An apprentice in the GIZ training container in Tunis, where craftsmen are trained

Core area “Sustainable economic development, training and employment” Improving the job prospects for young people

Given Tunisia's high unemployment rate among young people, it is particularly important to create jobs and thus give the young people prospects for the future. Until now, a shortage of training opportunities, a lack of access to financial services and excessive bureaucracy have been acting as a curb on entrepreneurial activities.

German development cooperation activities therefore focus on promoting SMEs and business start-ups, export activities, innovation, and vocational education and training.

Financial Cooperation measures primarily benefit micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). They account for a large part of the jobs in the country, yet they can often not fully harness their development potential because they lack the investment capital. KfW provides reduced-interest loans, for instance, to Tunisian banks, which they in turn can use to give loans to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises. And Tunisia is receiving support to help it establish sovereign guarantee mechanisms with a view to protecting the banks against the risk of default.

Under Technical Cooperation, the BMZ's Tunisian partners are being advised on developing demand-oriented services for businesses and mobilising private investment. And GIZ is working with enterprises there to develop practice-oriented vocational training formats.

Enabled by the BMZ's special initiative “Transformation of Agricultural and Food Systems”, a green innovation centre in Tunisia is helping small farmers to join together in producer groups and thus tap into new earning opportunities.

Tunisia: production of electronic components for the automotive industry
Tunisia: production of electronic components for the automotive industry

Special Initiative “Decent Work for a Just Transition”

The aim of this special Initiative by the BMZ is to promote private investment in Africa and thus create job and training opportunities. To this end, the BMZ is working closely with German businesses and is promoting practice-oriented partnerships between universities and businesses. The focus of the Initiative in Tunisia is on the automotive and aviation industry and the digital economy.

Center for Digital Transformation

The DigiCenter, as it is called, was founded in 2019 to pool existing German-Tunisian cooperation activities in the field of digital technology. As part of the special initiative “Decent Work for a Just Transition”, the Center supports companies in the development of customised digital solutions and promotes the creation of jobs in the IT sector. It also provides advisory services for the Tunisian government with regard to digital transformation.

Results – selected examples

In the period from 2011 to 2019, Germany's support helped to provide training and advanced training for some 57,000 young people. Around 75,500 jobs were newly created or preserved. Some 600 small and medium-sized businesses were given support and more than 500 new businesses received start-up assistance. Around 33,000 borrowers benefited: with the financial support they received, they were able to newly create or preserve some 49,000 jobs.

Tunisian-German Centre

Symbolic image: Coach in Africa

Opened in Tunis in 2017, the Tunisian-German Centre for Jobs, Migration and Reintegration serves as an important central point of contact for advisory services regarding employment, further training, legal migration and voluntary return and reintegration. It supports for instance Tunisian migrants returning from Germany by helping them to find jobs and training courses, providing information on further training opportunities and assisting them in starting their own business. In addition, the centre provides information about legal options for labour migration to Germany and about the dangers involved in irregular migration. In 2019, a second centre was opened in the port city of Sfax.

As at: 28/03/2023