The EIB has worked with Tunisia since 1979. The Bank operates in Tunisia in the framework of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) and other EU bilateral agreements.
In Tunisia, we invest in key infrastructure and support entrepreneurship. In cooperation with ARRU (Tunisia’s Urban Rehabilitation and Renewal Agency) and other partners, the EIB financed the rehabilitation and integration of working-class districts, which has benefited three million people in 1000 districts across the country. The plan includes the construction of roads, sidewalks, houses and collective facilities.
In 2020, the EIB signed a loan package of €38 million to support the implementation of a critical drinking water supply programme in Greater Tunis, which will address water shortages. The Bank also finances the construction and modernisation of public schools across the whole country, in cooperation with the EU. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bank also helped provide essential sanitary equipment in schools. In only one week, 750 000 facemasks and 102 500 litres of hand sanitiser were ordered for students, allowing them to go to school.
In cooperation with local Tunisian banks, investment funds and microfinance institutions, we support micro, small and medium-sized enterprises creating jobs and boosting growth. Local companies have been able to benefit from financing agreements, signed with several Tunisian intermediary banks, dedicated to SMEs, with disbursements reaching €320 million. Moreover, under the Economic Resilience Initiative (ERI), the EIB granted a local currency loan to Enda Tamweel to support microenterprises and promote financial inclusion.
Since 1998, the EIB has committed €312.16 million to 23 private equity and venture capital funds that invest in Tunisia. In the last years, over €100 million of equity risk capital in private equity and venture capital funds have been committed by the Bank. Over time, these funds have made 85 investments in Tunisia, which have supported the growth of start-ups and SMEs across the Mediterranean countries and operate across various sectors, including education, healthcare, manufacturing and technology. We also support unlocking young people’s potential in the region.
The Bank also helps larger Tunisian companies to grow. For example, we helped One Tech, a family business specialising in electronics, upgrade its manufacturing capacity and create 720 new jobs.