Paul Lachine

Ne pas se tromper en Afrique du nord

TUNIS – Tel un volcan longtemps endormi et qui soudain se réveille, les révolutions qui ont balayé l’Afrique du nord – dans un contexte de forte performance économique – a surpris tout le monde. Avant cette explosion, la croissance annuelle moyenne du PIB de la région se maintenait aux alentours de 4,6% depuis dix ans, avec une forte amélioration des indicateurs du développement humain.

Mais cette croissance était par certains aspects trompeuse, car elle masquait des problèmes qui couvaient depuis longtemps sous la surface : un chômage croissant, surtout chez les jeunes, et une répression politique – des problèmes qui auront finalement été les déclencheurs de l’explosion. En Tunisie, dont la révolution a enflammé la trainée de poudre du changement qui s’est rapidement propagée dans toute la région, les jeunes constituent plus de 70 % des chômeurs. Les statistiques sont du même ordre en Égypte et en Libye.

Le dénominateur commun à l’ensemble de la région est qu’en dépit de la croissance économique, ils ont été incapables de générer suffisamment d’emplois. Cela a créé une génération de jeunes déçus, sous ou inemployés, dont un grand nombre de récents diplômés de l’université. A terme, tous les niveaux de la société, catalysés par une jeunesse rétive et privée de droits civils, se sont rassemblés pour exiger changement et réformes. A travers toute l’Afrique du nord, les populations ont fait retentir leurs voix par le bruit de leurs pas, et continuent de le faire.

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