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UNESCO CHAIR

Institutional DATA

  • Project title:

    Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Policy
  • Expected starting date:

    September 1st, 2015
  • Duration:

    Four (4) years
  • Domain(s) or discipline(s) concerned:

    Science and Technology
  • Name and full address of host institution(s):

    Ecole Nationale d’Ingénieurs de Tunis (ENIT),
    BP# 37, Tunis-Belvédère, 1002 Tunis, Tunisia.

  • Faculty(ies)/Department(s) concerned:

    Industrial Engineering Department, Electrical Engineering Department, Mechanical Engineering Department, Hydrology and Environmental Sciences department, Information and Communication Technology Department.
  • Executing institution:

    • Project leader:

      Professor Jelel Ezzine
      CV : http://jelelezzinecv.blogspot.com/
    • Full address/telephone/fax/e-mail/website :

      Electrical Engineering Department
      Ecole Nationale d’Ingénieurs de Tunis (ENIT)
      BP# 37, Tunis-Belvédère, 1002 Tunis, Tunisia
      Tel: +216 71 874 700
      Fax : +216 71 872 729
      E-mail : jelel.ezzine@enit.rnu.tn
      Web-site : www.enit.rnu.tn

Summary

Tunisia, after being the spark that unleashed the Arab Spring, managed to lock its transformational path on a democratic trajectory capable of leading it to an equitable sustainable knowledge society, and become a true regional and global model. However, the endogenous and exogenous contexts are quite challenging. Thus, to succeed in this historic endeavor, Tunisia has to leverage promptly but wisely the might of STI through a contextualized STI policy and governance capacity.

Consequently, to bring the country to the collectively desired normality and progressively steer it towards an equitable sustainable society it is necessary and urgent to apprehend, in time and in space, this complex transformational process holistically and to tackle the different strategic challenges methodically. In so doing, and in relation to the above diagnosis, it is mandatory to restructure, interconnect and reenergize the Tunisian National Innovation system (NIS) through viable, proactive and contextualized STI policies.

The present proposal will take the lead in, and nationally (and regionally) contribute to (i) building the critical STI policy capacity, (ii) enabling knowledge transfer and agile interfaces between the NIS components, and (iii) integrating the country in its regional, continental and global dynamics.

Context and justification :

STI has always been a strategic choice for Tunisia since its independence. The education system, which was built since the independence, played a crucial developmental role in Tunisia and allowed millions of Tunisians to climb the socio-economic ladder. In addition, the higher education and research system contributed to the present scientific and technological capacities of Tunisia. Indeed, Tunisia ranks as the first African country in numbers of journal publications per capita, its Economic Complexity Index (ECI) is among the highest in the continent and the region, and women participation in science, technology, be it inside or outside of universities, are among the highest in Africa, the Arab world and the Mediterranean shores.

Despite these noticeable successes, numerous challenges still hinder the equitable and sustainable development of Tunisia. Undeniably, the Tunisian Revolution, that ignited the Arab Spring, is a blatant manifestation of this national socio-economic malaise. Most noticeably, university degree holders’ joblessness is the main spark behind January 14th turmoil! This unemployment “Tunisian Paradox,” is the result of the accumulation of poor policies, especially those dealing with the harmonization between knowledge processes and industrial development. Indeed, this unfortunate state of affairs led to a great dissonance between the universities’ graduates output and the absorbability capacities of our stagnant industries.

To bring the country to the collectively desired normality and progressively steer it towards an equitable sustainable society it is necessary and urgent to apprehend, in time and in space, this complex transformational process holistically and to tackle the different strategic challenges methodically. In so doing, and in relation to the above diagnosis, it is mandatory to restructure, interconnect and reenergize the Tunisian National Innovation system (NIS) through viable, proactive and contextualized STI policies.

The present proposal will take the lead in, and nationally (and regionally) contribute to (i) building the critical STI policy capacity, (ii) enabling knowledge transfer and agile interfaces between the NIS components, and (iii) integrating the country in its regional, continental and global dynamics.

Objectives :

Contribute, through STI policy and governance capacity building, to the emergence of a viable Tunisian STI system, as well as national and regional ones, capable of insuring the sustainable development, the regional integration, and the wellbeing of people in Africa and beyond.