Anouar Maarouf, Minister of Communication Technologies and Digital Economy, said in an exclusive interview with AfricanManager that the digitization of the Tunisian administration is of great importance to fight corruption.
He added that the “Digital Tunisia 2020” strategy will facilitate the integration of young graduates into the job market, pointing out in the same context that the coverage of interior regions in Internet is one of the main priorities of his department.
Which projects is your department currently working on?
We have a series of projects to achieve in the digital sector. For example and in the framework of the strategy “Digital Tunisia 2020”, MPs voted on the “Startup Act”.
Through this program, young Tunisian graduates will have the opportunity to start their own businesses. We will also create funds to encourage the creation of these businesses.
We are also engaged to ensure the digitization of the Tunisian administration; several services have been recently digitized.
Similarly, we are working on the national effort to strengthen the export of various services in collaboration with the Tunisian Post.
What are the projects planned for the disadvantaged areas?
We attach great importance to the interior regions of the country. We aim to integrate young graduates from these areas and we intend to support them so that they can access the job market.
The coverage of many areas in Internet remains a major project for the Ministry of Technology.
Through the networks of the Cyber Park, the technoparks, we also want to create more mobility, bring these young people closer to economic enterprises and this within the framework of the program “Digital Tunisia”.
What is the role of the Ministry of Technology in the “Easy Export” project?
The desired objective of the “Easy Export Project” is to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the field of export. 90% of the industrial fabric Tunisia is of course made up of SMEs.
We have found that Tunisian SMEs find enormous difficulties in terms of exports, given that a large majority of these companies do not have the culture of export.
It is for this reason that we have launched this new system that further facilitates the mechanisms of export through the digitization of procedures (cost reduction, administrative speed, access to international markets …).
We support SME exporters to export their products as soon as possible. The export sector in Tunisia remains among the major levers of economic growth.
What is the main objective of the new platform “ecom@africa”?
We have two main projects: the first is the “Easy Export” platform, which aims to facilitate export procedures.
The second is “ecom@africa”, a platform that will unleash the potential of Tunisian small and medium-sized enterprises worldwide.
Through this e-commerce, SMEs will benefit from easier, more transparent procedures at a reduced cost.
Our companies will exhibit their various products internationally, of course in collaboration with the Tunisian Post.
This project was launched and we are putting the finishing touches on this ambitious program.
I want to note that the volume of e-commerce relating to the Tunisian Post has reached 1% and we aim for 5% by 2022. We want thousands of Tunisian SMEs to integrate this system.
Many ministers had brought corruption cases to court … What about your department?
The Ministry of Technology is at the heart of the fight against corruption. If we talk about technology, we talk about various mechanisms to deal with it.
My department is small, so we do not have corruption cases. But I want to assure you that if we receive files or complaints in this area, we will deal with these cases as quickly as possible.
Our concern is to put an end to corruption through the digitization of procedures, which will ensure transparency; therefore the digitization of the administration in Tunisia is a key vector to fight corruption.
And what about the fight against cybercrime?
We are working on a legal framework to fight against cybercrime, it will be submitted to the Prime Ministry and subsequently it will be adopted by the Parliament