Follow the latest economic news and developments about the Arab transition countries. 

Companies controlled by ousted Tunisian president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and his family garnered 21 percent of all his country’s private sector profits, according to a new World Bank report. The report, released Thursday, depicted the huge extent to which the Tunisian strongman of 24 years took control of much of the country’s economy and enriched his family, feeding the resentment that led to the 2011 uprising against him. [AFP, WB Press Release, WP]
Minister of Foreign Affairs Mongi Hamdi received, Thursday in Tunis, Board Chairman of the Tunisian-American Enterprise Fund (TAEF) Bowman Cutter. The Fund, whose budget reached TND 60 million, has set up operations in Tunisia after having completed necessary legal procedures, Cutter said. [TAP]
Egypt’s total budget deficit went down by 6 percent of the country’s GDP from July to February of the 2013-14 fiscal year the finance ministry revealed on Wednesday. The deficit has reached EGP 123.6 billion, compared with EGP 146.49 billion in the same period a year earlier. [MENA]
The total number of civil servants exceeds 860,000, according to statistics announced Wednesday in Rabat during a press conference devoted to the presentation of the Action Plan 2014-2016 of the Ministry in charge of Public Service and the Modernization of the Administration. This cost the State a budget of MAD 98 billion in 2013 (more than 11 percent of GDP), against MAD 103.7 billion for 2014. A total of 44,037 calls for applications for employment positions have been posted on the portal “” from beginning of 2012 until March 23, 2014. [MAP]
Also of Interest:
Egypt’s smart-card bread | Al-Ahram Weekly
Analysis: General Sisi’s Greatest Enemy– The Egyptian Economy | The Atlantic
Can populism and putsch work in Egypt? | FT
Africa, potential market for Tunisia (Bouchamaoui) | TAP
7 percent of EU exports to Africa are destined for Tunisia | L’Economiste Maghrebin (French)
Tunisia: BCT reports continued worsening of deficit | AfricanManager
Tunisia’s minister of economy: Revision of subsidies is “unavoidable” | TAP
Op-ed: Tunisia: change, but no change | Le Monde Diplomatique
North African women and SMEs | AfDB