Study: „Starting Points for a National Employment Strategy for Tunisia“


Starting Points for a National Employment Strategy for Tunisia

Hans-Heinrich Bass, Robert Kappel and Karl Wohlmuth

Tunis, April 2017.

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Economic problems and social injustices triggered the 2011 revolution in Tunisia. Much has happened in Tunisia since then; the democratic development of the country has reaped praise worldwide. However, efforts towards economic reform have so far been scant. The young Tunisians, especially in the interior of the country, are still awaiting an economic and social »dividend« from the democratic revolution. If there is not a new impetus from employment policy, the political process in Tunisia is in danger of faltering.
The best way to achieve social justice and societal stability over the long term is through decent, dignified and adequately remunerated work. Tunisia is characterised by underemployment, while the proportion of jobs that are precarious has been skyrocketing for some time. Many graduates of schools of higher learning and people with vocational degrees are no longer finding adequate jobs, while many others are working in the steadily growing informal sector. For this reason, Tunisia urgently needs a new industrial policy and a broad, all-embracing national employment strategy.
There are conceivable ways out of Tunisia’s job crisis. An effective employment policy presupposes a strengthening of the private business sector, especially through the promotion of small and medium-scale enterprises. Beyond this, new forms of integration of the Tunisian economy into regional and global value chains need to be instituted. It is only through reindustrialisation along a broad front that the jobs needed can be created and safeguarded on a sustainable basis.
further reading:
Kappel, Robert / Pfeiffer, Birte / Reisen, Helmut (2017): Compact with Africa. Fostering Private Long-term Investment in Africa, Bonn: GDI Discussion Paper.

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