Tunisia misunderstood the role of Ticad

The President of the Circle of Tunisian Financiers (CFT) and Professor of Economics at the Institute of Higher Commercial Studies in Carthage, Abdelkader Boudriga, believed that the announcement by the President of the Japan Agency for International Cooperation, Akihiko Tanaka, that any financial assistance to Tunisia was depending on negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), was understandable. He explained that the majority of donors and countries waited for the IMF’s approval and support for a given state to support it financially and that this was one of the foundations of international cooperation.

Invited on August 30, 2022 by Hatem Ben Amara on Jawhara Fm, Abdelkader Boudriga explained that states and donors generally await the approval of the IMF to avoid any contradiction between a country’s policy and this institution. He also lamented the lack of information and details about Japanese promises to Tunisia. ” We have no idea about these pledges, their scope or the points that were the subject of negotiations… Ticad is not a Tunisian-Japanese summit on Japanese investment in Tunisia or a Tunisian-Japanese summit on Tunisian-Japanese investment in Africa. … It is about geopolitics… Africa has the opportunity in the coming years to be the locomotive of the world economy “, he added.

Abdelkader Boudriga said that the majority of Tunisians had misinterpreted the objectives of holding this summit. He assured that it was not an economic investment summit. He believed that the summit was about the positioning of Japan and its role in the growth and development of transactions in Africa. “ Japan seeks to play this role by improving living conditions… This is not a Tunisian-Japanese summit! We presented 81 projects in the private sector and 46 projects in the public sector. Only three of these 120 projects were accepted! We did not present the projects badly! We got the wrong frame… This is not a summit to present projects! “, he insisted.

The president of the CFT explained that Tunisia should have presented a transcontinental project such as the establishment of an African observatory. The latter will be responsible for preparing studies on issues affecting the whole of Africa, such as migration, innovation and new technologies. This project could have been supported by Tunisia and about fifteen countries and obtained the validation of the organizers. He lamented Tunisia’s attitude towards the rest of the continent. He explained that the Tunisian authorities believe that they are superior to the rest of Africa, in addition to trying to seduce foreign countries by presenting themselves as the only choice that gives them access to the rest of the continent. He highlighted the emergence of several economic powers such as Morocco, South Africa, Algeria, Senegal and Rwanda. He explained that these countries partially control the African market. Tunisia, he said, could act as a front or focus on entrepreneurship and training in Africa.

At the end of the summit, did we have any testimonials or statements regarding success stories? Nix! We chose the wrong framework… There was a success at the organizational level… Tunisia should have presented its strengths and highlighted the possible contribution to cooperation between African countries and Japan. However, we tried to take advantage of a Tunisian-Japanese cooperation… In the end, we had not reaped anything! he exclaimed.

Subsequently, Abdelkader Boudriga confirmed that the shortage of goods in Tunisia only concerned products imported by the state. He believed that it was not a failure of the Tunisian administration because it had been importing these goods for decades. He mentioned the impact of the spread of the Coronavirus and the Russian-Ukrainian war, but this does not explain the shortage. He concluded that it was a problem of financial resources. He revealed that since April, when the credit rating was lowered by the rating agency Fitch, several foreign banks had changed their policy towards public companies. Public companies can no longer raise funds from these companies and must comply with their obligations when delivering goods. He explained that commodity suppliers demanded this because of the downgrading of ratings and the country’s economic situation. He believed that Tunisia should revise the import system for certain goods such as coffee and sugar.

The president of the CFT estimated that an ideal inflation rate should be around 2% to 3%. He recalled that the current rate in Tunisia was 8% and that it was quite high. He assured that the calculation of the inflation rate and price increases was done in accordance with international standards. He recalled that the increase in the prices of certain products, such as cars, was due to the taxes imposed by the state. The tax burden is not taken into account when calculating the inflation rate. He also spoke about the impact of the lack of control due to the weakening of the state.


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