[Tunisia] Sustainable Urban Development Programme receives $2 million boost from Swiss government
Tunisia has received a $2.2 million donation from the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs to assist the North African country achieve the first phase of "the sustainable urban development programme of Sousse and other cities" in 2017.
The agreement on this donation by Local Affairs and Environment Minister Riadh Mouakher, Sousse Mayor Mohamed Mokni and Swiss ambassador in Tunis Rita Adam.
It is the first agreement concluded as part of the decentralized co-operation between Switzerland and Sousse, said Mouakher, adding that the first phase of this programme aims to make the population of this city benefit of better economic, environmental and social conditions through integrated and sustainable urban development efforts.
In this regard, the agreement provides for the revision of the urban planning and development plan (PAU) and the urban transport plan (PDU), the establishment of a master plan for resource mobilisation and the promotion of eco-construction with the building of a new headquarters of the Sousse municipality in compliance with ecological standards.
The first phase of this programme aims also to set up an energy master plan through a light plan that seeks to provide the city with an efficient and non-polluting public lighting.
According to Mohamed Mokni, the components of this first phase are based on the sustainable urban development strategy of the city of Sousse (SDVS) finalized in 2014 with the support of the European Union.
He pointed out that the originality of this strategy lies in the implementation of a participatory approach involving civil society as well as the State's decentralized services.
Ambassador Rita Adam said that the first phase could be followed by a second phase involving infrastructure work and the implementation of activities planned in the first phase in other Tunisian cities.
She specified to TAP that Sousse had been chosen as it is the main city of the third largest governorate of the country and is a driving force for Tunisia's economic development.
Switzerland is very involved in the economic field in Tunisia with the allocation of about 50 million dinars per year in the form of donations, 70 per cent of which are devoted to economic development.