As part of its collaboration with Tunisia, the goal of the programme developed by the Swiss federal government is to bring the Tunisian diaspora on board for sustainable development in Tunisia and promote circular migration of young professionals between Tunisia and other countries in Europe.
In addition to the challenges posed by large numbers of people crossing international borders and moving between regions domestically, migration is also a powerful force helping countries achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Here it is important to mobilise the ability of migrants as well as members of the diaspora to share knowledge, invest money, and to re-establish a connection with communities in their countries of origin. Two standout possibilities for implementation are “diaspora mobilisation” and “promotion of circular migration of technically and academically qualified individuals”. Switzerland supports these initiatives in various countries, including Tunisia.
The programme objective is to help Tunisia harvest the potential of its large diaspora and circular migration in the interest of sustainable development on the local, regional, and national levels. The implementation strategy follows three lines of intervention:
Inclusion of the diaspora
Through facilitation of additional investment and trade in Tunisia through skills transfer, there is closer interaction between investment and SMEs.
Partnerships are built with private sector actors such as financial institutions. The programme features the creation of various mechanisms that facilitate the flow of finances. New products and services are developed and tailored to the skills and capacities of the diaspora, so that they can increase their investment in Tunisia’s development substantially.
Institutional platforms are identified for engaging the diaspora. Private initiatives in Tunisia are identified and strengthened that harness the diaspora’s ability to respond to the country’s needs.
Stimulation of circular migration of young Tunisian talent
The second line of intervention focuses on stimulating the emigration of qualified young Tunisians who have recently finished their studies or are still undergoing vocational training. Support structures and mechanisms that benefit young members of the workforce as well as partners in Switzerland and Tunisia (vocational education institutes and the private sector) are brought on board for the implementation process.
The purpose is to bring young and qualified Tunisians to Swiss companies based on the trainee exchange agreement with Tunisia for young professionals. They gain professional experience, and upon their return to Tunisia they will improve their employability and contribution to the Tunisian economy.
Effective governance structures
The activities in this line of intervention focus on supporting the Tunisian government to develop efficient government structures at the local, regional, and national levels and incorporate the concept of migration in the Tunisian policy framework. This in turn facilitates implementation of specific state-funded initiatives.
The potential of migration to help in a country’s development, whether the country of origin or destination country, is indisputable. The resources of the diaspora extend far beyond the mere financial dimension: they also involve know-how, experience, professional skills, and established networks in other countries, thereby encompassing a significant socio-cultural dimension as well. To make full use of the potential that migration has to offer, the project is supporting the Tunisian government to create effective policy frameworks and align its development strategy with this new migration strategy, thereby maximising the potential of human and financial capital that migration harbours.
2020 - 2025
Swiss Foundation for Technical Cooperation
Tel. +41 44 454 17 17
Fax +41 44 454 17 97
E-Mail info@ swisscontact.org