Tunisia is the smallest country in North Africa with an area of 163,610 sq km and is also the northernmost country in Africa. It borders Algeria to the west, Libya to the south and east, and the Mediterranean Sea to the north. With over 1000 km of coastline, it has a strong tradition of commerce and openness to the wider Mediterranean region. The country also holds a strategic position as a bridge between Europe and Africa, with this location influencing the development of the country’s supply chain and trade links.
Following independence from France, the Tunisian Republic was founded in 1956. Habib Bourguiba – known as the father of the nation – tempered the influence of religion, pushed for women’s rights in the Personal Status Code and created secular, co-educational and bilingual schools. These measures helped Tunisia to establish itself as a leading regional example for modernisation and development. Building on these foundations, following the 2011 Jasmine Revolution, Tunisia rose to become a leading example of a successful post-Arab Spring democ-racy.
While the country’s transition has been remarkably successful, the effects of the revolution are still being experienced today as Tunisia seeks to adapt itself to the challenges of multiparty politics and overcome economic hurdles. However, a host of structural reforms is being implemented and improved performance in some of the country’s key sectors are helping to bring some relief to the economy. Meanwhile, there continues to be a push for further public sector reforms and reduction of the budget deficit.