Mohamed Ali Guiza, ACMACO regional coordinator in Greater Tunis aid in an interview with African Manager that the resort to solidarity economy is of great help to meet the challenges of employment and development. This will require a better appreciation of the role of the different components of civil society.
He also said that the implementation of the new project “RITICEL” will be instrumental in this process.
The Association Mohamed Ali Club of Working-Class Culture (ACMACO) is currently developing a pilot project called “RETICEL”. Can you introduce the project?
Democratic progress is measured today in terms of the importance of diversity and dynamism of the civil society. In Tunisia, the number of civil society organizations that continues to grow should not overshadow the shortcomings suffered by most of them.
To overcome unemployment, increase the recruitment of young graduates and reduce regional and social disparities and inequality between men and women, civil society components need to obtain exposure, get organized and to modernize themselves.
This is why that project falls in line in this context of boosting the Tunisian third sector through its vitalisation both quantitatively and qualitatively.
The project Strengthening the Local Third Sector RETICEL is the result of discussions initiated by the Association Club Mohamed Ali Working-Class Culture ACMACO with its Italian partner Fondazione G. Brodolini…
Can you give us an idea on targeted areas?
The project RETICEL extends over 30 months covering three areas. They are Greater Tunis (Tunis, Ben Arous, Ariana, and Manouba), Gabes, Sidi Bouzid and Kasserine.
On what basis you choose regions?
Our choice is made on the basis of the most concentrated areas, that is to say, we have chosen Greater Tunis for the northern area, Sidi Bouzid and Kasserine for the central area and Gabes for the southern area.
What added value could this kind of project bring?
The project aims to engage diverse and complementary actions, notably the creation of a local platform bringing together local organizations of the Third Sector. This will lead eventually to the establishment of a national platform.
Adherence to these platforms will help support and defend their concerns with the local authorities, the establishment of formal links between members of the platform and the local authorities.
Still, there will be a national and international visibility through registration in a website dedicated to platforms while receiving assistance in the identification of new projects, in seeking partnerships, in identifying funding sources, in the design of external financing applications and the implementation of a business plan.
In addition to the platforms, our goal is to develop a socio-economic study in each of the three regions and subsequently a national study so as to highlight the specificities of each region of the country.
Finally, we work to launch targeted training, provided by national and international experts for the benefit of third sector organizations in the areas of organization and management of associations.
Added to this the organization of the dialogue and negotiation, project development and implementation of local employment and social inclusion development strategies.
This is important especially as we work for the signing of agreements between the platform and local authorities to create jobs. Besides, many other actions are planned in order to develop the associative fabric and to mentor young project promoters or job seekers.
This is a promising step especially as the project “RETICEL” aims to increase the contribution of civil society to GDP from 1% currently to 3 and 4% over the next five years.
It is important especially that it will certainly help generate wealth and especially new job positions in the cited regions.
What about the rate of progress of this project?
The project RETICEL began last July and I can assure you that we are on the right track.
During this step, 150 associations in regions mentioned earlier will receive training tailored to the specific management of third sector organizations.
What is the cost of this project?
This project has received financial support from the European Union for the purpose of establishing permanent structures to promote and modernize third sector components.