Partly cloudy weather tonight (INM)

Tunis: The sky will be partly cloudy in the south and partly cloudy in the north and centre of the country on Monday night.

The clouds will be denser in the far north, with the possibility of rain, according to a monitoring bulletin issued by the National Institute of Meteorology (INM).

The wind will blow from the north, relatively strong to strong near the coast, in the mountains and in the south, and moderate elsewhere.

Temperatures will be between 16 and 21 degrees Celsius in the north, on the hills and in the east of the centre of the country, and between 22 and 26 degrees Celsius elsewhere.

Source: Agence Tunis Afrique Presse

FAF 2024: Transport Minister presents Tunisia’s vision in civil aviation field by 2040

Riyadh: «Tunisia’s vision in the field of civil aviation by 2040 is based on consolidating the axes related to the sustainability of civil aviation and the integration of airports and aviation in mobility and infrastructure networks,» Minister of Equipment and Housing, in charge of the Transport Ministry, Sarra ZaSfrani Zenzri said during the 3rd Future of the Aviation Forum (FAF 2024) being held from May 20 to 22, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Zenzri spoke of the reforms introduced by Tunisia to achieve sustainable development, mainly reorganizing civil aviation services as well as increasing Tunisian airports’ capacity from 19.5 million passengers, to 33 million passengers by 2030 and 35 million passengers by 2035, reads a statement of the Transport Ministry, on Monday.

The minister also spoke of strengthening the number of internal and external air links in Tunisia, from 60 to 90 destinations, as well as developing a national plan to reduce CO2 emissions, which will be presented to the International Civil Avi
ation Organization (ICAO), before the end of June 2024.

Tunisia has launched several projects aimed at modernizing Tunisian airports’ infrastructure and improving the quality of the services presented, as well as connecting large airports to public transport networks and logistics areas, the same source said.

The minister stressed the need to develop domestic air traffic so as to facilitate trips to inland regions across the country as well as boost development there. «Several measures have been taken to encourage airlines to launch domestic commercial flights, including exemption from payment of airport and air navigation service charges,» she pointed out.

Source: Agence Tunis Afrique Presse

Tunisian olive oil wins 26 medals in New York International Olive Oil Competition

Tunis: Packaged Tunisian olive oil has once again stood out internationally, winning 26 new medals including 12 gold medals and 14 silver medals at The New York International Olive Oil Competition (NYIOOC 2024), the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy said on Monday.

Tunisian olive oil also obtained 30 medals at the Scandinavian International Olive Oil Competition (SIOOC) held in Copenhagen, Denmark, taking the lead in this competition. Greece ranked second, followed by Spain (3rd) and Italy (4th).

President of GIOOC (the leading international competition for extra virgin olive oil), Raouf Chouket, told TAP, that the medals won by Tunisia in the Scandinavian competition are distributed among 24 gold medals for product quality, 4 gold medals in the Health category and 4 silver medals.

“14 countries took part in this competition, namely Tunisia, Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Brazil, France, Croatia, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Jordan, Algeria , Libya and Portugal,» he pointed out.

On May 9, the Tunisian olive
oil also stood out at the European international olive oil competition organized in Switzerland, winning 32 medals including 26 gold medals for product quality, 4 medals gold in the Health category and 2 silver medals.

Source: Agence Tunis Afrique Presse

Climate: 75% of Tunisian beekeepers suffer decline in honey production in recent years

Tunis: Nearly 75% of Tunisian beekeepers, weakened by climate change, have suffered a drop in honey production in recent years, chief engineer at the Office of Livestock and Pastures (French: OEP), Hassene Ben Salem, said in Tunis on Monday.

Their average honey production did not exceed 4 kilograms per hive due to the heat waves, added Ben Salem, who was speaking at a national workshop on “The beekeeping sector in Tunisia: economic and environmental importance in the face of climate change”.

The engineer took the opportunity to highlight the vulnerability of bees to climate change, which makes the entire beekeeping sector dependent on the climate and causes honey production to fluctuate.

Hassene Ben Salem also spoke of the damage being done to bee colonies and the beekeeping sector in general in Tunisia, including parasites, invasive diseases, global warming and the use of pesticides, which not only damage biodiversity but also threaten honey production.

The beekeeping sector in Tunisia had 13,000 beekeep
ers and 305,000 hives (302,000 modern and 3,000 traditional) in 2023, according to Ben Salem.

