Last week ILS LEDA’s staff returned from their third mission in Tunisia. The mission took place from the 10th to the 24th of February 2023, in the framework of the CROLET project - Creation of Job Opportunities through the Territorial Economy - financed by the Italian Ministry of the Interior, in partnership with We-GVC and ICU. Among the project objectives, the creation of two Local Development Agencies, respectively in the governorate of Sidi Bouzid and Kebili.
Specifically, during the mission, the promoting groups of the two LEDAs chose the legal form for their formal constitution. Consensus was reached on the GIE, Groupement d'Intérêt Économique (Economic Interest Grouping), a legal model envisaged by Tunisian legislation, which allows public-private partnerships and therefore the coexistence of actors from the productive sector, civil society, institutions and local bodies.
The technical assistance of ILS LEDA continued on the 22nd and 23rd of February 2023, with the organization of two-day joint training and assistance to the promoting groups, in the coastal town of Sousse, centered on LEDA start-up activities:
- • Six-month activity plan
- • Organization chart and functioning of the Agencies
- • Factors of sustainability of a LEDA
The workshop saw the participation of 24 actors from the manufacturing sector, public authorities and service providers, including representatives of civil society. The composition and heterogeneity of the working group promoted an intense involvement and debate among the participants, leading to the definition of a proposal for the organization and functioning of the Agency, in order to ensure in its Assembly and Board of Directors a criterion for a fair representation between the different sectors; a detailed six-month work plan for the implementation of the activities and the drafting of a three-year financial plan.
During their stay in Tunis, ILS LEDA’s team carried on the support and negotiation work with the financial institutions identified for the creation of the guarantee fund, made available by the CROLET project, specifically the Tunisian Solidarity Bank (Banque Tunisienne de Solidarité- BTS) and the Tunisian Banking Society (Société Tunisienne de Banque –STB).
At the end of the mission, ILS LEDA met with the AICS headquarters in Tunisia, to explore possible strategic and operational synergies aimed at consolidating the work of the agencies in their respective territories.
In this sense, an interesting example is represented by the financing line of Italian cooperation - PRASOC - Program d'appui au secteur privé et à l'inclusion financière dans les secteurs de l'agriculture et de l'économie sociale et solidaire - which intends to support the SSE sector, granting credit on favorable terms, through local financial institutions (including STB), mainly to women and young people from disadvantaged regions of the country.