The Cities Alliance Madinatouna II project is supporting the Tunisian city of Medenine to mobilize financing for a new flagship investment that aims to stimulate economic development.
Medenine is the commercial and trade centre of Southern Tunisia and under the leadership of its Mayor and the city council, a multi-stakeholder partnership designed a 4.6 million EUR commercial hub. The hub’s inclusive design will host crafts workers, migrant workers, and trade and logistics companies. It will also serve as an incubator space for social entrepreneurs and start-ups.
By spatially centralizing economic activities, the hub is expected to reduce existing local traffic congestion and uncontrolled waste disposal. By integrating formal and informal vendors currently occupying surrounding roads of the city centre this hub will generate more revenues for more stakeholders. Moreover, by incorporating green building processes such as using sustainable local materials and rainwater harvesting, the hub will be energy-efficient.
To attract investors, Cities Alliance advised the city on ways to improve its project preparation so that they are in line with international best practices. One way this was done was by integrating the city’s flagship project into SOURCE, an infrastructure project preparation and management software funded by multilateral development banks and hosted by the Sustainable Infrastructure Foundation (SIF).
The tool, already in use in nearly 900 projects in 98 countries, builds on international standards such as ILO’s Decent Work Agenda, the OECD Principles for Public Governance of Public-Private Partnerships, the Paris Agreement, and the SDGs.
SOURCE provides a comprehensive view of all aspects to consider for the preparation of sustainable infrastructure. It covers governance, technical, economic, legal, financial, environmental, and social issues. It uses sector-specific templates covering all the stages of the project cycle and allowing the definition of specific targets to fulfil global goals.
The project preparation process facilitates identifying and attracting public and private investors to back the inclusive commercial hub.
The SOURCE team is currently training city officials and technical staff to sharpen their skills in pitching infrastructure investment projects. As a next step, the municipal staff will present their proposals to potential investors.
This multi-week training programme has several components. These include teaching participants to prepare investment projects, learning how to coordinate between different project stakeholders and how to apply for external financing. Participants also study how to manage multi-million investment projects efficiently and transparently throughout project cycle stages, from identification to execution.
The training programme supports the city to digitize its work and use digital platforms and instruments to promote the project among potential investors.
Medenine is the first city in Tunisia to apply SOURCE. This pilot project has sparked the interest of the Tunisian government. The Foundation for Sustainable Infrastructure is in discussion with the European Union and the Tunisian Government about adapting the tool to the Tunisian regulatory context.