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“We must change the laws so that Tunisians can integrate abroad,” says Karim Hamdi

In an interview with African Manager, Karim Hamdi, Tunisian academic and scientific residing in the United States, stressed the need to change the law so that Tunisians can integrate into the international machinery.

Interviewed at a workshop organized in Gammarth on “employability in agriculture, renewable energy and information technology in Tunisia”, he called this approach “strategic” to solve the thorny problem of unemployment.

On another level, he urged the government to ensure better alignment between training and the job market so as to meet the challenges.


How do you assess the policy of the current government in handling the issue of employment?

I followed the changes that took place in Tunisia since the advent of the revolution…

In my opinion, commendable efforts have been made, but many other activities are within the reach of the government, in coordination with members of civil society, to improve the employment situation in Tunisia.

Can you clarify your idea?

Tunisia should avoid thinking that challenges can be met by focusing only on local opportunities in the country.

In this context of globalization, the Tunisians, in my opinion, should be allowed and encouraged to find jobs worldwide.

Thanks to new technologies and modern communication methods, there are many opportunities for Tunisians to work with a better income, thanks to better cooperation with foreign decision-makers.

This is quite possible, especially when we know that we must no longer think of a job offered by the State, particularly in this stage where recruitment in public administration has reached its limits and that the public service is saturated with nearly 800,000 employees, while it needs only 300 thousand.

Therefore, the public sector is not the unique solution to the problem of structural unemployment; it is time to take advantage of existing opportunities internationally…

This is one of the solutions to better address the greatest problem that successive governments have faced, i.e. that of unemployment.

How to achieve this?

The Tunisian law is expected to improve to allow young people to take advantage of opportunities, especially since they have the opportunity to be consultants and distant engineers with foreign principals.

This is important insofar as our current legal framework does not allow local Tunisians to have foreign currency accounts, to have wages in Euros.

On this basis, we must change tactics and revise the law so that Tunisians can integrate into the international machinery.

But the government has chosen the Public-Private Partnership policy to meet this challenge. What do you think?

I am totally in favor of this partnership, which could play an important role in the inclusive and sustainable growth of Tunisia, if the right conditions are in place

For example, I have initiated a partnership between a university in Gabes and a private company located in this region. Through this partnership, that company has decided to dedicate an annual amount for the university to encourage research and development. In return, the university opened its doors to executives of the company to attend scientific lectures and conduct research on specific topics.

Therefore, the partnership is very important, but we still face a problem of reluctance of the private sector.

How to act?

In such condition, one needs a leadership that can convince private companies of that process and that the public-private partnership fits with their interests.

This remains dependent on the promotion of the training branch. Because companies know that if there is proper training, they can produce and earn more. But if education does not allow young people to be qualified once the training is completed, the private industrial sector could but suffer.

What will be the tasks of the future government?

The future government is expected to ensure better alignment between training and the job market in order to meet the challenges. This could be done through the establishment of a clear and appropriate legal framework.

What is your message for the future government?

More decentralization is more than ever needed, along with more confidence to tackle the challenges faced and best meet the goals of the revolution.


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