AfDB Promotes Environment-friendly Industrial Development in Tunisia

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Tunis, 29 June 2005 – The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group on Wednesday in Tunis approved a loan to Tunisia of 33 million Units of Account (UA*) equivalent to US$ 50 million to finance a Capacity Building in Environmental Protection and Phosphate Mining (CPG) project.

The main goal of the project is to contribute to achieving the export growth targets of the industrial sector for the 2006-2008 period. The specific objectives of the project are to enhance the Environmental protection in the Gafsa mining basin, to safeguard the CPG production and improve its productivity. Overall, the project will improve the productivity of the Tunisian phosphate industry.

The project comprises the following components:

  • CPG capacity building in environmental protection
  • CPG mining capacity building
  • Strategic Study

The major beneficiaries of the project will be the population of the South Gafsa production basin. In terms of the number of jobs created, the livelihood of at least 1 out of 3 households is directly or indirectly related to the company’s phosphate production. Improved productivity will therefore make a positive impact on the standard of living of the population of the region. Furthermore, the project will help in the rehabilitation of the natural environment of the Gafsa region and provide the communities with healthier living conditions and protect the potential water sources for agricultural development. Moreover, the communities in the region will continue to enjoy the benefits of employment and social activities supported by the CPG as part of the functions attributed to it by the Tunisian Government.

The project will also create business opportunities for private economic operators who will profit from procurement and works contracts for the various components and it will provide services to the CPG under existing subcontracting service arrangements. Finally, the project will benefit the entire Tunisian Economy by boosting the export of phosphate rock and respond to the needs of international customers.

ADB operations in Tunisia started in 1968. To date, the ADB has committed a total amount of 1.2 billion UA, equivalent to 1.76 billion US $ for 54 operations.

*1UA = US $ 1.47495 as at 01 /06/05