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Home Countries Tech216 – The Digital Gateway Between Germany and Tunisia

The shortage of skilled tech workers decreases European and German growth prospects. Luckily, a largely untapped pool
of IT professionals is just around the corner. Tunisia offers highquality services at a bargain rate, and Tech216 is the gateway to this ecosystem and its advantages.

Germans have a word for everything: Weltschmerz, Schadenfreude and, Fachkräftemangel. The latter describes the chronic shortage of skilled workers, a problem that is becoming more common across all developed economies. While most sectors
face this challenge, the lack of technology workers is becoming a serious barrier to innovation and growth for countries and companies alike.

The Main Square of Tuni, Picture: Juan Ordonez via Unsplash.com

Leading companies have started outsourcing IT and business processes to countries with large talent pools to bridge the widening skills gap. The go-to outsourcing destinations were usually found in East and South Asia. But as the outsourcing industry is growing quickly – studies forecast an annual CAGR of 4,5 % over the next five years – new locations in the Middle-East and North Africa are emerging fast. Here, Tunisia is well on its way to becoming a regional leader in digital technologies. The digital economy contributes 11% to GDP and is one of the fastestgrowing industries in the country. More than 1,600
companies already employ over 80,000 well-qualified professionals.

The Tech216 Story

Tech216’s mission is to help German and European companies to satisfy their IT outsourcing needs by connecting them with Tunisia’s emerging tech industry and its diverse IT sourcing opportunities.

As the capabilities and possibilities of digital technologies are multiplying, so does a company’s need to have a trusted advisor when it comes to realising an outsourcing project. We are an efficient and reliable facilitator, enabling our customers to focus on their core businesses and solve capacity challenges while saving time and money at the same time. Tech216 offers various consulting services, such as setting up cooperation and support with agile process structures.

Our team members are experts in international business development and guide our customers through the various project stages, navigate potential pitfalls and ensure successful completion. Thanks to our deep knowledge of the Tunisian ICT market and a vast network of relevant contacts, we serve as a central contact point for cooperation between Germany and Tunisia.

Tech216 is supported by the Special Initiative on Training and Job Creation of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), which also operates under the Invest for Jobs brand (see also page 65). The project is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH – Germany’s leading provider of international cooperation services in cooperation with the Tunisian Ministry of Communication Technologies and Smart Tunisia.

Why Tunisia?

Tunisian IT service providers deliver high-quality operational efficiency and cost-effectiveness at close geographical proximity to Europe (only two hours flight time from Europe’s main capitals). The country has made great strides in fostering an innovative ecosystem by providing a business-friendly regulatory environment, including a Start-Up act, and investing in the necessary infrastructure, a prerequisite for the digital economy. Since data privacy and security are sensitive points in international business cooperation, Tunisia has enacted a legal framework aligned to the EU’s GRDP.

The education system also focuses on digitalisation: there are 40,000 students in technical courses, of which a striking 61 % are female students. Contrary to popular belief, Tunisians do not only speak French. The majority of young tech workers are proficient in English since they have studied or worked in Europe.

This experience abroad also means that they are familiar with the European work culture and standards.

You can read the full article in the Outsourcing Destination Guide Tunisia, which is available for free download at www.outsourcing-destinations.org

About the Authors: Meryem Richter, Project manager for Tech216 and the Digital Transformation Centre in Tunisia, focusing on industry 4.0, digital entrepreneurship and IT Sourcing.

Ahmed Bouden, Digital transformation expert for Tech216 and the digital transformation center in Tunisia.

Bassant Helmi, Co-Founder and CEO of MENA Business GmbH and the project lead of Tech216.

Amel Saidane, president of TunisianStartups, co-founder of Betacube, and Digital2‐Value.

Mehdi Layouni, Software Engineer. With more than 20 years IT experience, delivering IT-projects for German and European companies and institutions.

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