Inauguration on March 16, 2022 of the third center of the ELIFE program, carried out by the Tunisia Foundation for Development (FTD) and co-financed by the French Development Agency (AFD) and the European Union, in the presence of the Minister of Education and Employment, the Mr. Nasreddine Nsibi, the French Ambassador, Mr. André Parent and the President of the Foundation, Mr. Badreddine Ouali.
This third center, based in Kef, after those of Siliana and Béjà, has been operational since the beginning of 2022. In the coming weeks it will welcome several hundred young people who will integrate training and entrepreneurship programs and will benefit from the cultural activities offered by the center. The Kef ELIFE center thus consolidates the system for combating unemployment and promoting equal opportunities in disadvantaged regions established under the ELIFE program. It will thus help strengthen the coverage and impact of the program in the north-western regions.
The challenge :
The digital sector in Tunisia is marked by a paradoxical situation: it is a sector with a strong potential for development 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 North-West regions.
France contributes 2.9 million euros to the ELIFE project
The ELIFE project, initiated and implemented by the Tunisia Foundation for Development, in collaboration with the ESPRIT University for the pedagogical design of training, the National Conservatory of Arts and Crafts (French public institute of higher education and research) and the TACT association , which brings together with several leading digital companies in the country, aims to address this challenge.
Its goal is to facilitate the recruitment of young digital graduates, particularly in high unemployment governorates, by offering them an innovative training path, in line with the needs of the sector, to strengthen their employability and help them in their economic activity and integration. social. 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 proof of a digital degree and be enrolled in the ENETI registers in order to validate their enrollment 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 months of training, thanks to the support of the National Employment Fund, in one of the specialties offered:
• Software development ;
• Business Intelligence;
• Embedded information technology;
• 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. A budget of 100,000 euros was also mobilized by AFD to support a partnership between the ELIFE centers and the 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 the National Agency for Employment and Independent Work in which the State undertakes through ANETI to subsidize the costs of training as well as a scholarship for 12 months of all learners on the program.
The European Union through Expertise France also contributes 1.6 million euros to the project 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 support the creation of a hundred project leaders per center in the regions and the incubation of about twenty projects per center.
The project also benefits from other grants from GIZ (German development cooperation agency) 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.
A capacity of 150 students
The third of the ten ELIFE centers, which opened its doors in Kef at the beginning of 2022 with a capacity of 150 learners, was inaugurated on March 16 by the Minister of Labor and Vocational Training, Mr. Nasreddine Nsibi, the Ambassadors of the Union. Europe and France in Tunisia, MM. Marcus Cornaro and André Parant. The inauguration took place in the presence of the Governor of Kef, the President of the Tunisia Foundation for Development, project partner (Tunisie Telecom, Ministry of Vocational Training and Employment, AFD, DUE, GIZ, etc.), service providers (Esprit University) and a delegation of business leaders from the digital sector.
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.
“One more step towards strengthening equal opportunities”
The Minister of Labor was pleased that this project “is closely part of 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, and “the current essential involvement of businesses to achieve integration goals.”.
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 which was in a dilapidated and abandoned state 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, enables 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 Ambassador of the European Union declared: “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 to improve the employability and supervision of young entrepreneurs in the regions, and thus make the entrepreneurial culture a real lever for local economic development.