Minister of Foreign Affairs meets CEO of the Bank of Tunisia and Emirates


Tunis: Minister of Foreign Affairs, Migration and Tunisians Abroad, Nabil Ammar, met on Tuesday in Tunis with the CEO of the Bank of Tunisia and Emirates, Feriel Chabrak, to discuss the development of the bank’s activities and its future direction through the digitalisation of its services and the opening up of new markets.

The minister praised the bank’s efforts and the important role it has played for more than 40 years in promoting and developing the economic partnership between Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates, “as one of the most prominent aspects of fraternal cooperation between the two countries,” according to a statement from the Foreign Ministry.

In this context, he stressed the need to provide all aspects of support to the bank, to enhance its efficiency and effectiveness in order to increase its visibility in its environment and to play its role in financing development projects and joint and foreign investments.

Source: Agence Tunis Afrique Presse

Committal order issued for lawyer Sonia Dahmani


Tunis: The examining magistrate at the Tunis Court of First Instance, on Tuesday, issued a committal order against lawyer Sonia Dahmani, following a judicial investigation opened against her by the public prosecutor’s office, said Mohamed Zitouna, spokesman for the court.

Contacted by the TAP on Tuesday, Zitouna pointed out that the defendant had accused the Tunisian people of “racism” during her appearance on a television programme, adding that the investigation into the case was still ongoing.

Sonia Dahmani had ‘claimed that discriminatory practices exist in Tunisia on the basis of skin colour, which is considered ‘spreading rumours, inciting violence and propagating hate speech between people’, he said.

Police officers on May 11 executed a summons against lawyer Sonia Dahmani while she was at the Lawyers’ House in Tunis.

Source: Agence Tunis Afrique Presse

National service: Young people asked to report voluntarily to regional conscription centres


Tunis: Young people born in the second quarter of 2004 and those born in previous years who have not yet regularised their situation with regard to the law on military service are invited to report voluntarily, with their national identity card, to the regional conscription and mobilisation centres in the cities of Tunis, Sousse, Beja, Gabes and Kasserine.

Mobilisation began on June 3 and will continue until July 5.

Hatem Soussi, Rear Admiral of the national Navy and director general of conscription and mobilisation at the ministry of national defence, said in a statement to the media at the start of the conscription campaign that the young people concerned were invited to report voluntarily to one of the five centres in order to fulfil their military obligations.

Article 31 of the 2004 National Service Act states: “Any citizen who fails to report to regularise his or her situation with regard to the National Service Act, under the provisions of Article 2(1) and Articles 17 and 20 of this Act, shall be dee
med to have committed the offence provided for in Article 66 of the Code of Military Justice”. This article provides for a prison sentence of up to one year.

Anyone who has been sentenced in absentia to imprisonment or a fine for failing to regularise his situation with regard to the National Service Act, whether in the country or abroad, must appear before one of the competent military tribunals (Tunis, Le Kef, Sfax) within the prescribed time limit in order to lodge an appeal and to obtain an order to stop the bolo if one has already been issued.

According to Rear Admiral Soussi, young people’s dissatisfaction with military service is due to ignorance of the law. The law allows young people to regularise their situation, either temporarily by deferring their military service or definitively by being drafted or exempted, he explained.

A one-year deferment can be granted to a person who has a brother doing military service, to a person classified as a “breadwinner”, to a person studying or working and livi
ng abroad until the age of twenty-eight.

Legislation

Military service began in 1957, a year after the country’s independence, at the same time as the first core of the Tunisian national army was formed.

The law of 1967 then made it possible to perform national service in several stages, encouraging regularisation of the situation through a three-month split military service for civil servants and technicians, followed by short periods of conscription and military preparation for students through summer camps.

