Facts about Tunisia
|Population||10,383,577 (July 2008 est|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begin|
Northern Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Algeria and Libya
General info about Tunisia
Rivalry between French and Italian interests in Tunisia culminated in a French invasion in 1881 and the creation of a protectorate. Agitation for independence in the decades following World War I was finally successful in getting the French to recognize Tunisia as an independent state in 1956. The country's first president, Habib BOURGUIBA, established a strict one-party state. He dominated the country for 31 years, repressing Islamic fundamentalism and establishing rights for women unmatched by any other Arab nation. In November 1987, BOURGUIBA was removed from office and replaced by Zine el Abidine BEN ALI in a bloodless coup. BEN ALI is currently serving his fourth consecutive five-year term as president; the next elections are scheduled for October 2009. Tunisia has long taken a moderate, non-aligned stance in its foreign relations. Domestically, it has sought to defuse rising pressure for a more open political society.
Arabic (official and one of the languages of commerce), French (commerce)
Arab 98%, European 1%, Jewish and other 1%
HIV/AIDS prevalence rate
less than 0.1% (2005 est.)
temperate in north with mild, rainy winters and hot, dry summers; desert in south
petroleum, phosphates, iron ore, lead, zinc, salt
Tunisia has a diverse economy, with important agricultural, mining, tourism, and manufacturing sectors. Governmental control of economic affairs while still heavy has gradually lessened over the past decade with increasing privatization, simplification of the tax structure, and a prudent approach to debt. Progressive social policies also have helped raise living conditions in Tunisia relative to the region. Real growth, which averaged almost 5% over the past decade, declined to 4.7% in 2008 and probably will decline further in 2009 because of economic contraction and slowing of import demand in Europe - Tunisia's largest export market. However, development of non-textile manufacturing, a recovery in agricultural production, and strong growth in the services sector somewhat mitigated the economic effect of slowing exports. Tunisia will need to reach even higher growth levels to create sufficient employment opportunities for an already large number of unemployed as well as the growing population of university graduates. The challenges ahead include: privatizing industry, liberalizing the investment code to increase foreign investment, improving government efficiency, reducing the trade deficit, and reducing socioeconomic disparities in the impoverished south and west.
toxic and hazardous waste disposal is ineffective and poses health risks; water pollution from raw sewage; limited natural fresh water resources; deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; desertification
Cities in Tunisiaakkudah aryanah bajah bardaw bin qirdan bu salim duz harqalah jabinyanah jammal jamnah jarjis jilmah jundubah kasra lamtah manubah manzil bu ruqaybah manzil bu zalafah manzil jamil manzil kamil manzil salim manzil tamim maqrin masakin matir nabul naftah nibbar qabis qafsah qasr hallal qibili quballat qurbah qurbus qurunbaliyah radis rafraf sabibah safaqis sajanan sidi bin nur sidi bu zayd silyanah subaytilah sulayman susah tabarqah tabulbah taburbah tabursuq taklisah talah tastur tatawin tawzar tazirkah tinjah tunis tuzah wadi maliz zawiyat susah