Profiling African Countries – North Africa.

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North Africa.

Comprising Algeria,Egypt,Libya,Morocco,Tunisia,Mauritania and Sudan,north Africa,as at 2012 had a total population of 220 million people.This is projected to reach 329million come 2050,inclusive of South Sudan.

Algeria.

Population: 36 million, Urban population: 73%,Health expenditure as percentage of GDP: 4.2%,Life expectancy: 73,Adult literacy: 73%, Mobile phone penetration: 99%, Main export: Petroleum oil,which accounts for 95% of exports and 45% of the national budget, Projected GDP growth for 2013: $214.45 billion (current GDP $206.55bn).

Egypt.Population: 82.5 million, Urban population: 44%, Health expenditure as percentage of GDP: 4.7%, Life expectancy: 73, Adult literacy: 72%, Mobile phone penetration: 101%, Main export: Petroleum oil, Current GDP: $255bn, Projected GDP growth for 2013: $275.9 billion.

Libya. Population: 6.4 million, Urban population: 78%, Health expenditure as percentage of GDP: 3.9%, Life expectancy: 74, Adult literacy: 89%, Mobile phone penetration: 156%, Main export: Petroleum oil, Current GDP: $85.1 billion, Projected GDP growth for 2013: $97.6billion.

Mauritania.
Population: 3.5 million, Urban population: 42%, Health expenditure as percentage of GDP: 4.4%, Life expectancy: 58, Adult literacy: 57.2%, Mobile phone penetration: 92.7%, Main export: Tuna, Current GDP: $4.1bn, Projected GDP growth for 2013: $4.4 billion.

Morocco.Population:32.3 million, Urban population: 57%, Health expenditure as percentage of GDP: 5.2%, Life expectancy: 72, Adult literacy: 56%, Mobile phone penetration: 113%, Main export: Phosphoric acid, Current GDP: $97.2bn, Projected GDP growth for 2013: $103.3 billion.

Tunisia.Population: 10.7 million, Urban population: 66%, Health expenditure as percentage of GDP: 6.2%, Life expectancy: 74, Adult literacy: 78%, Mobile phone penetration: 117%, Main export:Petroleum oil, Current GDP: $44.7bn, Projected GDP growth for 2013: $45.6 billion.

Sudan.Population:34.3 million, Urban population: 33%, Health expenditure as percentage of GDP: 6.3%, Life expectancy: *61%, Adult literacy: *71%, Mobile phone penetration: *56%, Main export: Petroleum oil, Current GDP: $51.6bn, Projected GDP growth for 2013: $47.3 billion.(Life expectancy,adult literacy and mobile phone penetration figures include South Sudan).

The northern African (Algeria,Tunisia,Morocco,Mauritania,Egypt,Libya,Sudan) region’s combined GDP projection for 2013 stands at $788.55 billion.North Africa’s university graduation rates in Humanities and Arts between 2008-2010 was 22%,Sub-Saharan Africa’s was 26%In Business and Law, north Africa outdid Sub-Saharan Africa with the university graduation rates standing at 51% and 44% respectively.As for the area of engineering and manufacturing,the university graduation rate in north Africa was  10% and Sub-Saharan Africa’s stood at 4%Western Sahara is one of the 16 non-autonomous territories still on the UN’s decolonization list.Morocco annexed Western Sahara illegally after Spain, the colonial power pulled out in 1975.Twenty one years have since passed a ceasefire was agreed between Morocco and the Saharawi independence movement,the Polisario Front.Upon signing of the ceasefire,the next thing was to carry out a referendum to be organised by the United Nations  Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) to determine whether the people wanted to remain part of Morocco or opt for independence instead.The referendum has never come to pass.There are thousands of Moroccan settlers who live in the Moroccan-occupied Western Sahara today.The United Nations General Assembly and the United Nations Security Council have adopted a number of resolutions as regards the Saharawi’s quest for self-determination.Indeed,the International Court of Justice advisory opinion on Western Sahara in 1975 held that Western Sahara was not a terra nullius (belonging to no one) at the time of its colonization by Spain and that although there were legal ties at the time of colonization between Western Sahara and both Morocco and Mauritania which sought to annex Western after the Spaniards left,these ties were sufficient to justify decolonization of the territory by any means other than a popular referendum.Violations of human rights by Moroccan forces in the occupied Saharawi territories continue.The Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) government that claims sovereignty over the the entire Western Sahara territory,controls about 20-25% of the territory itself while Morocco controls and administers the rest of the disputed territory.

The regional organisation in North Africa is known as the Arab Maghreb Union (AMU).Its member states are Algeria,Libya,Mauritania,Morocco and Tunisia.Formed in 1989,the union hasn’t organised a summit since 1994 thanks to the pronounced differences between its member states.This also stems from the fact that only the Presidential Council has the authority to make decisions which are to be issued by consensus as stipulated in article 6 of the Constitutive Act of the AMU.The tensions between the member countries thus easily affect the running of the regional organisation considering the decision-making authority.Algeria for instance has continuously backed the right to self-determination of the Saharawi people,putting at loggerheads with Morocco.Libya had also earlier withdrew from the organisation after the regional organisation’s member states complied with the UN sanctions following the Lockerbie bombing in 1988.Egypt applied to join the AMU in 1994 during the 16th session of the AMU Foreign Minsters summit.The Maghreb sits right next to the largest trade are in the world-EU and is also on the doorstep of the bustling Middle East.Annual trade between the Middle East and Africa has gown five times to  $49 billion over the past decade from $10 billion in 2002.Foreign Direct Investment in the Maghreb rose from $3 billion a year in 200 to $12.3 billion in 2008.After the Arab Spring,it went down to 6.5 billion in 2011.The AMU recently launched an investment bank with a capital of $100 million.The bank will finance infrastructure projects in Algeria,Libya,Morocco,Mauritania and Tunisia as well as fostering regional integration.

”The welfare of the people is the best way to strengthen the empire.”-Ibn Khaldun.

Primary Source of the data under the seven countries’ profile:The Africa Report – Africa In 2013 http://www.theafricareport.com

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