On March 16, 2022, the third center of the Elife program, dedicated to improving training and employment opportunities for unemployed graduates, was inaugurated in Kef, in the north-west of Tunisia. This project is supported by the Tunisia Foundation for Development (FTD) and co-funded by the French Development Agency (AFD) and the European Union.
This third center, after those of Siliana and Béja, was inaugurated in the presence of the Minister of Vocational Training and Labor, Nasreddine Nsibi, the ambassadors of the European Union, Marcus Cornaro, and of France, André Parent, and the President of the Foundation , Badreddine Ouali, the Governor of Kef, project partner (Tunisie Telecom, Ministry of Vocational Training and Employment, AFD, DUE, GIZ, etc.), service providers (Esprit University), as well as a delegation of business leaders from the digital sector.
The Elife center in Kef will welcome several hundred young people in the coming weeks who will join the training and entrepreneurship programs and benefit from the cultural activities offered. It thus consolidates the mechanism for combating unemployment and promoting equal opportunities in disadvantaged regions. And it will help strengthen the program’s coverage and impact in Northwestern regions.
The digital challenge in Tunisia
Digital in Tunisia offers a paradoxical situation: it is a sector with a high development potential but many companies in the sector encounter difficulties in recruiting senior operational technicians. This gap translates into thousands of job vacancies each year and difficulties in finding work for higher education graduates.
To explain this paradox, all the diagnoses converge: if young people with a bac +3 level have a solid theoretical basis at the end of their studies, they are penalized by their language level and lack professional situations. This gap is all the greater as the entrepreneurial ecosystem in general and the digital one in particular is underdeveloped in the Northwest regions.
The Elife project, initiated and implemented by the FTD, in collaboration with Esprit University for the pedagogical design of training courses, the National Conservatory of Arts and Crafts (French public institute for higher education and research) and the Tact association, which brings together several leading digital companies in the country, aims to tackle this challenge.
Facilitate the recruitment of digital graduates
The Elife center aims to facilitate the recruitment of young digital graduates, particularly in governorates with a high unemployment rate, offering them an innovative training path, in line with the needs of the sector, to strengthen their employability and help them in their social integration. Beyond the training cycle, the centers will be places of entrepreneurship, culture, exchanges and access to new technologies.
This project will ultimately allow the creation and operation of ten centers of technology, training and culture in inland regions.
Young people from these regions who wish to access this training opportunity must provide a degree in the digital field and be registered in the Aneti registers in order to validate their registration in one of the Elife centers. After the selection tests carried out by the teams of the center, they will be able to receive free 6-month training, thanks to the support of the National Employment Fund, in one of the specialties offered: software development; commercial information; embedded computer; and community management.
This training also includes reinforcement in communication languages and techniques, in computer programming. It will be followed by a six-month professionalization period consisting of practical projects proposed and supervised by the partner companies of the program.
France, through the AFD, contributes 2.9 million euros to the Elife project, in the form of a grant, which makes it possible to finance the acquisition of all advanced IT equipment for the Elife centers. An envelope of 100,000 euros was also mobilized by AFD to support a partnership between Elife centers and Cnam with the aim of ensuring careful monitoring of the professional integration of young people leaving training.
The sustainability of the project is ensured thanks to an agreement signed between the Foundation and Aneti in which the State undertakes, through Aneti, to subsidize training costs as well as a 12-month scholarship for all scheduled learners. .
The European Union through Expertise France is also contributing to the project with 1.6 million euros in the form of a grant to finance the structure and operation of the first 5 Elife centers, as well as the implementation of the entrepreneurship program in these 5 centers with the I support the design of around one hundred project leaders per center in the regions and the incubation of around twenty projects per center.
The project also benefits from other grants from GIZ (German agency for development cooperation) and HIVos (Dutch development aid organization) which finance the costs of developing the skills of supervisors and coaching students on the practical aspects of training.
Since the launch of the first Elife center in 2019 in Siliana, 6,500 young people from the regions have been able to participate in more than one hundred events (training, cultural events, hackathons, business meetings, etc.). More than 50 agreements have been signed with private partners and 5 public partners are now supporting the project. It should also be noted that 60 project leaders were trained in the Béja and Siliana regions.
The third of the ten Elife centers opened its doors in Kef at the beginning of 2022 with a capacity of 150 students. Unlike the two previous centers, which were newly built, the Elife center in Le Kef is set up in an old colonial villa, which has been completely restored.
Two new centers are planned by the end of 2022, in Djerba and Tozeur; Finally, another five centers will be created in the regions of Jendouba, Sidi Bouzid, Kasserine, Kairouan and Gafsa.
The Minister of Labor was pleased that this project, which “it is closely linked to a relationship between public, private and associative actors“, in particular through the access of learners to the resources of the National Employment Fund (FNE) through scholarships, andthe now essential involvement of companies to achieve the integration objectives. “
The FTD chairman said:It is through a responsible and committed choice that the Tunisia Foundation for Development has chosen the conservation and enhancement of this precious architectural heritage that was in a dilapidated and abandoned state and threatened with demolition. Thus restored and equipped, the new Elife Le Kef center will be able to host hundreds of young people from the region who will benefit from the various programs made available to them by the Foundation in the fields of culture, entrepreneurship, training and employability.“
The French ambassador said: “I am delighted with French support for the Elife project led by the Tunisia Foundation for Development. This partnership, which combines funding from AFD, technical support from Expertise France and educational support from Cnam, allows young people from Siliana, Béja and now Kef to train in the vibrant digital sector. This new center will create a cultural and entrepreneurial dynamic which, I am sure, will benefit the entire region ”.
The EU ambassador, for his part, said: “We are delighted with the inauguration of this third center in the Kef region: it is a further step towards strengthening equal opportunities in disadvantaged regions. The support of the European Union goes in particular to strengthen the training program for improving the employability and supervision of young entrepreneurs in the regions, and thus make the entrepreneurial culture a real lever for local economic development. “
- André Parent, Badreddine Ouali, Béja, Elife, Le Kef, Marcus Cornaro, digital professions, Nasreddine Nsibi, Siliana, Tunisie, Tunisie Telecom