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North Africa

Tunisia fans celebrate first World Cup victory in 40 years

Tunisia fans wave to the players after the group G match between Panama and Tunisia at the 2018 soccer World Cup in Saransk, Russia, Thursday, June 28, 2018. Photo: Darko Bandic/AP/SIPATunisia fans praised the team for claiming a 2-1 victory over Panama in their final World Cup Group G match in Saransk.


Burdened by cash shortages, Libyans struggle to welcome Ramadan

Men and children gathered for prayer on the first day of muslim festival Eid al-Adha at a mosque in Misrata, Libya, Friday, Oct. 26, 2012. Photo: Gaia Anderson/AP/SIPAAs the Muslim world prepares for the holy month of Ramadan, Libyan shoppers are crippled by a cash crisis that has hit their annual shopping sprees.


Egypt signs MOU with China's GCL for $2 bln solar panel factory

10052018EgyptChina's GCL Group has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Egypt's ministry of military production to build a solar panel facility at a cost of up to $2 billion, state-run newspaper Al-Ahram reported on Thursday.


I won’t change the constitution: Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, President, Mauritania


Photo: Watt Abdel JelilWithout mincing his words, the head of state reviews some of the country’s issues, including his succession, relations with neighbouring countries and the Bouamatou saga


Italy's Eni plans investments in Algeria worth billions in next three years

  An employee walks by banners with name and sign of energy firm Eni at Strovolos area in capital Nicosia, Cyprus, on Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. Photo: AP Photo/Petros Eni plans "billions" of investments in Algeria over the next three years, the company's CEO said on Tuesday, as the Italian energy firm said it had agreed to extend its partnership with Algeriastate firm Sonatrach.


People to watch: North Africa

Bochra Belhaj HmidaPeople to watch: North Africa













Mauritania: Mohamed Ould Ghadda - Corruption-busting former senator

 The recently imprisoned politician  has emerged as the key figure in the senators’ resistance to President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz’s August 2017 constitutional change abolishing the senate. Just before his arrest he  launched an official probe into contracts awarded by the government without going through competitive tenders. He could be a serious opposition challenger to Abdel Aziz if, as expected, he changes the rules and stands for a third term in 2019.  Because he is Arab (Beidane), Ould Ghadda could attract votes of the Arab electorate, which  has so far supported the government and would not vote for the anti-slavery campaigner and presidential contender Biram Dah Abeid.

Tunisia: Bochra Belhaj Hmida - Champion of women

Brilliant lawyer Bochra Belhaj Hmida, 62, has devoted her career to Tunisia’s women. In August 2017, President  Béji Caid Essebsi appointed her to head  La Commission des Libertés Individuelles et de l’Egalité, a new human rights commission, to study and make proposals on topics such as inheritance rights. She is fiercely independent and entered into politics after the downfall of president Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali  in 2011. She initially joined Ettakatol but criticised it for not respecting  its promises. She then joined Essebsi’s Nidaa Tounes in 2012 and was elected to parliament in 2014. She has since distanced herself from the party leadership and uses her media access to promote the rights of women. 

Egypt: Khaled Ali - Presidential hopeful
Ali is a prominent rights lawyer  and former presidential candidate who is not at all loved by the government of President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi. Ali announced  in October that he will be running  for president, but has little chance  of succeeding because of  the government’s authoritarian tendencies. There is a court case against him which could jeopardise his chances if he is found guilty. Ali  is already being harassed by security services and, in the meantime, gaining support from activists, rights groups and 25 January  revolutionary-minded circles.
These profiles first appeared in our December/January 2018 print edition of The Africa Report magazine



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