North Africa Construction: Tunisia
The Tunisian economy is expected to grow by 2.4% in 2017 (+1.6% in 2016) and to see steady improvement over following years to reach an annual growth rate of 4.5% by 2020 (source: Euromonitor).
In particular, a number of large projects are under way in the construction sector, most notably the Tunis Financial Harbour, on which work began in late November 2016. Tunis Financial Harbour is an offshore banking and financial hub strategically located at the centre of the Mediterranean region. It is located on a 523 hectare site with excellent connections 25 km north of the capital and just 15 km from Tunis-Carthage airport. The investment, valued at more than US $3 billion, will create 1,600 new jobs and aims to make Tunisia a financial hub for the whole of Africa.
Tunis Sports City, a mega-project valued at US $5 billion, is under construction on a 250 hectare (2.5 km2) to the north of the Lake of Tunis . The project includes 9 sports academies, a golf course, hotels and luxury apartments, shopping centres, schools and private clinics. In the field of residential construction, Prime Minister Youssef Chahed has launched the government’s “first home” project as part of the 2017 budget.
The government has allocated a budget of 200 million dinars (around 82 million euros) to allow a large portion of the population to purchase their own homes by taking out loans on very favourable terms. Fehri Chaabane, chairman of the Estate Agents’ Federation, announced that 1,100 housing units are already available with a further 4,000 to be released in 2018.
The Tunisian government is also promoting a green building public awareness campaign aimed at saving energy through the use of heat insulating envelopes, which save between 15% and 40% of energy consumption for summer air conditioning. A total of 7,500 energy-efficient houses were built in 2015 compared to 6,000 in 2011.