Tunisia clinches US$387.6mn AfDB loan

Tunisia clinches US$387.6mn AfDB loan

Published: November 30, 2012

Funding comes as part of the bank’s Economic Recovery and Inclusive Development Support Programme.

Tunisia has agreed a US$387.6mn loan deal with the African Development Bank (AfDB). Signed by Minister for Investment and Cooperation Riadh Bettaieb and AfDB vice-president Ndoumbe Lobé, the loan is a continuation of the development bank’s Economic Recovery and Inclusive Development Support Programme (PARDI), a general budget assistance package rolled out in May 2011.

The programme is geared towards generating economic growth and, more specifically, reducing regional wealth disparities by tackling unemployment. It also aims to improve the transparency and accountability of government institutions. These goals were agreed upon during a period of consultation that stretched from May to August 2012.

Jacob Kolster, AfDB director for the Northern Africa department said of the loan arrangement: “The country needs courageous structural reforms with a view to rekindling the economy and accelerating growth in the mid-term. Budgetary support therefore seeks to encourage the government to speed up reforms while providing the necessary latitude for economic revival and the required investments to restore growth. The loan will be part of a series of measures for technical assistance.”

The deal comes on the heels of a US$500mn agreement between Tunisia and the World Bank. Signed in June 2011, the deal received final approval on November 27. The money is aimed at improving the business environment, strengthening the stability of the financial sector, reforming social services and increasing transparency.