In 1975, it was decided to involve young people more closely in the country’s economic and social development by creating two forms of fulfilling national duty: national service within combat units and national service through ‘collective assignments’ by forming development units organised according to a system of military bases involved in carrying out domestic development projects, or through ‘individual assignments’ to fill specialist vacancies in priority sectors for public establishments and ser
vices, after having received basic military training. This mechanism was then applied in the private sector.

The 1986 law, for its part, made it possible to deal with the phenomenon of disaffection for military service by extending the different services within security and development units. This was followed by the enactment of the 2004 Act.

The 2004 law on national service aims to prepare citizens to defend the territorial integrity of the homeland, contribute to the country’s overall development and promote peace in the world.

It also stipulates that all citizens aged 20 must come forward voluntarily to perform national service, and that they remain obliged to do so until the age of 35.

The forms of service under this law include active military service to meet the needs of the national army or national service outside armed forces units to meet the needs of global defence and the requirements of national solidarity.

The laws on national service have their roots in constitutional rules (1959, 2014, 2
022), emphasising that all citizens have equal rights and duties. Among the duties imposed on every citizen is the duty of national service and the obligation to defend the homeland.

Conscription and Mobilisation

Anyone recognised as medically unfit cannot perform national service, stressed Rear Admiral Souissi. This is a sine qua non condition, he maintained.

At present, compulsory military service applies to those born in 2004 and those from previous years who did not take part in compulsory conscription, he said.

Conscription takes place four times a year: in March, June, September and December.

Wael Hayouni (19), who came voluntarily from the Bizerte region, said he had taken the decision of his own free will after completing a two-year vocational training course at a centre run by the Ministry of National Defence. My family really encouraged me to do my national service.

The same goes for Wissem Farkous (19) from Zaghouan and Mohamed Karim Mathlouthi from Sousse, who both expressed their wish to do
national service.

A new vision

During a visit organised by the Ministry of Defence for journalists, the department’s officials emphasised that there is a new vision of military service in line with the country’s economic and social reality.

This new approach is based on new, more diversified and more flexible legislation governing national service.

The specific features of this new vision include proximity to the place of residence, choice of type of service, simplification of administrative measures and digitisation.

According to this new approach, military service is divided into a service within the military forces and another outside the military forces, i.e. a specific service that also includes national civic service.

The latter is aimed at supporting development and concerns all Tunisians (operatives, senior and technical managers) and is carried out within ministries and public structures or local authorities.

The new approach to military service also aims to form the core of a ‘logistical rese
rve army’ in addition to strengthening State structures with the human resources needed to fill vacant posts and implement the Ministry of Defence’s strategy (2021-2030). It also aims to offer opportunities for training, professional development and the enhancement of qualifications.

Source: Agence Tunis Afrique Presse

ARP: Plenary sessions scheduled for next two weeks


Tunis: The Bureau of the Assembly of People’s Representatives (ARP) decided at its meeting Tuesday to postpone the plenary session dedicated to the examination of a draft law on buildings in danger of collapse to June 20 and 21.

According to an ARP press release, the Bureau has also decided to put oral questions to the Minister of Public Works and Housing at this plenary session.

Parliament will hold two plenary sessions on June 25 and 26, during which oral questions will be put to the Minister of Health and the Minister of Environment.

The ARP Bureau also examined the draft law approving the financing agreement signed on May 16, 2024 between the Tunisian State and a group of local banks to finance the State budget.

Members of the Bureau also examined a number of written questions addressed to government members.

It was decided to send 87 questions to the ministers concerned.

Source: Agence Tunis Afrique Presse

SNJT: 24 attacks on journalists and photojournalists in May 2024 (report)


Tunis: The National Union of Tunisian Journalists (SNJT) monitoring unit recorded 24 attacks on journalists and photojournalists out of 28 cases reported to it, according to its May 2024 report.

There were 6 cases of criminal prosecution, 7 cases of incitement, 4 cases of arbitrary detention, 3 cases of harassment, 2 cases of prior censorship, 1 case of prevention of work and 1 case of physical assault, it said.

