With one of the highest GDP per capita in Africa, Tunisia has a diversified economy characterized with its agricultural sectors (olives, wheat, barley, citrus fruits, sugar beet, dates and fines), mining Phosphate, iron ore, zinc, lead and salt), oil and natural gas, and manufacturing (clothing, footwear, auto parts, and electrical machinery.
Tourism as well accounts for a major economic activity.


Population (2015): 11,107,800
Population (2000): 9,552,500
Main cities (inhabitants):
· Tunis (2014 census per cities: 638,845, census 2014 by governorates: 1,056,427)
· Sfax (2014 census per cities: 272,801, governorate 955,421)
· Sousse (2014 census per cities: 221,530, governorate 674,971)
· Kairouan (2014 census per cities: 139,070, governorate 570,559)
· Ettadhamen (2014 census per cities: 142,953)
Annual Population Growth (2015): 1.00%
Annual population growth (2000): 1.00%

Water and waste

In urban areas, 97.7% of the population has access to drinking water sources and 91.6% to sanitation (World Bank, 2015). In 2012, Tunisia produced 2.42 million tonnes of municipal solid waste (0.815 kg / day / person in urban areas and 0.15 kg / day in rural areas). The volume of waste increases by 2.5% per year. Waste collection in urban areas reaches 80%, and in rural areas 0-10%. Collected waste is generally transported to open land dumps (21%) and burials (70% in relation to production) (GIZ 2014 - National Report on Solid Waste Management in Tunisia).

Energy and Climate

In 2013, Tunisia's energy consumption in the road transport sector was 25.2% (IEA, 203) of the country’s total energy consumption (IEA in 2000: 24.1%), while energy consumption was 956.5 kg in oil equivalent per capita in 2013 (764.8 kg in 2000). Electricity consumption was 1.434.6 kWh per capita in 2013 compared to 992.4 kWh in 2000. According to World Bank statistics, CO2 emissions in Tunisia amounted to 2.4 metric tons per capita in 2011, compared to 2.1 metric tons in 2000. CO2 emissions in Tunisia come from the use of fossil fuels and cement production, as well as from the use of solid, liquid and combustible gas fuels and gas in flares.

Policies and strategies

· National Sustainable Development Strategy
· National Action Plan for Environment and Sustainable Development in the 21st Century
· National Environmental Strategy
· Strategy for Economic and Social Development
· Urban and Rural Sanitation Program
· National Solid Waste Management Program
· Industrial Pollution Reduction Program
· Municipal Development Plans
· National Action Plan under the Strategic Action Program for the Protection of the Mediterranean Sea against Land-Based Sources (UNEP / MAP)
· Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
· Quadrennial Program for Energy Management
· Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Plan
· National Energy Control Fund
· Water strategy
· Wastewater Strategy
· Popular neighborhood Sewer Clean-up Program
· National Strategy for Transition to Effective Lighting in Tunisia
· National Transition to Green Economy Strategy
· National Strategy on Climate Change in Tunisia
· National Energy Transition Strategy.

Bottle-necks and developments

There is a real need for the extension and improvement of sewage systems and for the development of wastewater treatment facilities in Tunisia. Partially treated, or untreated industrial effluents have detrimental effects on the sea. Waste causes bottlenecks in uncontrolled dumping sites. Other bottlenecks arise as the result of a lack of sanitary measures in landfills and the uncontrolled discharge of industrial solid wastes.
Renewable energies account for a significant share of total energy supply. The emphasis is now on wind power, although the use of solar energy is becoming more important, as is the increased use of residues for energy production and the promotion of geothermal sources and small hydroelectric power stations.

ENP Progress Report 2011

In 2014, Tunisia adopted a National Energy Transition strategy, focusing on:
  • The reduction of energy demand by 2013 to 34%, by improving the energy intensity with 3% per year in the period 2015-2030 compared to what could be the intensity if the current pace is maintained.
  • This reduction in energy intensity would allow Tunisia to be in the middle of the OECD countries whereas currently it is in the world average rank.
  • The increase in the rate of penetration of renewable energies in terms of electricity production to 30% in 2030 whereas today it is only 3%; With hydrocarbons accounting for 96% of the energy consumed to produce electricity.

To achieve this objective, an additional capacity for renewable energy production of around 3.6 GW must be put in place, totalling more than EUR 6.3 billion. This would allow cumulative primary energy savings over the 2015-2030 period of around 16 Mtoe, i.e. a cumulative gain on the country's energy bill of more than 13 billion euros over the same period 2015-2030. In this context, Tunisia has strengthened the regulatory and incentive framework through:

  • The adoption of Law 2015-12 on the promotion of the production of electricity from renewable sources.
  • The creation of an Energy Transition Fund to replace the National Energy Control Fund to accompany the energy transition. This Fund, in addition to the awarded premiums for investment in energy control actions, will be used to grant, guarantee and improve loans.


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