In the years after the former Ben Ali regime were ousted through peaceful means, Tunisia has gone through Democratic growth pains. There is a cultural change that must take place with the economic changes when a country that goes from a dictatorship, where the Ben Ali regime made any entrepreneurs whether they were from inside the country or out from doing business unless it is in a partnership with one of the tribes that was in power. This caused for the Tunisian people to suffer while the ruling families from the ruling elite became wealthy.
Fast forward to 2017 and Tunisia has become a Democracy. They now have a Constitution that guarantees the Tunisian people’s rights to business. Where before Tunisians could not get loans, there have been NGOs that have worked in order to give loans to young Tunisian entrepreneurs. The market is wide-open. Tunisia only just recently opened the largest mall in Africa.
With these changes must come cultural changes and in much of the Tunisian mindset is that the government creates jobs. They believe that it is the government’s duty to create jobs. This has resulted in less of the population looking to be entrepreneurs resulting in less money coming into the economy from the private domain.
This has led to a situation where there have been protests in Tunisia recently. In the southern area of Tunisia is Tattaouine. In this area there have been open protests against the government due to the people wanting the Tunisian oil companies to hire more Tunisians and to use a percentage of the monies to be put into the local area. It should be used for development, This area is not nearly as developed as the Northern part of Tunisia is. I actually went through areas without any development. I had never seen this in my life. The Northern areas of Tunisia that are coastal are all developed. You would feel as if you are in any European city while in these areas. The South is just different.
Tunisia has recently made a deal to allow for American franchises to open in Tunisia without any impediment. There are no taxes for 10 years. Tunisia needs international investment in order to secure that its successful transition to a Democracy. If it is not successful then it would surely destabilize the MENA region even more. However a Democratically successful Tunisia provides a model for other countries in the MENA region to become a successful Democracy which will help to stabilize this entire region.
Tunisia has a very high rate of people with graduate level educational achievement but there is a 35% unemployment rate among the youth. There are so many skilled Tunisians in software and app development whose skills are being unused due to a lack of opportunity. At the same time in the United States there is a lack of skilled workers.
It would behoove American IT companies, and business in general to look into Tunisia as a way to get excess software and app development work done. Also there are many opportunities to franchise in Tunisia. There is also no taxes for 10 years.
If you would like to know more about Tunisia please message me.