The victims of the attacks came from 14 media organisations, including 7 websites, 3 radio stations, 3 television stations and 1 news agency. These attacks took place 18 times in real space and 6 times in virtual space.

The attacks were carried out by judicial authorities in 7 cases, security officials in 7 cases and social media activists in 6 cases.

Source: Agence Tunis Afrique Presse

France returns collection of artefacts to Tunisia


Tunis: A collection of artefacts was recovered from France last week, the Ministry of Culture announced on Tuesday.

Tunisia recovered the artefacts in coordination between the Ministry of Culture, represented by the National Heritage Institute (INP), and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Migration and Tunisians Abroad.

The recovered artifacts include a crown composed of limestone which dates back to the third century, mast bases, stones from a limestone catapult from the Roman period, three firearms (kohl) from the 19th century and a leather cartridge belt from the 20th century.

The objects were handed over to Tunisia by the family of a former French soldier who served in Tunisia between 1954 and 1959. According to the ministry, the return was the result of cooperation between one of his sons, the Tunisian embassy in France and the consulate general in Paris.

Source: Agence Tunis Afrique Presse

Burkina: More than 1 billion FCFA to improve the living and study conditions of students.


Ouagadougou: The Burkinabè National Lottery (LONAB) and the National Fund for Education and Research (FONER) signed, Monday, a financing agreement of one billion 250 million CFA francs with a view to to improve the living and study conditions of students.

According to the Minister in charge of the Economy Aboubakar Nacanabo, this subsidy which covers the period 2024-2028 will be allocated at the rate of 250 million CFA francs per year.

For him, the signing of the agreement on Monday June 10, 2024 in Ouagadougou, reflects LONAB’s desire to curb the financial problems linked to studies.

This memorandum of understanding is part of the general framework of LONAB’s support for the care of non-scholarship Burkinabe students regularly enrolled in public higher education establishments, the minister indicated.

Aboubakar Nacanabo explained that the agreement also takes into account students registered in the second year of a master’s degree or in the doctoral cycle for research costs or to participate in conferenc
es, seminars and workshops.

Furthermore, activities of a social, cultural and sporting nature for the benefit of students, carried out in particular by student associations or structures, will benefit from this financial support, clarified Aboubakar Nacanabo.

Education being a priority for Burkina Faso, Aboubakar Nacanabo reassured everyone that LONAB will continue this type of support within the limits of its possibilities.

It should be remembered that this agreement follows that signed in November 2018 and which has expired.

According to FONER data, in 2023 aid grants were granted to 85,000 students.

Source: Burkina Information Agency

Results of the 1st round of BEPC 2024: Ganzourgou records 34.15% success


Zorgho: The results of the first round of the First Cycle Studies Certificate (BEPC) examinations fell on June 11, 2024 in the various juries in Ganzourgou in the Central Plateau region. The province records a 34.15% success rate.

Out of 3231 candidates registered for the BEPC session of 2024 in the province of Ganzourgou including 1109 boys and 2122 girls, 1088 boys and 2080 girls, a total of 3168 candidates responded.

Of these candidates present, 483 boys and 599 girls, or a total of 1082 candidates, were admitted to the first round, representing an overall success rate of 34.15% including 44.39% for boys and 28.80% for girls.

1380 candidates including 442 boys and 938 girls are called upon to take the control tests commonly called second round tests.

Of the 12 juries in the province, the Zorgho 3 jury recorded the highest rate in the first round, i.e. 45.08%. The lowest rate is recorded at the Zam 1 jury, i.e. 20.24%.

Source: Burkina Information Agency

Highs between 41°C and 46°C in southwest and far south, with sirocco wind blows


Tunis: The weather Tuesday is temporarily cloudy in most regions, getting very cloudy at the end of the day over western regions of the north and midland with storm cells and scattered rains.

Highs are ranging between 25°C and 31°C in coastal regions, 33°C and 40°C elsewhere and between 41°C and 46°C in the southwest and far south, with sirocco wind blows.

