mardi, mars 21, 2006

"Tunisia celebrates 50 years indepedence"

Tunisia celebrates 50 years of independence from France Monday during which it has been hailed for its economic dynamism.
This Mediterranean state of 10 millions can point to sustained growth, 4.2 percent last year and six percent forecast for 2006, and is often cited as a model of social progress.
"Our country has always relied on its human resources as the way forward to all development," said Economic Minister Mohamed Nouri Jouini.
Tunisia became independent of France on March 20 1956.
It achieved a positive international image when the father of independence President Habib Bourguiba made women's rights a major feature of his plan to create a modern, pro-western state which, through mass education, today boasts a 77 percent literacy rate.
Tunisia became the first - and as yet only - Arab and Muslim country to apply a Code of Personal Status, banning polygamy tolerated elsewhere in Islamic states.
The traditional right of a husband to repudiate his wife was suppressed and the way opened to women's education, freedom of choice of marriage partner, civil marriage and legally authorised divorce.
Equality of the sexes, including the right to vote and to paid employment, is enshrined in the constitution.
Currently seven women serve in government and a quarter of the national assembly are women, as are a third of the bench, 40 percent of university-level teachers and more than half the country's 330,000 students.
Most Tunisians remain loyal to the code of personal status that came into force in August 1956. a particularly significant fact with the resurfacing of Islamic fundamentalism.
President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali called on fellow-citizens this month to form a "solid rampart against extremist currents."
Tunisia has admirers in the West, including the United States for its social and economic progress, despite its relative lack of natural resources compared to oil-wealthy North African neighbours Libya and Algeria.
Economically the country has moved from a system of nationalised industry to free market enterprise, turning it into one of the most developed countries of the region.
Following the failure of a short-lived Socialist experiment in the 1960s, prime minister Hedi Nouira liberalised the economy during the 1970s.
The country underwent a social and economic crisis at the start of the 1980s, then in 1986 adopted a programme of structural adjustment at the recommendation of the International Monetary Fund, accelerating reforms following the signing of an association accord in 1995 with the European Union.
Tourism is a main contributor to the country's wealth, with six million foreign visitors annually bringing in the main source of foreign currency.
Ben Ali made tackling unemployment as one of his highest priorities and considers many of other countries social problems is due to unfairness and inequalities that drive extremism.