Tunisia is a country racked with numerous and very serious problems. Some of the major ones have already been covered within my previous posts such as environmental degradation, national security, terrorism, global warming , economic expansion, human rights, and global warming. Each one builds off of multiple of the other issues leading to an undesirable complexity as to how to address them for a weak Tunisian democracy. It is very difficult to choose Tunisia’s biggest problem as a result of this. Despite all of the hardships endured by Tunisians, according to my research, the people are very hopeful for their country.
According to the World Bank, there are three messages from a recent analysis by the World Bank as to how Tunisia can make progress into the 21st century. These are :
- The pace of structural reform needs to move forward decisively, particularly in the areas of trade and investment liberalization.
- The state needs to decrease further its size and and role in the economy, strengthen its actions in the provision of public goods, and encourage a higher level of private investment-both domestic and foreign.
- Environmental constraints mean that further adjustments in growth plans must take place, particularly in agriculture and tourism.
However, there some good aspects as well. Tunisia has a literacy rate of 74.3% and female literacy is 65.3%. (http://www.africaw.com/tunisia-today-major-issues-and-challenges)The latter percentage is a very good one within the Arab world but is lacking when compared to other regions in the world. Despite the environmental degradation, Tunisia has an abundance of natural resources such as: petroleum, zinc, salt, phosphates, iron ore, etc. (http://www.africaw.com/tunisia-today-major-issues-and-challenges) Within my prior posts, I have illustrated that Tunisia wants to become a major economic power within the emerging global market place. However, as it continues to strive for this goal, it needs to first address its business sector. While recording the lowest fiscal deficit and public debt ratio of all Arab countries in transition within the year 2011, it also posted the highest unemployment rate. Currently, the unemployment rate is 18.9%. In addition, in 2011, 82 enterprises left Tunisia. Thus, 2010 had an account deficit worth 4.8 % of the GDP but in 2011, it is worth 7.8% of the GDP. ( http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/survey/so/2012/CAR090512A.htm)
One could say, in essence, that Tunisia’s current economic problems seem to be related to the lack of the political will necessary to overcome them. (http://gpf-europe.com/context/publications/?id=17028) These problems have been worsened as an effect of the revolution in 2011. However, the government needs to get stronger and start bettering the business sector if the country will build itself up and to eventually achieve its goals. The people have hope that once their fledgling democracy grows and becomes more stable, that true progress will be made from the previous regime’s rule. Already Tunisia can boast a high literacy rate, focusing on female involvement more so than other countries, and progress has been made to strengthen the constitution in order to address such things as global warming and human rights. But with the rise of terrorism, many outside countries fear that if the Tunisian government doesn’t strengthen its government, than the country will not be able to survive. As such, I would have to say that the biggest problem facing Tunisia would have to be strengthening the constitution and therefore the government as a result. With more stable and strong leadership, the country will be able to exist and pursue its economic, social, and political goals. With the globalization taking place, this isn’t just an issue for Tunisia, but also the rest of the world.
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