Tunisia seeks to strengthen social protection system and transition to new work regimes: minister

Tunis/Tunisia — Tunisia is seeking to strengthen its social protection system through a reform program and is preparing for the transition to new work regimes, Social Affairs Minister Malek Ezzahi said in a speech to the 48th Arab Labor Conference in Cairo (18-25 September).

“This reform agenda aims to establish good governance in the management of social funds, ensure proper control of their expenditure and improve their ability to repay their debts,” he added.

“It also aims to continue the necessary reforms of the social security systems, to control the deficits of the pension systems in the public and private sectors and to revise the social security system for workers by setting up a new insurance system which will cover the risk of job loss for the reasons,” the minister said.

The focus on “the digital economy and employment-related issues” in the report by Arab Labor Organization (ALO) Director General Fayez Ali Al Mutairi, Ezzahi said, reflects the concern of the organization to be in tune with the challenges faced by Arab countries, including technological developments, artificial intelligence, digitization, etc.

The technological challenges, the digital divide and the lack of infrastructure necessary for this transition are forcing Arab countries to combine their efforts in order to put in place a common legal framework for technology-related jobs.

Technical cooperation in the digital economy should be strengthened, the minister said. It is also very important to develop partnerships with international organizations to reduce the gap with developed countries.

Artificial intelligence and new working patterns offer medium and long-term employment opportunities in Arab countries, he added.

Tunisia has put in place a national strategy for artificial intelligence. The first phase revolves around major pilot projects in the fields of health, transport and education in order to prepare for the transition to the knowledge economy.