The wind is blowing north in the north and east in the midland and south, quite strong to strong with local sandstorms, light to moderate elsewhere.

The sea is rough to choppy in the Serrat region and very choppy during the night in in eastern coasts.

Source: Agence Tunis Afrique Presse

Over 800 participants expected at TIF 2024


Tunis: Over 800 participants, including Tunisian and foreign investors representing thirty countries, are expected at the 21st Tunisia Investment Forum (TIF), set for June 12 and 13 in Tunis under the theme ‘Tunisia, where sustainability meets opportunity.’

Organised at the initiative of the Foreign Investment Promotion Agency (FIPA-Tunisia) and in partnership with the European Union Delegation in Tunisia, this 21st edition will offer an opportunity to outline the reforms implemented and in preparation by the government to reboot the economy, re-launch investment and improve the business climate as part of the national reform programme, says FIPA in a press release.

This major international event will be an opportunity to spotlight Tunisia’s competitive advantages as a destination and strategic platform for investment and win-win partnerships, notably in growth sectors with high added value, the agency added.

It will also present the opportunities available, particularly in the fields of the green economy,
renewable energy, the pharmaceutical industry, automotive components and innovation.

The Forum will be opened by Prime Minister Ahmed Hachani and senior representatives of European institutions, in the presence of government members, Tunisian and foreign businessmen and women and economic players.

The Forum will also be attended by representatives of regional and international financial institutions, experts from the world of business, investment and banking, sectoral professional structures, as well as representatives of the private sector, relevant ministries and public structures.

Financing agreements in prospect

A number of financing agreements will be signed on the sidelines of the forum, including one for the education sector between the Minister of Education and the Vice-President of the European Investment Bank (EIB).

Another financing agreement to support small and medium-sized enterprises will also be concluded. This is a joint financing agreement between the EIB, the French Development Agency
(AFD), the German Bank for Development and Reconstruction (KFW) and the European Union.

The Ministry of the Economy will also sign an agreement with the EIB on the ‘Economic Development Corridor in Tunisia’ project connecting the governorates of Sfax, Kasserine and Sidi Bouzid.

In the agricultural sector, the authorities will conclude an agreement with the African Development Bank (AfDB).

According to FIPA, the first day of the Forum will feature the presentation of the TIF 2024 Awards to foreign investors for their outstanding efforts in supporting Tunisia’s economic growth and development, and the launch of the Team Europe Investment Initiative aimed at encouraging public and private investment in Tunisia.

The second day of the Forum will be devoted to the prospects for foreign direct investment in relation to the requirements of sustainable development.

Chaired by the Minister for the Economy, the first session will address the theme of reviving the economy and encouraging foreign investment, while hi
ghlighting the various incentives and development programmes that have been undertaken to this end.

Sustainability as a key to competitiveness in Tunisia will be the theme of the second session, which will be divided into two parts: the first, chaired by the Minister of the Environment, will discuss new investment opportunities promoting sustainable development and clean, green supply chains.

The second part will be chaired by the Minister of Industry, Mines and Energy, with the participation of senior EU representatives. It will focus on the close collaboration between Tunisia and the European Union in the energy transition by presenting flagship projects such as ‘ELMED.’

The session will close with the signing of a memorandum of understanding on energy between Tunisia and the EU.

The second day of the forum will continue with four parallel sessions on automotive components, the pharmaceutical industry, renewable energy and start-ups/diasporas, as well as B2B meetings between local investors and their fo
reign counterparts to discuss partnership opportunities.

A third and final plenary session will round off the event, presenting the European Union’s ‘Global Gateway’ strategy and the associated financial tools of the 2021-2027 ‘Global Europe’ multiannual financial framework, and showing how these instruments are helping harness investment and boost the economy towards more sustainable growth.

In 2023, foreign investment in Tunisia reached TND 2,522.3 million, up 13.5% compared with 2022, according to FIPA figures.

