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The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH has been working in Tunisia since 1975 and opened an office in Tunis in 1999. GIZ implements projects and programmes on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and other donors, mainly the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), the German Federal Foreign Office (AA), the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) and the European Union (EU).

Around 40 seconded staff, a number of integrated experts and some 150 national personnel are deployed in Tunisia, providing support for institution-building by partners at the national, regional and municipal level, delivering training for specialists, and strengthening regional and sectoral networks. In order to support the cooperation between government, civil society and private sector stakeholders now under way in the regions, GIZ has opened project offices in the capital Tunis and in Béja, Kairouan, Sidi Bouzid and Sfax. Its aim is to strengthen participation and build democracy wherever reforms are expected to have the greatest impact.

In order to stabilise this young democracy and actively improve living conditions on a sustainable basis, GIZ is implementing projects in four sectors, with a particular focus on rural regional development.

Protection of natural resources. In Tunisia, natural livelihood bases such as water resources, arable land and forests are overexploited and also face an acute threat from ongoing climate change. GIZ is supporting Tunisia’s efforts to safeguard and manage its natural resources sustainably for the long term.

Lack of competitiveness of agricultural goods – a key sector for Tunisia – is a major obstacle. GIZ is therefore supporting the development of a national strategy for sustainable agriculture. The promotion of specific agricultural value chains is a further area of activity, generating new income and employment opportunities in marginalised regions of the country.

Tunisia’s central and southern regions are severely affected by water scarcity, with agriculture, industry and private households competing for access to water. GIZ supports participatory planning and responsible management of this scarce resource. Key fields of action are the expansion of integrated water resources management and facilitation of a stakeholder dialogue involving local citizens, the public administration and the private sector.

Renewable energies and energy efficiency. Tunisia is increasingly dependent on imports of natural gas and petroleum to meet its ever-growing energy needs. The energy supply system is economically inefficient.

At the same time, due to its geographical location, Tunisia has significant renewable energy potential, particularly in the solar sector. Through the German-Tunisian Energy Partnership, GIZ promotes renewable energies and improvements in energy efficiency, with a focus on developing the solar market in the regions. GIZ also advises its Tunisian partners on appropriate policy frameworks, provides specialist training and takes measures to improve investment conditions.

These activities also form part of Tunisia’s contribution to international mitigation efforts under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Tunisian and German experts are working to establish an MRV system – a reliable system for measuring, reporting and verifying greenhouse gas emissions – and are developing mechanisms to scale up mitigation efforts in Tunisia’s cement industry and in the transport sector in the Sfax region. This will help Tunisia meet its international commitments and make an active contribution to protecting the global climate.

Sustainable economic development and promoting employment. Combating unemployment, creating better working conditions and improving competitiveness are currently the main priorities on the country’s political agenda.

On behalf of the German Government, GIZ is supporting Tunisia with a range of measures aimed at strengthening the economic performance of the regions. They include schemes to promote entrepreneurship, especially in innovative economic sectors, and advisory services for small and medium-sized enterprises on human resources management, technology transfer and marketing.

In marginalised regions in particular, GIZ is working together closely with companies and civil society to create job opportunities for young people and match labour supply and demand. This is supported by training schemes and short-term deployments of experts from Germany.

Regional development, local governance and democracy. The political upheavals in January 2011 marked the start of Tunisia’s transition to democracy. The new constitution, adopted in January 2014, creates opportunities for citizens to participate in political, social and economic decision-making through their municipal and regional councils. This will require radical changes in structures, procedures and mindsets.

In order to help build a citizen-centred administration and promote development in the less developed regions of Tunisia’s hinterland, GIZ provides its Tunisian partners with cross-sectoral advice on the decentralisation agenda. Innovative and participatory regional planning methods are being introduced across the country. With advice from GIZ, newly established citizens’ offices are providing faster, more transparent and more reliable ‘one-stop’ municipal services.

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Projects and Programmes

Rural Development

Governance and democracy

energy (sustainable infrastructure)

Environment and Climate change

Economic development and employment

Project evaluations

BMZ-Fallstudie zur Wasserversorgung und Abwasserentsorgung