Since the revolution, CIPE partner IACE – the Institut arabe des chefs d’entreprises, or Arab Institute of Business Leaders – has reached out to citizens from all walks of life in Tunisia – young entrepreneurs, business leaders, students, policymakers and more – to debate and search for solutions to Tunisia’s persistent economic challenges. To involve even more people in the exchange of knowledge and ideas, IACE just launched a new newsletter to share updates on Tunisia’s economic progress and upcoming events.
Among other features, the newsletter includes a new op-ed, The Second Republic, or the Third Conflict Cycle? The piece makes the urgent and vital point that even with a new Constitution approved and focus on upcoming elections, it is the economy that still matters most.
“Each time popular disgruntlement reached a climax, government would resign and power would be handed over peacefully. Labour strikes were defused by negotiation rather than use of force. Over three years, there was no shortage in running water or public electricity, wages were paid regularly, administrations continued functioning, etc. […] However, while the country is leaving the conflict zone and reaching a relative stability, it might be heading towards crisis if its economy continues to falter.”
The recent op-ed goes on to compare Tunisia to a start-up venture – “You can bet on it, or let it fall.” For this democracy start-up, the pre-election period is not just politically important, but a crucial time to begin to address unemployment, subsidy reform, inflation and other issues that have dogged the country since its 2011 revolution. For its part, IACE will continue to find ways to contribute to the reform process, consulting its members, and sharing the private sector’s knowledge and perspective with Tunisian policymakers and civil society.
To subscribe to the newsletter and continue to get IACE’s announcements and informed articles, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pamela Beecroft is a Program Officer for the Middle East & North Africa at CIPE.