Digital innovations create jobs and support transparent and effective public administration

Project description

Titlte: Digital Transformation Center Tunisia
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Tunisia
Lead executing agency: Ministère de l’Industrie et de Petites et Moyennes Entreprises (Ministry of Industry and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises) and Ministère des Technologies de la Communication et de la Transformation Digitale (Ministry of Information and Communication Technologies and Digital Transformation)
Overall term: 2019 to 2023

Context

Tunisia is a driving force of the digital economy in North Africa and across the African continent. The digital economy accounts for 11 per cent of Tunisia’s gross domestic product, making it one of the strongest and fastest growing sectors in the country.

More than 1,600 companies provide over 100,000 well paid jobs. Tunisia also has a large pool of young graduates with digital skills. The Government wants to make further use of the potential represented by digital transformation. The current national strategic plan Digital Tunisia 2020, which is about to come to an end, will be followed by a similarly ambitious strategy.

With this project, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH has been supporting the Tunisian Ministry of Information Communication Technologies and Digital Transformation (MTCTD) since 2019 on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). It supports the information and communications technology (ICT) sector with improving training and job creation in Tunisia and across the continent and supports transparent and effective administration.

On behalf of BMZ’s Training and Employment special initiative Invest for Jobs, GIZ is developing a digital centre in Tunisia to work with relevant partners to implement the country’s digital strategy. The transformation strategy focuses on the following areas: supporting start-ups, industry 4.0, GovTech, digital infrastructure, cybersecurity, and the digitalisation of multiple sectors, particularly digital finance, e-commerce and health.

Objective

The Digital Transformation Center Tunisia develops at least 50 strategic partnerships with European companies, improves working conditions and quality in the Tunisian ICT sector and provides support with implementing Tunisia’s Start Up Act. It also provides digital solutions to support the public sector with developing transparent and effective administration.

Approach

The Digital Transformation Center is supporting the Ministry of Industry with its ambitious strategy, which forms the basis for the Tunisian manufacturing industry’s transition to industry 4.0. Industry 4.0 competence centres have already been set up in Sousse and Sfax with the objective of supporting at least 200 companies with using digital solutions over the next two years. The aim is that these companies not only become fitter for the future and more competitive but also create jobs.

In the thematic area Digital4Jobs, the project is also involved with supporting business start-ups, with a particular focus on access to demand-driven services and technologies, relevant training courses and access to markets. The project is involved in the Pan-African initiative for technical entrepreneurship Make-IT in Africa, which trains and supports more than 100 start-ups in Tunisia.

These activities aim to improve access to financing and markets as well as improving business skills in the digital economy. One of the cornerstones is cooperation with the Orange Digital Centre, which provides young people and start-ups with the necessary digital skills to enhance their employability.

The project also contributes to the development of a sustainable ecosystem that facilitates digital innovation in the Tunisian economy, focusing particularly on manufacturing and agriculture. It raises awareness of the opportunities of digitalisation but also of the risks that arise where digital solutions are introduced too late or too slowly. To this end, the project disseminates information about available technologies and applications and their benefits, prerequisites and relevant impact.

By 2023, the Digital4Reforms programme will have launched projects that improve digital solutions for the Tunisian public and train Tunisian officials in digital administration. GIZ will also provide support for preparing action plans in key areas such as cybersecurity, smart mobility and artificial intelligence. A major focus here will be on the needs of the regions, young people and women.

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