Growth Window | African manager
“Tunisia has just closed the so-called demographic window it entered twenty years ago. It’s a very prosperous situation where the effects of productivity have allowed schools to close for example because there aren’t enough pupils, and at the same time we don’t have a large elderly population (less than 10% of people over 60). ). Normally, due to this demographic window, Tunisia would have experienced significant economic growth if it had taken advantage of it.
Instead of taking advantage of this great achievement bequeathed to us by the brave policies of the pioneers of independence, instead of avoiding the devastating effects of overpopulation on the country, noted Tunisian demographer, academician Mohamed Ali ben Zina, added, “But the problem is unemployment, especially among the youth, which means was that even if we have enough active potential, it cannot contribute to the country’s economic growth due to unemployment.
Indeed, in addition to the present small national population of less than a third of the population of Tokyo, the capital of Japan, the same bold policy of the pioneers began the generalized education that is possible today despite the modest means at their disposal. , Accumulating quality human capital in Tunisia. But this valuable investment is sold and drunk for the benefit of European countries and others, who are more than happy to use it to further enrich themselves.
Faced with an aging population, several European countries, including France and Germany, no longer hide their great need for educated and skilled human resources to bridge the gap. In this way, the French government has developed a positive immigration law to repopulate the depopulated French countryside.
These countries, which are at the peak of economic and technological progress, still believe in the motto “there is no wealth but a man”.
element of growth
Moreover, with Tunisia’s demographic gains and the great compression of need and demand in terms of quantity, there are many who say that Tunisian officials do not understand that they cannot take it to higher levels of economic and social progress.
Instead, on the contrary, very weak public services in various fields, be it education, teaching, healthcare, transport, infrastructure, administration, unemployment of young people who are university graduates, etc. Poor distribution of population due to concentration in big cities has led to overloading of demand in these cities and waste of gains made over the years.
A foreigner seeing the overcrowding of public transport in the capital Tunis would categorize Tunisia as an underdeveloped country.
However, as well-known international experts have pointed out, the demographic window spoken by the demographer Mohamed Ali ben Zina has the merits of rebalancing Tunisian society, providing it with a new generation of young workers more open to technical progress and older workers. victims of their addiction off the beaten track.
According to experts, quality human capital is the center of growth
However, Tunisia falls outside the reported demographic window. Tunisia’s population over 60 is increasing. The base of the age pyramid has been increasing over the last decade as a result of the demographic recovery due to the structural phenomenon. In this regard, Mohamed Ali Ben Zina explains that since the 2000s, births have started to increase again as a result of the birth boom that appeared in the 1980s and, more precisely, came of age in 2011, to reach an unprecedented peak in 2011. marriage and having children.
In fact, Tunisia is close to the world average for life expectancy at 72 years for men and 76 years for women. The same is true in terms of fertility, we are close to the world average (2.6 children per woman), so Tunisia is at the threshold of population renewal.
Therefore, the country has a fortunate opportunity to bet on its comparative demographic advantages to emerge from the crises that have rocked it everywhere, but the appropriate conditions and context still need to be provided.