Full Name of state
Origins of name – Named after Tunis the present-day capital, but in ancient times a powerful city-state and successor to ancient Carthage
Formerly - N/A
Tunisia became part of the Ottoman Empire in the 16th Century and was a French protectorate from 1881 to 1956.
Granted independence as a constitutional monarchy, it became a republic in 1957. Habib Bourguiba, who led the independence movement, became the first President.
Habib Bourguiba was replaced in November 1987 by the then Prime Minister, Zine el Abidine Ben Ali, who was ousted in January 2011. Acting president is Fouad Mebazaa before Moncef Marzoukiwas named president.
Form of Government
- President elected by popular vote for a five-year term
- No term limits
- President is the ad of state
- Prime minister is the head of government
· Government structure
- Prime minister
- Bicarmel Parliament
· Manpower fit for military service: 5,059,054
· Expenditures: 1.4% of GDP (2006)
· Branches: Army, Navy, Republic of Tunisia Air Force (Al-Quwwat al-Jawwiya al-Jamahiriyah At'tunisia) (2008)
· President Moncef Marzouki
· July 1957-1987: the late President Habib Bourguiba
1987- to January 2011 President Zine el Abidine BEN ALI
Altitude – 11 metres
Population – 728,453
· Size: 10,673,800 ( 2011)
· Life expectancy: 75.8 years
· Gender Make-Up: males 50.3 per cent, females 49.7
GDP per capita
· $9,415 (2011)
· Area: 163,610 sq km
· Land boundaries: Algeria 965 km, Libya 459 km
· Arabic (official and one of the languages of commerce)
· French (commerce)
· Muslim 98%,
· Christian 1%,
· others 1%
· Arab 98%,
· European 1%,
· others 1%
· iron ore
· agricultural products
· mechanical goods
· phosphates and chemicals
· electrical equipment
· Arable land: 17.05%
· Permanent crops: 13.08%
· Other: 69.87% (2005)
· Tunisian Dinar
· Main Port: Tunis
· Airport: Tunis Carthage International Airport located 7 kilometres from Tunis.
· Toxic waste disposal
· Water pollution from raw sewage
· Limited natural fresh water resources
On January 14, 2011, following months of popular demonstrations calling for his removal from office, President Ben Ali abdicated power
It was seen a great victory when Mr. Marzouki was elected president - He is widely respected for his opposition to former president Ben Ali, and is seen as a likely counterweight to the moderate Islamist party which became the country's dominant political force
The Tunisian revolution ushered in nationwide calls for political reform, including a new constitution
Tunisia's biggest danger is the conflict between reactionists and modernists
· Tunisia has almost completed a transition from a socialist to a market economy.
· Tunisia considered a Middle-class country and one of the best-performing non-oil exporting Arab countries.
· Tourism remains a major employer earning up to 20 per cent of the country’s income
According to official figures, Tunisia has 19% unemployment, but it is generally believed to be much higher in some regions
· Tunisia has followed a moderate, non-aligned course in its international relations, playing an active role in supporting the Middle East Peace Process.
· Tunisia signed an Association Agreement with the EU in 1995, which entered into force in 1998.
· United States considers Tunisia a moderate Muslim country - Since the Tunisian revolution in 2011, U.S. Government assistance to Tunisia has increased dramatically
· Tunisia sympathizes with the Palestinians.
· The EU and Tunisia have discussed additional cooperation to control illegal immigration and manage legal immigration flows.
The Major Conflicts
· When: 1985
· Who: Israel
· Why: a response to killing- by Palestine Liberation Organisation-of three Israel tourists.
· Outcome: 60 people killed.
1987 Bloodless Coup
· When: 1987.
· Who: the then Prime Minister Ben Ali declares President Bourguiba the then president mentally unfit to rule the country and overthrows him.
· Why: to take over power.
· Outcome: elections which Ben Ali won
· When: 2007
· Who: Militants and security forces clash in Tunis
· Outcome: Twelve people killed
What to see?
· Bulla Regia- this is an underground Roman architectural site that was a way of keeping cool when the heat was too much.
· Bardo Museum. Here, you see one of the world’s greatest Roman collections of mosaics. The collection includes archaeological riches from the Carthaginian, Roman, early Christian and Islamic eras
· Holy city of Kairouan-here are more than 50 mosques including the Great Mosque of Sidi Oqba which is is North Africa's oldest mosque.
· Camel racing
· Horseback riding
Famous Sportsmen and Sportswomen
· Osama Mellouli swimming champion who was named sportsman of 2004
· Wajdi Bouallègue (Gymnastics)
· Ziad Jaziri twice named Tunisian footballer of the year
· Underground houses: The Cave Homes of Matmâta were constructed over hundreds of years. It is very useful to build subterranean homes in hot arid climates. Underground, the temperature is always the same. At night when the desert is very cold, it is comfortably warm in the cave, and at day when the sun burns down, the caves are cool