From Tunisia to Sfax, despite many obstacles, many students and workers who can formalize their status are beginning to assume obligations.
In the eastern port city of Sfax in Tunisia, smugglers smuggled into Europe and the deadly shipwreck of certain ships severely damaged daily life. However, in the economic center of the country’s second largest city, there are other stories being written: the story of an entrepreneurial project developed in the Sfax community of sub-Saharan immigrants, the association has nearly 2,500 students and 6,000 to 7,000 workers. The network is woven by the diaspora.
Paul Laurent Nyobe Lipot, a 28-year-old Cameroonian, is preparing a weekend training course in a building a few meters high near the port in the city center to provide projects for immigrant women.The wall of the incubator is named Do it -It means “undertake” in Swahili-in line with the business plan. “We want to be a springboard to help start a business and support projects for sub-Saharan Tunisian students who graduated from Tunisian universities, but the labor market has a high unemployment rate.”, Paul Laurent explained.
He added that his mission is “Cannot be separated from many sub-Saharan workers also living in the social reality of abnormal conditions”. It opened the door to another room designed to accommodate victims who suffered trauma during the migration. They can benefit from on-site psychological assistance.
“As an activist in civil society, I am tired of participating in conferences on the immigration situation in sub-Saharan Tunisia without being proactive.” Paul Laurent pointed out that he showed a cabinet full of pasta, washing powder, hydroalcohol gel and masks. Under the initiative of the incubator, a food bank was also established to provide support to immigrants under unstable conditions.
With the help of donors such as the International Organization for Migration and the European Union, the Kufanya incubator provides legal support and a small amount of financial support to aspiring entrepreneurs. “Many people don’t know how to start a business or even think it’s impossible because they are foreigners. We want to prove that they are the opposite. Even if this is not a miracle solution to prevent illegal departure from Europe, we can help some people in Tunisia develops a project”, The engineer was appointed through training and installed in the country for 7 years. More than 30 entrepreneurs left the last two queues and are completing their projects.
Under unexpected circumstances, Tunisia has homes of 30,000 to 40,000 sub-Saharan African migrant workers who are in an abnormal situation.and so Start method, The plan was voted through in 2018 and aims to encourage founders of start-ups to open up, including for foreigners who develop business in the country. This legislative framework has allowed start-ups to be tax-free for nearly eight years, which has benefited some former Kufanyas.
This is the case with 24-year-old Gadus Niyonzima. Students from a private vocational school in Sousse have started a project to build drones for Burundi, his country of origin, to deliver medicines to remote villages. “I received support from the school in Tunisia and received a grant by winning the game”, He explained. His entrepreneurship, All, Obtained the label of “Start-up Act”. He is working with the Sub-Saharan and Tunisian team on the title ” Makerlab.
In Tunisia, Jean-Philippe Kokora, originally from Côte d’Ivoire, also enjoys this precious label. He is developing an African e-commerce social network. grandmother.The 21-year-old was also passed by Kunfunya, in a geographical location in Tunisia “A springboard for communication with the rest of the mainland”.
The entrepreneur and mentor of Kuvania, Ahmed Hamouda (Ahmed Hamouda) is also pleased with Tunisia’s approval of the new African Continental Free Trade Area, Zlecaf, which will promote the inclusion of the Maghreb Trade between African countries within. ” It is still a nascent ecosystem, but it has great potential because it has moved to Africa instead of Europe, where the market is saturated and the competition is fierce.”, He pointed out.
Another advantage: The investment law since 2016 allows foreign entrepreneurs to establish a local company in the service industry without having to partner with a Tunisian-an obligation for most other industries.
Most of these entrepreneurs still need to overcome many obstacles to complete their projects. Franck Yotedje Tafo, the chairman of the African Intelligence Association dedicated to defending the rights of immigrants, especially the founder of the Sapientia consulting company in Sfax, pointed out the lack of access to funds. And there is also the issue of racism. He believes that it is necessary to change the face of migration in the country.
“As an entrepreneur, I am a person who creates added value, and I am a potential investor, so I must be treated the same.”He pointed out that he believes that Tunisia is still working hard to develop “Cultural and Economic Wealth” Can represent the overseas diaspora in sub-Saharan Africa.
Other non-student files processed by Paul Laurent Nyobe Lipot attest to these difficulties. Dorexe Bassa Yaha, 42, wears a pink wig on his head and high heels on high heels, proudly telling about his experience as a Tunisian female entrepreneur. “This is not an easy road”.
Future home and work “Sunset is good” As it is known in the country that domestic helpers are often exploited, because under abnormal circumstances, the Ivorian finally allocated enough money to provide Paul Laurent with his project: importing and selling Ivorian products in Tunisia.
With the support of the incubator, Dorexe Bassa Yaha also used her apartment as an office, and established a company called African Market Sell fabrics, shampoos, hair extensions and cosmetics from Côte d’Ivoire to wholesalers and individuals.