Water Policy Dialogue in Tunisia: A step forward to better governance and financial sustainability of the water sector

The Policy Dialogue in the framework of the joint GWP-Med and OECD Project on Governance & Financing for the Mediterranean Water Sector held its second consultation workshop in Tunis on March 5, 2014.

Around 60 key stakeholders actively participated including the ministries of agriculture, environment, economy and finance, interior; water operators (SONEDE and ONAS); municipalities; private sector; civil society; donors; academia; and experts.

The opening session of the Workshop included interventions made by Mr. Slah Nasri, Bureau de la Planification et des Equilibres Hydrauliques, Tunisian Ministry of Agriculture and Mr. Edouard Perad, the European Investment Bank (EIB).

Following up from the first consultation workshop, which discussed a diagnostic analysis of governance and financing of the Tunisian water sector, a draft National Report was prepared by a team of OECD experts. The Report included a list of preliminary recommendations towards overcoming the key governance obstacles for achieving financial sustainability of the sector.

During the second workshop, discussions revolved around the findings and recommendations of the Report that were structured around three main areas:

a) Governance challenges to overcome in relation to the institutional and legal framework;

b) Transparency mechanisms, stakeholders involvement and budget implications of the sector decisions; and

c) Financial viability and budget sustainability of private sector participation (PSP) in the water sector of Tunisia.

International experiences from the Mediterranean region and beyond were shared in order to identify available economic policy options and discuss concretely the benefits, costs, challenges and framework conditions to consider when choosing between public and PSP mode. The workshop discussions were enriched with lessons learnt from the Moroccan experience presented by Mr. Ahmed Benaddou, Head of the Division Organisation of the Water Branch at ONEE and Advisor to the Deputy Ministry of Water in Morocco.

Participants actively engaged into discussions, shared valuable insights and provided feedback on the draft Report. All comments will be taken duly into account and the Report will be revised accordingly. The next steps of the dialogue include the finalisation of the National Report and the preparation of an action plan based on the suggested and agreed recommendations.

Please find below all relevant documents:

Presentations (FR)