“This year’s special edition, themed “EU-Tunisia Business Forum,” stands as a testament to the enduring partnership between Tunisia and the European Union. It represents a significant milestone in our shared commitment to fostering increased investment and collaboration, not only within the framework of the EU-Tunisia partnership but also in expanding Tunisia’s investment horizons on a global scale,” according to the website of the Delegation of the European Union to Tunisia.

Source: Agence Tun
is Afrique Presse

TIF: EIB Global announces pound 450 million in support for Tunisia


Tunis: The European Investment Bank (EIB) Global on Tuesday announced new financial support for Tunisia worth a total of pound 450 million (TND 1,513 million).

This EIB commitment is intended to finance key investment for the upgrading of basic infrastructure and job creation.

The official announcement of this support will be made by EIB Vice-President in charge of financing for the Maghreb Loannis Tsakiris, on June 12-13, 2024, in the margins of the Tunisia Investment Forum (TIF).

Tsakiris, who is making his first official visit to Tunisia, will meet several government members.

‘The targeted projects are aimed at boosting resilience and private sector growth, providing sustainable energy solutions and improving accessibility in remote areas, thereby fostering more inclusive growth,’ according to an EIB press release.

The Bank said that the new announcements mainly cover a pound 170 million (TND 572 million) ‘Tunisia Economic Recovery’ credit line, which will be dedicated to offering enhanced support to
micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, which make up around 90% of the country’s businesses and employ 60% of its workforce.

This project is also supported by an pound 8 million grant from the European Union.

Furthermore, the EIB will sign a finance contract worth pound 210 million (TND 706.5 million) to modernise the strategic corridor between Sfax and Kasserine, thereby improving connectivity and reducing mobility costs.

This support will promote more inclusive growth and the development of the private sector in the regions, by linking them to the major economic centres.

Besides, a loan of pound 45 million (TND 151.4 million) will be allocated to the ELMED electricity interconnection project between Tunisia and Italy. This project will help improve Tunisia’s energy security and enable the country to exploit its renewable energy production potential.

In addition to these new grants, the EIB will sign an EU grant of pound 25 million (84.1 million dinars) for the modernisation of schools in Tunisia, f
ollowing on from the pound 40 million loan signed in 2023.

This project aims to improve learning and teaching conditions in schools, benefiting some 14,500 pupils with the construction of 80 new primary schools and further digitalisation of education.

‘Tunisia is an important partner for the EIB in the region and our support for its development initiatives remains strong. This new financing shows our commitment to the country’s development.”

Source: Agence Tunis Afrique Presse

Tunisia will benefit from its membership of AfCFTA to become Africa’s gateway, says Anis Jaziri


Tunis: Tunisia will benefit from its membership of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which offers a number of incentives to investors, including exemption from customs duties, so that it can become a gateway to Africa, President of the Tunisia-Africa Business Council (TABC) Anis Jaziri said on Tuesday.

Speaking at the opening of the 7th edition of the Financing Investment and Trade in Africa (FITA 2024), held on June 11-12 in Tunis, Jaziri added that this event offers Tunisia the possibility to become an economic gateway to sub-Saharan Africa, indicating that “the important number of participants testifies to the confidence in Tunisia as a strategic investment destination given its openness to Europe and Africa.”

As for the Nigerian market, Jaziri said it is a market with over 200 million people, including 100 million muslims, adding that 35 Nigerian businessmen will partake in this forum and that a business mission to Nigeria will be organised next September.

For her part, Minister of Indu
stry, Energy, Mines Fatma Thabet Chiboub pointed out the attractiveness of Tunisia, an AfCFTA and Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) member, indicating that it offers several investment opportunities with the African market, notably in the pharmaceutical industries, textile and automotive components fields.

The African Continent remains a land of opportunity, wealth, growth and intelligence despite the various challenges it faces, citing migration, climate change and political crises, she said.

