plans to draw up a new constitution are in [...]

Cairo: as the political crisis continues, the investment climate is suffering

Vital foreign investment into Egypt dries up

6 April 2012 Egypt’s struggling investment climate is having a major impact on the economy A lack of clear political leadership, an uncertain business environment and a struggling economy mean that firms are thinking twice before investing in Egypt. The uncertainty of the business environment has been thrown into sharp relief in recent weeks by [...]


The elections in October 2011 are the greatest achievement of Tunisia's new government, according to Merhezia Lebidi Maiza, Ennahda member and deputy speaker of Tunisia's constituent national assembly, speaking at Chatham House on 21 March 2012

Tunisia divided on new political regime

21 March, 2012 Yesterday Tunisia celebrated the 56th anniversary of its independence from French colonial rule. But a little over a year since the ouster of president Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali after 23 years in power, it is no longer freedom from imperialism that defines the politics of this small North African nation. The key [...]

Suez Canal delivers in tough year

The Canal has emerged as one of the few bright spots in an otherwise flailing Egyptian economy, with revenues touching a record high in 2010/11 It has been a testing few years for the Suez Canal. First, a rapid rise in pirate attacks in the Gulf of Aden between Yemen and Somalia in 2008 threatened [...]

Gas still a challenge for resurgent Middle East market

The combination of the global economic crisis and political turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa made 2011 a tough year for investment in the region. But the significant increase in oil prices and the return of a degree of stability to several of the affected markets means the outlook for the coming year [...]


Debt fears loom over Dana Gas

One month after the United Arab Emirates’ Dana Gas issued its preliminary 2011 financial results, the crucial question of how the company plans to address serious liquidity problems remains unanswered. A $1 billion sukuk (Islamic bond) taken out by Dana Gas in 2007 is due for repayment in October. But the combination of a poor [...]

New Libya still a distant dream

The Gaddafi regime may have fallen, but it will take time to restore order and stability With pockets of fierce fighting continuing in Tripoli and elsewhere, and former leader Muammar Gaddafi still at large, Libya’s new dawn must be viewed with caution. But one thing is clear, the 41-year era of Gaddafi and his idiosyncratic [...]

Unfreezing of Libya’s assets could take six months

Delays at UN could delay rebuilding work in Libya Releasing frozen overseas assets accumulated by the regime of Muammar Gaddafi could take six months, crippling the ability of Libya’s interim government to fund essential basic infrastructure work, a former UK ambassador to Libya tells MEED. An estimated $100bn of overseas assets have been frozen across [...]


Political uncertainty drags on in Egypt

The slow progress of political reform continues to frustrate people that are desperate for change The beginning of the trial of former president Hosni Mubarak on 3 August marked another step towards the consignment of Egypt’s old political order to the history books. But when it comes to the replacement of the old regime with [...]

Unrest hits Europe gas strategy

Civil war in Libya and uncertainty over available gas from Egypt and Algeria means major additions to supply from the three major North African markets is unlikely For several years, one of the key aims of Europe’s energy strategy has been to secure a diverse and reliable gas supply. The continent’s own gas production is [...]

Morocco’s quiet revolution

The North African nation becomes first in the region to agree a programme for constitutional reform Compared with the political turmoil that has engulfed much of the Middle East and North Africa in recent months, Morocco’s revolution has been a quiet one. Protesters have taken to the streets in many of the kingdom’s major cities, [...]


Power integration gains popularity in Egypt

Egypt is embarking on an ambitious plan to link up its electricity grid with Saudi Arabia. But full regional integration is a long way off due to perennial power shortages and pricing issues Egypt’s plans to link its power network with Saudi Arabia are the latest in a growing network of electricity grids in the [...]

Algeria’s renewable energy challenge

The government has unveiled an ambitious plan to reshape Algeria’s energy mix by 2020. But the necessary foreign investment is likely to be hard to come by given the country’s nationalistic tendencies When it comes to its plans for the development of renewable energy, Algeria certainly does not lack ambition. At the beginning of January, [...]

Unrest takes toll on Egypt’s economic growth

The political upheaval and lingering uncertainty in Egypt means a long wait for a return to the strong economic growth that the country enjoyed until the end of 2010 The tumultuous events of January and February that resulted in the collapse of President Hosni Mubarak’s regime have already had a dramatic impact on Egypt’s economy. [...]


Search for justice begins in Egypt

Investigations into alleged corruption by Mubarak’s government is having a severe impact on some of Egypt’s largest industrial and construction firms On 13 April, Egypt’s prosecutor general ordered the detention of former president Hosni Mubarak and his sons, Alaa and Gamal. The news came as a victory for the demonstrators that had remained on the [...]

Crucial months ahead in Tunisia

Tunisia’s reform movement has achieved a great deal in recent weeks, but a smooth and swift transition to democracy cannot be taken for granted In the two months since the ousting of President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali on 14 January, Tunisia has seen a dramatic series of reforms that have changed the face of society. [...]

Algeria is no stranger to uprisings

Although the protests of recent weeks fall short of a revolution, dissatisfaction is mounting in Algeria and will not abate without concrete solutions As regimes have collapsed around it in recent weeks, to say that Algeria has been an island of tranquillity would be an exaggeration. The food riots that broke out across North Africa [...]