Tunis, May 17, 2010 – Dr. Shamshad Akhtar, World Bank Vice President for the Middle East and North Africa region, conducted an official two-day visit to Tunisia where she was received by His Excellency, Prime Minister Mohamed Ghannouchi. Dr. Akhtar also met with Mr. Mohamed Nouri Jouini, Minister of Development and International Cooperation, Mr. Taoufik Baccar, Governor of the Central Bank and several other members of Government.
This visit provided an opportunity for fruitful discussions on the Country Partnership Strategy and the development of the private sector to tackle the employment challenge. The World Bank recently adopted a new Country Partnership Strategy with Tunisia for the period 2010-2013. “My visit is part of ongoing consultations with the Government on the World Bank support program. In that regard, we welcome the recent approval of the Country Partnership Strategy for the period 2010-2013, which we developed in close collaboration with the Tunisian authorities,” Dr. Shamshad Akhtar noted. “We are working with the Government and the other relevant actors to execute this program effectively, and are committed in particular to providing support to the Government with the most daunting challenge facing the country, namely employment, especially among young people,” Dr. Akhtar pointed out, following her meeting with the Prime Minister.
This partnership program seeks to provide support to Tunisia in the areas of financing, analytical studies, and technical assistance, based on three major pillars: (i) employment, growth, and competitiveness; (ii) sustainable development and climate change; and (iii) improvements in the quality of services provided.
Focusing on the first pillar, the World Bank’s latest economic report on Tunisia explores reform options that could help structural economic transformation and job creation through reforms of the innovation system, the mode of integration into the global economy, and the business environment.
In this regard, Ms. Françoise Clottes, Acting Director of the Maghreb Department, noted that “At the request of and in close collaboration with the Tunisian authorities, we have conducted several analytical studies on priority topics. These analyses will no doubt contribute to the execution of the projects planned under the new partnership strategy for the period 2010-2013. Tunisia’s assets and capacities will make it possible for the country to achieve its ambitious objectives, and we are very pleased to be able to provide support by mobilizing the World Bank’s expertise and international experience.”
During the execution of the last country partnership strategy, which covered the period 2005-2008, several projects were successfully implemented in such important sectors as health, sanitation, and agriculture and rural development.