Tunisia (GPS: 34 00 N, 9 00 E) located in Northern Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Algeria and Libya. The country’s area measurements are total: 163,610 sq km; land: 155,360 sq km, water: 8,250 sq km. This sovereign state is slightly larger than Georgia. The total irrigated land is 4,590 sq km (2012).
One of the essential features of Tunisia: Strategic location in the central Mediterranean. Malta and Tunisia discuss the commercial exploitation of the continental shelf between their countries, particularly for oil exploration.
It’s significant, and at the same time, the principal city, Tunis’s GPS coordinates are 36 48 N 10 11 E. Tunis’s local time is 6 hours ahead of Washington DC during Standard Time. The capital’s time difference: UTC+1.
The rivalry between French and Italian interests in Tunisia culminated in a French invasion in 1881 and created a protectorate. Agitation for independence in the decades following World War I finally convinced the French to recognize Tunisia as an independent state in 1956. The country’s first president, Habib BOURGUIBA, established an authoritarian 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.
Street protests that began in Tunis in December 2010 over high unemployment, corruption, widespread poverty and high food prices escalated in January 2011, culminating in rioting that led to hundreds of deaths. On 14 January 2011, the same day BEN ALI dismissed the government, he fled the country, and by late January 2011, a “national unity government” was formed. Elections for the new Constituent Assembly were held in late October 2011, and in December, it elected human rights activist Moncef MARZOUKI as interim president.
The Assembly began drafting a new constitution in February 2012 and, after several iterations and a months-long political crisis that stalled the transition, ratified the document in January 2014. Parliamentary and presidential elections for a permanent government held at the end of 2014. Beji CAID ESSEBSI was elected as the first president under the country’s new constitution. Following ESSEBSI’s death in office in July 2019, Tunisia moved its scheduled presidential election forward two months. After two rounds of voting, Kais SAIED was sworn in as president in October 2019. Tunisia also held legislative elections on schedule in October 2019. SAIED’s term, as well as that of Tunisia’s 217-member parliament, expires in 2024.
Tunisia’s names conventional long form: the Republic of Tunisia, traditional short form: Tunisia, local long form: Al Jumhuriyah at Tunisiyah, local short state: Tunis. Note: the country name derives from the capital city of Tunis. The country name derives from the capital city of Tunis.
Tunisia’s terrain is typically mountains in the north; hot, dry central plain; semiarid south merges into the Sahara. The country’s mean elevation: 246 m, elevation extremes; lowest point: Shatt al Gharsah -17 m, highest point: Jebel ech Chambi 1,544 m.
The country’s general climate is temperate in the north with mild, rainy winters and hot, dry summers: a desert in the south.
The total number of border countries is 2, Algeria 1,034 km, Libya 461 km are the neighboring nations with the indicated border lengths. Tunisia’s coastline is 1,148 km, while its marital claims are: territorial sea: 12 nautical miles, contiguous zone: 24 nautical miles, exclusive economic zone: 12 nautical miles. Waterways: N/A. Land use: agricultural land: 64.8%; arable land 18.3%; permanent crops 15.4%; permanent pasture 31.1%; forest: 6.6%; other: 28.6% (2011 estimate).
The population in Tunisia 11,516,189 (July 2018 estimate), urban population: 66.8% of total population (2015), central urban area’s population: TUNIS (capital) 1.993 million (2015), while Tunisia has the overwhelming majority of the population is located in the northern half of the country; the south remains underpopulated mainly. Their spoken languages are Arabic (official language, one of the languages of commerce), French (commerce), Berber (Tamazight).
Note: despite having no official language status, French plays a significant role in the country and is spoken by about two-thirds of the population. Main religions in Tunisia are Muslim (official; Sunni) 99.1%, other (includes Christian, Jewish, Shia Muslim, and Baha’i) 1%. The nation uses mixed legal system of civil law, based on the French civil code, and Islamic law; some judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court in joint session. It is a(n) parliamentary republic, National holiday(s) Independence Day, 20 March (1956), Revolution and Youth Day, 14 January (2011).
Economic overview for the country: Tunisia’s economy structurally designed to favor vested interests faced an array of challenges exposed by the 2008 global financial crisis that helped precipitate the 2011 Arab Spring revolution. After the revolution and a series of terrorist attacks, including on the country’s tourism sector, economic inclusion barriers continued to add to slow economic growth and high unemployment.
Following an ill-fated experiment with socialist economic policies in the 1960s, Tunisia focused on bolstering exports, foreign investment, and tourism, all of which have become central to its economy. Key exports now include textiles and apparel, food products, petroleum products, chemicals, and phosphates, with about 80% of exports bound for Tunisia’s main economic partner, the EU. Tunisia’s strategy, coupled with investments in education and infrastructure, fueled decades of 4-5% annual GDP growth and improved living standards. Former President Zine el Abidine BEN ALI (1987-2011) continued these policies, but as his reign wore on, cronyism and corruption stymied economic performance, unemployment rose, and the informal economy grew.
Tunisia’s economy became less and less inclusive. These grievances contributed to the January 2011 overthrow of BEN ALI, further depressing Tunisia’s economy as tourism and investment declined sharply. Tunisia’s government remains under pressure to quickly boost economic growth to mitigate chronic socio-economic challenges, especially high levels of youth unemployment, which has persisted since the 2011 revolution. Successive terrorist attacks against the tourism sector and worker strikes in the phosphate sector, combined with nearly 15% of GDP, slowed growth from 2015 to 2017. Tunis is seeking increased foreign investment and working with the IMF through an Extended Fund Facility agreement to fix fiscal deficiencies.
Natural resources of Tunisia: petroleum, phosphates, iron ore, lead, zinc, salt.
Main export partners for Tunisia, Africa are France 28.5%, Italy 17.2%, Germany 10.9%, Libya 6.1%, Spain 4.2% (2015) for clothing, semi-finished goods and textiles, agricultural products, mechanical goods, phosphates and chemicals, hydrocarbons, electrical equipment, while the main import partners for the country are: France 19.4%, Italy 16.4%, Algeria 8.2%, Germany 7.4%, China 6% (2015) for textiles, machinery, and equipment, hydrocarbons, chemicals, foodstuffs.
When you visit this country in Africa, consider the natural hazards in Tunisia: N/A, while infectious diseases are N/A. Also, note that Tunisia faces the following environmental issues: Toxic and hazardous waste disposal is ineffective and poses health risks, water pollution from raw sewage, Limited natural freshwater resources, Deforestation, Overgrazing, Soil erosion, Desertification.
You may also be interested in the countries next to Tunisia around its total: 1,495 km border, like Algeria, Libya.