These challenges can be beaten, she argued, calling for natural resources to be harnessed and for African industry to be developed.

Organised at the initiative of TABC, this edition will be themed “Strengthening Local Transformation and Technology Transfer for Sustainable and Inclusive Growth in Africa.”

Poland will be the guest of honnour of this edition.

Over 2,000 participants from 65 countries, mostly African, will partake in this event, considered as the major forum in Africa.

Source: Ag
ence Tunis Afrique Presse

Tunindex closes Tuesday’s session +0,14% up


Tunis: The stock market continues its upward trajectory, buoyed by announcements of corporate earnings and dividends related to the 2023 fiscal year. The benchmark index recorded a 0.14% increase on Tuesday, reaching 9,666.51 points, according to broker Tunisie Valeurs.

The session was notably marked by a significant uptick in trading activity, accumulating a substantial volume of TND 42.7 million. This surge was primarily driven by twelve block trades involving ONE TECH HOLDING, amounting to a total of TND 36.5 million.

“Tunis RE” achieved the highest performance of the session. The national reinsurer’s stock appreciated by 4.4% to TND 6.680, despite a modest trading volume of TND 9,000.

MPBS recorded its third consecutive session in positive territory. The wood panel specialist’s stock advanced by 3.6% to TND 5.810, with relatively low trading activity amounting to TND 15,000.

TAWASOL Group Holding experienced the most significant decline of the session. Its stock fell by 4.4% to TND 0.650, with a limit
ed trading volume of TND 9,000.

The previous day’s rebound did not last for SIAME. The electrical equipment specialist’s stock closed on a downbeat note, slipping by 3.3% to TND 3.570, with a trading volume of only TND 4,000.

ONE TECH HOLDING dominated the trading leaderboard. The national exporter, specialising in cabling, mechatronics, and telecommunications, saw its stock inch up by 0.2% to TND 8.420, contributing TND 36.5 million to the market.

Source: Agence Tunis Afrique Presse

Prime Minister and BCT Governor discuss Tunisia’s participation in St Petersburg International Economic Forum


Tunis: Prime Minister Ahmed Hachani met Tuesday evening at the Kasbah with the Governor of the Central Bank of Tunisia (BCT), Fathi Zouhair Nouri, to discuss the participation of Tunisia, represented by a delegation from the Bank, in the St Petersburg International Economic Forum, organised by Russia from June 5 to 8.

The meeting reviewed Tunisia’s participation, which is the first of its kind, in this economic event on the theme of “Transformation for Global Growth”: Role of the Financial Sector in Achieving Strategic Development Goals,” within the framework of concerted state efforts and coordination between the Prime Ministry and the BCT, according to a statement from the Prime Ministry.

The St. Petersburg International Economic Forum culminated in the conclusion of several agreements worth 6.5 trillion rubles (about $73 billion), according to the organisers of the business event.

They also discussed the meeting between the Governor of the Central Bank of Tunisia and the Deputy Assistant Secretary of th
e Treasury for Africa and the Middle East, Eric Meyer, in the presence of US Ambassador to Tunisia, Joey Hood.

The Prime Minister and the BCT Governor reviewed Tunisia’s economic and financial indicators, in particular the improvement in foreign exchange reserves compared with the same period last year.

This meeting is part of the coordination between the Government and the BCT as required by the Bank’s statutes.

Source: Agence Tunis Afrique Presse

TIF 2024: Towards new dynamic of collaboration between the two shores of Mediterranean (Marcus Cornaro)


Tunis: The 21st edition of the Tunisian Investment Forum (TIF) will not fail to create a new dynamic of collaboration between the two shores of the Mediterranean, said ambassador of the European Union (EU) in Tunisia, Marcus Cornaro.

In an interview with TAP Agency, the diplomat recalls that over 3,400 European companies based in Tunisia have created 407,000 direct jobs.

