An inaugural conference on increasing private investment and economic empowerment in North-West Tunisia will be held on August 29 in
An inaugural conference on increasing private investment and economic empowerment in North-West Tunisia will be held on August 29 in Tabarka.
The North-West is historically the poorest of Tunisia’s six economic regions. Rural areas in general have become increasingly marginalized over the past decade, and Government policy is often criticized for exacerbating inequality by favoring the coastal regions, home to 80% of urban areas and 90% of national employment. For example, despite being the source of most of Tunisia’s freshwater, the North-West often suffers summer shortages, as water is redirected towards major cities, holding back development and causing resentment among rural communities.
The new conference is a product of the government’s 2023/2025 development plan, which encourages regional private investment by simplifying bureaucracy and incentivising startups. Previously development plans have fallen short of their stated objectives, as the government continued to funnel funding towards the richest regions. However, if this programme is able to stick to its objectives, it could help generate organic growth opportunities outside Tunisia’s main cities, and perhaps most importantly for the government, relieve a major source of political discontent that has not been effectively addressed since the Arab Spring protests.