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Wednesday 22 September 2021
HomeFeatured NewsTunisia: more promises for a poorly managed regional development

Tunisia: more promises for a poorly managed regional development

Declining growth rate (-1.85%), current account deficit at 6%, loss of jobs of about 16 thousand … These figures are alarming and challenge the new government to react quickly to find immediate solutions for citizens who are still unemployed.
In this context, a meeting was held, on Thursday, providing the opportunity to engage in a dialogue on regional development. This dialogue seeks to lead to a new mode of governance of regional development. But the main question is: How can we restructure our economy in a social climate where there is continuing waves of protests, strikes and sit-ins?
In his speech, Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali emphasized the importance for all sides to grow aware of the difficult situation in the country, stressing “the need to rectify the unfair approach of the former regime and to bridge the gap between regions.” This wish can be realized only through a new accurate and transparent approach.
For this reason, the work initiated for several weeks in regions within the regional development committees will continue permanently in a new institution, the National Development Council in which will be represented all forces of the nation, ministers, business leaders, trade unionists, representatives of associations and civil society.
The council will seek to oversee all initiatives in matters of development. It will provide opinions and proposals to the government and the Constituent Assembly.
To meet this challenge, Jameleddine Gharbi, the Minister of Regional Development and Planning spoke of the Department’s new strategy, based on the national consultation on regional development. “This consultation that will be attended by regions and various components of civil society seeks to assess the economic priorities of each governorate in order to implement action plans and specific projects tailored to each Tunisian region.”
For his part, Ferjani Doghmani, chairman of the Committee on Development and Finance at the Constituent Assembly emphasized in his paper entitled “Establishing a New Regional Development Strategy,” the need to set up a plan of action that can provide appropriate responses to chronic and structural impediments faced by inland regions, namely the weakness of the current infrastructure, lack of initiative spirit and the will to create economic projects that are useful and with high added value. 
“Faced with these constraints and these findings, there is a need for a strategic an analytical approach to development that can overcome obstacles and show prospects for the future in these areas. 
We must therefore set goals based on positive segregation, therefore, giving priority to these governorates by allocating to them a larger share in investments to ensure the revival of economic activity. “
The government should then have a new vision of the development model, whose crucial axis would be regional development
It should also focus on the participatory approach in the analysis of the situation by involving the public and private sector and the civil society. This is an important action to identify emergency measures in the short term. These include, diagnosing priority regions to offer them specific development projects with high added value and employability capacity, in order to put an end to their marginalization.
This policy is also based on activating the role of current regional administrations so that they fulfill their development mission by strengthening their human and financial capacity.
It also provides for reviewing the administrative division of the country by creating active development districts as long as each district includes 3 to 5 adjacent governorates that are complementary in economic terms.

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