In an interview with AfricanManager, Governor of Tunis, Omar Mansour, said he was committed to the application of the law, without pressure, to stop smuggling.
He also pointed out that economic recovery remains dependent on social peace, patience, but especially return to work.
For 2017, he said his strategy will focus on youth, employment and culture. For him, nothing is difficult in Tunisia. We need just to have the ideas and goodwill to win the bet.
What is your assessment of the economic situation of the governorate of Tunis?
One cannot treat only the situation of Tunis; it is the situation of the entire Tunisia.
In any case, the situation is disrupted. But with the combined efforts of all the stakeholders, we are trying to revive our economy. We have no other choice. This is the basis for ensuring development and meeting all the challenges encountered.
But how to achieve this?
The achievement of this goal depends on social peace, patience, but especially return to work. Indeed, we cannot reform the economy in a context marked by the rise of social unrest and demands.
The return to work is in my opinion a sine qua none condition to be able to win this challenge.
Everything is possible, if one succeeds in meeting these conditions.
Can you tell us about the strategy adopted to ensure development in this region?
As I mentioned earlier, we cannot talk about a specific strategy for each governorate. It is a joint effort between all actors.
Our aim is to offer more jobs to unemployed young people and to organize economic sectors.
What do you mean by that?
Try to provide a favorable climate for investors, facilitate procedures while minimizing the obstacles encountered, which are essentially administrative and legal.
This is an important and crucial step in boosting economic activity.
To achieve this, a great responsibility rests with the Governor of each region to meet this challenge.
At our level, blocked projects are also considered a priority. A meeting in this direction has recently taken place at the level of our governorate to speed up the necessary procedures… Moreover, deadlines are set for the implementation of these projects.
What about the fight against illegal street vending and smuggling?
Illegal street vending is part of the smuggling, which continues to impact our economy and more specifically the owners of commercial spaces or those who control business.
This is worrying as the informal economy now accounts for more than 50% of the global economy, especially as several commercial spaces are threatened with closure.
Therefore, we have to put an end to this dangerous phenomenon in order to revive the economic chain, knowing that a major step has been taken in this direction.
This sector needs to be organized while ensuring that it joins the formal sector.
Have you encountered difficulties in this mission?
Certainly yes, but every official must know how to move the machine to improve its action and apply the law without being subject to the pressure exerted by certain parties.
Law enforcement remains useful, given that the government is committed to providing space for vendors in downtown Tunis. This is important insofar as anarchic sale spaces have reached proportions that can no longer be tolerated.
My job today is to speed up the procedure for setting up these spaces, which will be installed at Mongi Slim Avenue, Al Jazira Street and others.
In addition to the setting up of these spaces, several street vendors will soon be trained in certain sectors.
Moreover, with this approach to law enforcement, but also respect for the citizens, I am announcing that the number of itinerant vendors has dropped from 700 since I took office to 3, 4 at present.
What will be your work strategy for 2017?
I have no strategy. I work with the same pace and in a horizontal manner for all years. I target all sectors without exception.
For the next stage, the strategy will focus mainly on youth, employment and culture with the programming of cultural activities and the reopening of closed spaces, which number around 94.
Emphasis will also be placed on cleanliness campaigns. Add to this the planning of maintenance projects concerning the Belvedere Park and other green spaces of the capital such as the Passage Park, which will be better maintained and may even host cultural and leisure activities.