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US $50 bn new Tunisia Economic City in the pipeline

An economic development mega-project in the name of Tunisia Economic City has been unveiled. The planned will host a variety of facilities, including a range of business and commercial centers to aid international business, research and science centers, university and medical centers, as well as branches of foreign universities.

Enfidha district, which is located strategically in the heart of the Mediterranean, will be the construction point for the new Tunisia Economic City. The city will be strategic since the district sits at the crossroads between Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

Facilities up for construction will be 14 smart zones, four economic centres, and residential areas. The plan will be to construct a modern global-level economic city that aids regional and international trade. It will have academic center, research hub and economic centers, but having residential and commercial facilities/units will make it a mixed-use development. Among the smart zones and economic centers include tourist, academic and health facilities. It will also contribute to tourism.

The economic zones will be available for use by international/multinational corporations, financial institutions, insurance firms just to mention a few, and these will take advantage of a Tax free zone.

The academic center will entail a research hub, Medical City, University City, research hub and an agriculture center. Hence, it will have “cities” within a city. Foreign universities will have chance to establish branches in the academic center.

Among facilities to be set up in the research and science hub include laboratories. Developed countries will also have science institutes and research centers. The new Tunisia Economic City is also expected to attract and offer accommodation for researchers and international experts, as well as Arabs and Muslims residing in Western countries. This could help Tunisia solve escalating brain drain, with reports indicating that the rate of return for students who go for studies abroad is 7%. International-grade research hub will also aid the country increase high-tech exporters and researchers, as well as aid in scientific discoveries.

Many other cities dreamed across Africa take longer time to complete and sit on massive lands: the new Tunisia Economic City will be no different, as it will be set up on a 90 square kilometer piece of land and will be constructed over 15 years duration. It will provide facilities to support medical tourism, have a Sports City, as well as a media city.

The city will also help provide many employment opportunities in the country, especially to university graduates, by availing 250, 000 jobs once completed.

The plan was announced during the Invest in Tunisia Startup Democracy on the 8th of September this year. There has been a wave of construction of techno cities and mega cities around Africa recently, or planning of the same, in order to open up economies. Examples include Konza techno city project and Tatu City project in Kenya – both already underway.

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