Since 1909-1912, average honey production has fallen from 20 kg per hive to 8 kg per hive at present.

This decline in the amount of honey produced per hive over the last century is explained by several factors, including the deterioration of the genetic potential of the Tunisian bee breed, the reduction in the area of honey-producing plants and global warming.

The latter has led to a significant reduction in the amount of nectar in flowers, making it increasingly difficult for bees to produce honey,” Ben Salem summed up.

Source: Agence Tunis Afrique Presse

Mobile telephony: 29% increase in number of subscriptions over past 10 years (INS)

Tunis: The number of subscriptions to mobile telephone networks (Tunisie télecom, Ooredoo Tunisie, Orange Tunisie, Lycamobile and Cayon Cloud Communications 3C) reached 16.4 million in 2023, compared to 12.7 million in 2013 , an increase of 29%, the National Institute of Statistics (INS) said.

In its 2022 annual report on infrastructure indicators, the INS indicated that the coverage rate of the population by third generation (3G) services increased from 89.5% in 2013 to 99.8% in 2023. This is mainly due to the continued achievements for the benefit of this sector with a view to modernizing the infrastructure, through the extension and upgrading of switching systems, improvement and diversification of the quality of services as well as the extension and densification of the capacity of the mobile telephone network, the INS added.

The mobile internet sector was also marked by significant developments as the number of subscriptions increased from 3.4 million in 2013 to 11.8 million in 2023.

Regarding the lan
dline telephony sector, the number of subscriptions to landline telephone networks (Tunisie Telecom, Ooredoo, Orange) reached 1.8 million in 2022.

The fixed internet sector has also undergone significant development. The number of subscriptions increased from 0.60 million in 2013 to 1.7 million in 2022. As a result, the landline internet network density reached 15.7 subscriptions per 100 inhabitants in 2022, compared to 5.5 subscriptions per 100 inhabitants in 2013.

Source: Agence Tunis Afrique Presse

Tunindex closes Monday’s session up 0.65%

Tunis: Tunindex closed Monday’s session up 0.65% to 9,237.02 points with a volume of TND 6.3 million, according to broker Tunisie Valeurs.

BEST LEASE shares were the best performers after posting a 4.4% rise to TND 2.390.

TELNET shares also performed well. The share’s price rose by 3.2% to TND 5.470. TELNET HOLDING Group’s turnover by the end of March 2024 stood at TND 16.9 million, posting a 12.4% annual growth rate.

STA shares fell by 4.8% to TND 19.5, xith a trading volume of only TND 17,000.

ATB shares were the most traded. Rising by 4% to TND 3.1, the stock generated a capital of TND 1.6 million (26% of the session’s traded volume).

Source: Agence Tunis Afrique Presse

Investment plan to boost competitiveness of Tunisia’s beekeeping value chain to be published soon

Tunis: An investment plan to boost the competitiveness of the beekeeping value chain in Tunisia is ready and will soon be published with a white paper and recommended actions and reforms, General Engineer at the Office of Livestock and Pasture (French: OEP) Sana Zitouni said on Monday.

In order to implement this plan, which is based on a study entitled “Elaboration of an initiative to strengthen the competitiveness of the Siliana and Kairouan beekeeping value chain”, funding of TND 650,000 is required”, she indicated at a national workshop on “Beekeeping sector in Tunisia: Economic and environmental importance and climate change”.

“Some TND 160,000 will be mobilised through the Adaptation to Climate Change in Vulnerable Territories Programme (PACTE), and the rest will be sought from various donors,” she added.

Six actions have been recommended in line with the identified challenges and opportunities, including improving the conditions for the production and quality of honey, preserving and developing the b
otanical potential of melliferous plants, promoting and creating local brands of quality honey and labelled honeys, supporting the marketing and distribution of local quality honey brands and labelled honeys, setting up an official quality sign for honey and supporting the organisation of processing and marketing.

Official identification sign of quality and origin (French: SIQO) provide consumers with a guarantee that the food products they buy comply with a defined set of specifications.

Taking the floor, Chief of Staff of Minister of Agriculture Abderraouf Ajimi pointed to the importance of the beekeeping sector in Tunisia, a source of income for many entrepreneurs in rural areas, mainly women.

He further highlighted the need to relaunch beekeeping activity by bringing together the stakeholders and identifying areas for action to improve production techniques, value enhancement, adaptation to the impact of climate change and marketing techniques.

