Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

North Africa

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

North Africa

Article excerpt

Algeria Promises Scholarships for Ugandan Students

The Algerian ambassador to Uganda, Belaid Hadjem, announced his country would continue giving scholarships to Ugandan students every year, reported Dec. 1. Speaking at a reception to mark his country's national day, Hadjem pointed to similarities between Uganda and Algeria, and stressed that both countries would benefit from closer cooperation. Uganda's minister of tourism, trade and industry, Edward Rugumayo, thanked the Algerian government for granting scholarships to Ugandans at its institutions of learning in the fields of science, technology and cultural cooperation. Twenty students benefit from the scholarships every year in various disciplines, including engineering, medicine, architecture and telecommunications.

Colin Powell and Tunisia's Ben Ali Meet

Secretary of State Colin Powell met with Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben AIi Dec. 2 in Carthage, Tunisia. Powell released a statement shortly afterward, saying the meeting had been an "excellent one." "Our bilateral relationship is very very strong," Powell stated, adding, "We are great admirers of Tunisia and the progress that has been achieved under President Ben Ali's leadership." Powell cited Tunisia's high literacy rate, its openness to "participation of women" and its economic performance as a few of its recent positive developments. The secretary of state also mentioned that he and Ben AIi discussed issues related to reform and human rights. Overall, Powell said, "It was a very open, productive, candid meeting between two countries which are great friends." he also announced that President Bush had extended an invitation to President Ben AIi to visit Washington in February.

Tourism Picking Up in Tunisia

Figures released by Tunisia's national tourism office suggest the country's tourism industry is recovering after a downturn last year, reported Nov. 28. There was a 7 percent increase in time spent by tourists in Tunisia during the third week of November, compared to the same period in july 2002. Positive growth indicators have been registered since the second week of November (+1.3 percent) and are expected to continue for the rest of the year. The occupancy rates in Tunisian hotels in the third week of july neared the 70 percent mark, slightly higher than during the same period in 2002 (66. …

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