IPMA International Project Management Association
2 May 2018 / 7:07

The importance of project management in Tunisia, first Training Aid programme of IPMA in Sousse

written by Jesus Martinez-Almela and Amin Saidoun

After initial contacts between IPMA an the universities of Sousse, Kairaouan and Karthage (Tunis) in early 2017, it appeared that the Tunesian university of Sousse is most interested in project management with the vision of creating a Tunesian Association for Project Management in 2018.

In this context and after a starting of the recovery of the Tunesian economy which remains heavily dependent on Tourism, the first Training Aid Programme of IPMA took place on 29.04.2018 in Sousse. With the nearby city of Monastir, the place of birth of Tunesian former President Habib Bourguiba, Sousse has 680.000 inhabitants and is located on the Tunisian coast two hours by car in the South of the country’s capital. It is easy to reach via the airports of Tunis, Hammamet and Monastir

The objective of the one day event which included two workshops in the afternoon chaired by IPMA President Jesus-Martinez Almela and IPMA Executive Director Amin Saidoun was:
1.to raise the awareness on IPMA and the project Management profession
2. too get an understanding of the Tunesian context which after the crisis the past four years is back into economic growth which should reach 3% in 2018.
3. to explain the way a national Tunesian project management association can contribute to the profession.
4. To share the content of IPMA products and standards, in particular the individual competence Baseline ICB4.
5. To attract the members of the Tunesian Project Management Association in creation
The event was the opportunity to discus with the participants the Tunisian context and to highlight how project management could play a role following the political reforms undergone over recent years. These resulted among other fundamental decisions in the vote of a bill on public private partnership in 27.11.2015. Furthermore, the bill of
30 .09.2016 on investments (including foreign direct investments) will help to boost the implementation of the 2020 strategic plan of the country, a real opportunity for many new projects. According to that plan Tunisian GDP which stood at 19% in 2016 should increase up to 24% by 2020.

The rather small but dynamic group of attendees (30) were mainly academics (professors, PhD students) came from the university of Tunis, Sousse and Monastir. The meeting was also attended by a professor from Iraq and executive from Algeria. Two entrepreneurs (Fatouma Maazoug and Dora Moellhi, see picture) from a communication company presented a initiative called ‘one day one dream’, consisting of crowd funding iniative to help young people make their dreams come true using adequate communication means, essentially social media. This social initiative, if treated as a project could become an ideal target for IPMA’s product “coaching for development”.

                                                      Picture 1: two entrepreneurs from the communication sector presenting their initiative ‘one dream, one day”

The context of political and economic revival of Tunisia, a country of 12 million inhabitants the attendees raised many questions and the fruitful exchange was an opportunity to identify the potential board members of the association. It is critical that in addition to the academic world more people from the private sector were needed and that project management impacts all areas of society where projectification was well under way.

Picture 2: Attendees of the afternoon workshops of the IPMA Training Aid Programme Event in Sousse (Tunisia)

After an intensive week the Maghreb where Tunesia was the last event, it became clear that although Morocco, Algeria and Tunesia have different levels of project maagememt awareness and maturity, the many common cultural aspects show th epotentail of a future regional approach to project management, including common events and activities such as certification, membership and strategic interest groups on the Latnet model.

Picture 3: One of the historical doors of the Ribat (fortress) of  Monastir, near Sousse (Tunesia)

Let’s continue to enter the beautiful Tunesian doors to a country where project management is more than welcome and where hope for a better future will  increase thanks to Tunesian Project Management Association in creation with the support of IPMA.


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Amin Saidoun

Author of this post

Amin Saidoun is Executive Director of International Project Management Association, an international federation of project management associations around the world. Amin Saidoun, is an economist and graduate from London School of Economics and Political Sciences. He is a project manager who gained his 20 years of experience in international projects both in medium sized and multinational organisations in auditing, consulting and the logistics domain. As Executive Director of IPMA, he is in charge of the area Finance and Administration, Business Development of IPMA activities in Africa and the Middle-East and involved is various internal development projects and governance. He is author and co-author on various project management and business administration related articles. Among his areas of interest: intercultural project management