The African Development Bank (AfDB) has given the green light to a new two-year strategy for Tunisia. With this strategy, the AfDB is answering the challenges that have faced the country since January 2011.
AfDB president Donald Kaberuka outlined these challenges at the board meeting which approved the strategy document on February 15, 2011. He said: “Revolutions are never linear and always costly. Revolutions decrease fiscal space, exacerbate social demands and increase uncertainty among investors in the short term. They require a greater level of flexibility, selectivity and engagement from development partners.”
The strategy will adopt a novel modus operandi which will favour flexibility and reactivity in its interventions. The AfDB will streamline its activities to maintain the country on its development trajectory while meeting the demands of the revolution. It will do this by focusing on issues relating to governance, economic transformation, access to basic infrastructures and social services in the regions and job creation in the disenfranchised areas of the country. These are principally in the south and rural parts of the country away from the relatively prosperous coastal area.
The formulation of this strategy has been achieved through an unprecedented participative and transparent process, involving representatives from all key ministries, development partners and civil society.
In renewing its approach in the country, the AfDB will continue to establish a constant dialogue with civil society for greater transparency, to build capacity and identify future areas of intervention in a constructive way.
The AfDB was the first international institution to come to the aid of Tunisia after the events of January 2011, when it approved a loan of USD 500 million for budget support in June 2011. These funds were to be used across four sectors – employment, social services, the financial sector and governance.
The AfDB portfolio of currently-funded projects in Tunisia amounts to USD 2.5 billion and is the largest international donor in the country.