Cornaro also gave a general overview of the forum, the agreements that will be signed and the vision for a triangular EU/Tunisia/Africa strategy, in addition to the European instruments used to foster innovation and entrepreneurship potential of Tunisian startups.

TAP: The EU is partnering with IFAP for the organization of TIF 2024. Could you provide a general overview about participation, particularly the European participation, as well as the main goals set to this event?

Marcus Cornaro: The 21st edition of TIF, which will be held from June 12 to 13, 2024 under the theme «Tunisia, Where Sustainability Rhymes with Opportunity,» will welc
ome nearly 700 participants; over 550 of them have already confirmed their participation.

The European participation will be marked by the presence of large companies operating, particularly in the fields of energy, engineering, pharmaceutical industries, agriculture, agri-food and financial services.

The programme dedicated to this new edition, which is developed in partnership with FIPA, includes three major sessions. The 1st session «Boosting Foreign Investments in Tunisia: Reforms and Opportunities,» will represent for the Tunisian government a platform which will help present the main axes of its vision in terms of economic growth as well as the role of investments in achieving this goal.

It is also an opportunity to emphasize the ongoing openings towards greater competitiveness and the efforts made to catch up on delays in both the energy and digital fields.

The second session under the theme «Sustainability, a Key to Competitiveness in Tunisia,» will focus on four major sectors; namely the automoti
ve components produced in Tunisia, green energy, renewable energy and the pharmaceutical sector.

B to B meetings will be held during the third session.

Regarding the pharmaceutical sector, I would like to emphasize Tunisia’s pivotal position, in terms of research and production capacity.

The main goal set during this forum is to create synergy between the private sector and public operators. This synergy will focus on the know-how of Tunisian and European investors.

TAP: Can you give us more details on the agreements that will be signed during this event?

Marcus Cornaro: The agreements, which will be signed as part of the TIF 2024, will focus on three main components. The first component will shed light on the energy sector, particularly, the ELMED electrical interconnectivity support project, with financial support of pound 449 million.

The second agreement concerns economic recovery between the EU and Tunisia in terms of financing support for small and medium-sized businesses, with an amount of more t
han pound 200 million. This agreement includes a grant component and another part mixing loan and grant with other European stakeholders.

The third part concerns an important agreement signed with the European Investment Bank (EIB). It aims to fund initiatives in order to open up disadvantaged areas in the field of infrastructure (Sfax-Kasserine highway).

We are also in the final stages of finalizing a memorandum of understanding on the energy aspect which will help the two parties (the Tunisian and European sides) to clarify and better define the framework within which future investments can be made in this area.

TAP: In your opinion, what are the opportunities for triangular partnership between Tunisia, Europe and Africa?

Marcus Cornaro: The establishment of a bilateral strategy (between Tunisia and the EU) relating to the pharmaceutical sector will be the best example which will allow Tunisia to become a portal to Africa. Tunisia has a strategic geographical position allowing it to foster trade at the
regional level across the Mediterranean.

TAP: Will TIF 2024 present new European instruments for developing the innovation and entrepreneurship potential of Tunisian startups?

Marcus Cornaro: I would like to recall that Tunisia is already ahead at the Maghreb level, thanks to its legal framework governing startups in Tunisia start-up Act 2018.

TAP: To what extent have the promises made by the EU in previous editions of the TIF been kept and what challenges have hindered their achievements?

Marcus Cornaro: I can say that all the promises have been kept, particularly in terms of cooperation and donations. With regard to private investments, the decisions and the implementation phase remain the responsibility of all the parties concerned.

Certainly, in recent years the complicated framework, particularly with the COVID -19 pandemic, has had an impact on the investment dynamic, but once these crises have been overcome, many opportunities will be seized thanks to the establishment of a more competitive regula
tory framework.

Finally, I would like to reiterate the main goal of this new edition which is to set up a joint platform which will send the right messages in four key sectors and give a certain impetus to investors.

Source: Agence Tunis Afrique Presse