In Tunisia, beekeeping is an activity that helps, through
pollination, to combat land loss, desertification, deforestation and the shortage of water resources.

Animal-based pollination contributes to 30% of global food production worldwide, and bee-pollinated crops contribute to approximately one-third of the total human dietary supply.

Source: Agence Tunis Afrique Presse

Insurance sector: Need to introduce AI

Tunis: Artificial intelligence (AI) must be introduced into the insurance sector to improve services and identify new products, said Hatem Amira, executive director of the Tunisian Federation of Insurance Companies (FTUSA).

Speaking on the sidelines of the 17th Carthage Insurance and Reinsurance RDV, held in Tunis on May 19-20, under the theme “The insurance industry and the challenges of artificial intelligence (AI)”, the official said that the benefits of AI in the insurance sector include simplifying information and making it available to the customer, who will no longer have to travel.

The aim is also to improve and personalise services and combat fraud, he added.

The FTUSA is committed to creating an electronic platform that will contain information on the sector, companies and services provided.

He also announced the creation, in the coming weeks, of an Anti-Fraud Agency in the insurance sector, a project that will be implemented once its statutes have been approved.

For his part, Zouheir Attalah,
Chief of Staff to the Minister of Finance, pointed out that AI in the insurance sector is a key component in supporting the national economy and predicting risks and fraud.

The risks of integrating AI in the sector need to be assessed and major digital transitions need to be prepared in advance, he stressed.

Source: Agence Tunis Afrique Presse

Weather cloudy in most regions

Tunis: The weather Monday is temporarily cloudy in most regions, growing cloudy in the north with rain expected in the northwest.

The wind is blowing north in the north and south in the midland and the south, light to moderate, getting stronger in the afternoon in most regions with sandstorms in the south.

The sea is choppy to very choppy. Highs are ranging between 25°C and 30°C in the south and heights and 32°C and 38°C elsewhere, reaching 41°C in the south with Sirocco winds.

Source: Agence Tunis Afrique Presse

Net bank loans outstanding rise to TND 13.2 million in Q1 2024

Tunis: Indicators for the 12 banks listed on the Tunis Stock Exchange show an increase in net loans outstanding to customers of these banks in the first three months of 2024, compared with the end of December 2023, to TND 13.2 million, reaching a total of 83.7 billion dinars, according to estimates by financial analyst Bassem Enneifer.

In his analysis of the various indicators of bank lending in Tunisia, Enneifer explained that deposits will exceed the threshold of TND 304.1 million in March 2024, bringing outstanding deposits to 99.9 billion dinars.

These indicators remain relatively low, he said, due to the offer of banks, which impose draconian conditions for the granting of various types of credit, in addition to the reluctance of companies to apply for loans after having revised their investment plans “downwards”.

He also noted that banks have increased the volume of funds employed to TND 904.7 million. This indicates their willingness to resort to treasury bills, which offer better guarantees and a b
etter financial return.

Referring to the results for 2023 provided by the Central Bank of Tunisia, Enneifer pointed out that outstanding loans granted by the banking sector as a whole increased from TND 2,185.3 million to TND 6,848.8 million in 2022, meaning by less than a third.

For the analyst, this situation reflects the problematic situation of the Tunisian economy, which is experiencing a high interest rate that has discouraged companies from borrowing and thus partly affected growth, which did not exceed 0.4%.

He pointed out that outstanding loans reached TND 2,185.3 million last year, of which 98%, i.e. TND 2,145.1 million, were short-term loans and only TND 40.2 million were long- and medium-term loans.

The financial analyst pointed out that these indicators reflect the weakness of private investment in Tunisia, which was partly reflected in the growth rate recorded by the country last year.

In his analysis of bank loans granted last year, he noted that the share of short-term loans reached a rec
ord level of 59.9% of outstanding loans issued by Tunisian banks, compared with 58.9% in 2022.

As for the breakdown of loans granted, Enneifer noted that two sectors accounted for 58% of the loans, namely manufacturing (31.6%) and trade (26.6%).

For the other sectors, loans were distributed as follows: tourism 4.9%, agriculture 4.5% (less than TND 4 billion), telecommunications 1.6%, scientific and technical services 1.1%, education 0.4% and health 1.7%.

At the end of last year, the public administration’s share of these loans reached 3.3%, or TND 2,822 million dinars.

Enneifer recommended that promising sectors with high value added should have easier access to funding sources and bank loans, given their social role and ability to create value.

Source: Agence Tunis Afrique Presse