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Tunis General information

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Tunis General information

Overview

The Tunis Stock Exchange in Tunisia is a small but active stock exchange in Africa which should see more activity as privatisation of state enterprises takes place. It was established in 1969 and currently has over 20 companies listed

officially the Tunisian Republic (al-Jumhūriyya at-Tūnisiyya), is a country in upper africa. North Africa. It is bordered by Algeria to the west, Libya to the southeast, and Mediterranean Sea to the north and east. Its size is almost 165,000 km with an estimated population of just over 10.3 million. Its name is derived from the capital Tunis located in the north-east.

Tunisia is the northernmost country on the African continent, and the smallest of the nations situated along the Atlas mountain range. The south of the country is composed of the Sahara desert, with much of the remainder consisting of particularly fertile soil and 1,300 km of coastline. Both played a prominent role in ancient times, first with the famous Phoenician city of Carthage, then as the Africa Province which was known as the "bread basket" of the Roman Empire. Later, Tunisia was occupied by Vandals during the 5th century AD, Byzantines in the 6th century, and Arabs in the 7th century.

Under the Ottoman Empire, Tunisia was known as "Regency of Tunis". It passed under French protectorate in 1881. After obtaining its independence in 1956, the country took the official name of the "Kingdom of Tunisia" at the end of the reign of Lamine Bey and the Husainid Dynasty. With the proclamation of the Tunisian republic in July 25, 1957, the nationalist leader Habib Bourguiba became its first president and led the modernization of the country. Today Tunisia is an export-oriented country, in the process of liberalizing its economy [6].

Tunisia has close relations with both the European Union with whom it has an association agreement and the Arab world. Tunisia is also a member of the Arab League and the African union.

Tunisia is a country situated on the Mediterranean coast of North Africa, midway between the Atlantic Ocean and the Nile Valley. It is bordered by Algeria in the west and Libya in the south-east. An abrupt southern turn of its shoreline gives Tunisia two faces on the Mediterranean.

Despite its relatively small size, Tunisia has great geographical and climatic diversity. The Dorsal, an extension of the Atlas Mountains, traverses Tunisia in a northeasterly direction from the Algerian border in the west to the Cape Bon peninsula. North of the Dorsal is the Tell, a region characterized by low, rolling hills and plains, although in the northwestern corner of Tunisia, the land reaches elevations of 1,050 meters.

The Sahil is a plain along Tunisia's eastern Mediterranean coast famous because of its olive monoculture. Inland from the Sahil, between the Dorsal and a range of hills south of Gafsa, are the Steppes. Much of the southern region is semi-arid and desert.

Tunisia has a coastline 1,148 kilometres in length. In maritime terms, the country claims a contiguous zone of 24 nautical miles (44.4 km; 27.6 mi), and a territorial sea of 12 nmi (22.2 km; 13.8 mi).

Tunisia's climate is temperate in the north, with mild rainy winters and hot, dry summers. The south of the country is desert. The terrain in the north is mountainous, which, moving south, gives way to a hot, dry central plain. The south is semiarid, and merges into the Sahara. A series of salt lakes, known as chotts or shatts, lie in an east-west line at the northern edge of the Sahara, extending from the Gulf of Gabes into Algeria. The lowest point is Shatt al Gharsah, at -17 m, and the highest is Jebel ech Chambi, at 1544 metres.

 Region

The region of Tunisia has some deserts, including part of the Sahara Desert in the south. In the north and mid the land is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea. Tunisia does not get so cold in the winter that it snows, but the temperature still can get below 0 C (32 F). In the summer it can get up to 32 C (89.6 F). Most of Tunisia has four seasons.

Demographics

Main article: Demographics of Tunisia

The majority (98%[44]) of modern Tunisians are Arab or arabized Berber,[45] and are speakers of Tunisian Arabic. However, there is also a small (1% at most[46]) population of Berbers located in the Jabal Dahar mountains in the South East and on the island of Jerba, though many more have Berber ancestry. The Berbers primarily speak Berber languages, often called Shelha.

The small European population (1%) consists mostly of French and Italians. There is also long established Jewish community in the country, the history of the Jews in Tunisia going back some 2,000 years. In 1948 the Jewish population was an estimated 105,000, but by 2003 only about 1,500 remained.[47]

The first people known to history in what is now Tunisia were the Berbers. Numerous civilizations and peoples have invaded, migrated to, and been assimilated into the population over the millennia, with varying influxes of population via conquest and settlement from Phoenicians/Carthaginians, Romans, Vandals, Arabs, Ottoman Turks, and French.

Additionally, after the Reconquista and expulsion of non-Christians and Moriscos from Spain, many Spanish Moors and Jews also arrived at the end of the 15th century. In addition, from the late 1800s to after World War II, Tunisia was home to large populations of French and Italians (255,000 Europeans in 1956[48]), although nearly all of them, along with the Jewish population, left after Tunisia became independent.

Religion in Tunisia is dominated by Islam, to which a majority of Tunisians (98%) adhere.[49] One of the most ancient Jewish communities in the world resides in Jerba, where religious diversity thrives. The southern Tunisian island is home to 39 synagogues.

Language

Advert primarily in Tunisian Arabic

Arabic is Tunisia's official language. As is the case in the rest of the Arab world, a local variety of Arabic is used by the public. Tunisian Arabic is closely related to the Maltese language.[50] There is also a small minority of speakers of Shelha, a Berber language.[51]

Due to the former french occupation, French also plays a major role in the country, despite having no official status. It is widely used in education (e.g. as the language of instruction in the sciences in secondary school), the press, and in business. Most Tunisians are able to speak it. Many Tunisians, particularly those residing in large urban areas, readily mix Tunisian Arabic with French, a dialectal melange often informally called 'Frarabic'.

Education

Sadiki College in Tunis.

Education is given a high priority and accounts for 6% of GNP. A basic education for children between the ages of 6 and 16 has been compulsory since 1991. Tunisia ranked 17th in the category of "quality of the [higher] educational system" and 21st in the category of "quality of primary education" in The Global Competitiveness Report 2008-9, released by The World Economic

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