EconSource: New Tunisian PM Promises Growth, Reform, and New Hope
Tunisian Prime Minister Habib Essid promised quick reforms to stimulate growth as he took office on Friday at the head of a coalition government combining secular and Islamist parties. The new government faces pressure from its international lenders to curb high public spending, including by cutting politically sensitive subsidies on basic foods and fuel. Jobs, high living costs, and economic opportunities are the main worry for most Tunisians.

[Reuters, 2/6/2015]

Egypt’s energy reforms spark rush of oil and gas deals

Egypt’s willingness to push fuel market reforms and stick to debt repayment plans has led to an unexpected resurgence in oil and gas exploration and supply deals previously delayed by political upheaval. The country has emerged as a major new oil and gas market as the government looks to ease the worst energy crunch in decades. According to the energy ministry, $2.9 billion of investment have flowed into Egypt’s upstream energy sector—exploration and production—since November 2013. [Reuters, 2/6/2015]

Unemployment Rate in Morocco up to 9.9 percent

According to the Moroccan High Planning Commission, the unemployment rate in Morocco reached 9.9 percent in the 2013-2014 fiscal year, increasing by 0.7 points year on year.  In urban zones, unemployment increased from 14 percent to 14.8 percent and in rural zones from 3.8 percent to 4.2 percent. The number of active unemployed Moroccans increased by 8 percent nationally, which means an additional 86,000 people out of work. [Morocco World News, 2/5/2015]

Oil companies in the cross hairs of Libyan violence

The violence in Libya has increasingly targeted oil companies and their assets, upending long-term investments by Western companies and driving down production in a country that helped launch the world-wide drop in oil prices. In just three months, Libyan oil production has fallen from nearly 900,000 barrels a day in October to about 325,000 barrels a day in January, due to oil fields being taken over by armed Libyan groups and shutdowns due to security concerns. [WSJ, 2/6/2015]

Also of interest:
Investors losing faith in Yemen | Al-Ahram
Morocco received over 10 million tourists in 2014 | Morocco World News
Imports from Turkey to Libya down 26 percent in 2014 | Libya Monitor (subscription)
Debenture loan would increase Tunisia’s debt ratio by 2.2 percent of GDP | TAP