Project objectives

  • To support the setting up of a national body monitoring financial inclusion
  • To strengthen stakeholders’ capacities 

Project manager

European Investment Bank (EIB)

EIB EU SLOGAN B English 4c

Developing the inclusive finance sector in Tunisia through the provision of technical assistance and trainings

The broadening of the provision of inclusive finance services is one of the essential drivers of socio-economic development in Tunisia. ADA has therefore decided to establish a partnership with the Republic of Tunisia, the EIB, and the Luxembourg Ministry of Foreign Affairs through the FEMIP, with the aim of developing the financial inclusion of the populations with difficult access to conventional banking services. 

MicroMED: a flagship project for Tunisia and MENA

After the Jasmine Revolution, the improved access and use of financial services emerged as a priority for the country's socioeconomic development. The following figures are highly indicative of the entire issue: even if nowadays the entire Tunisian population holds an account in a banking institution, 64% do not have access to the various financing services or make a very limited use of them (CGAP 2015).

The six-year MicroMED program was launched in 2013, in response to the requirements identified by the Republic of Tunisia. Through the support it brings to the microfinance sector, MicroMED aims at promoting job creation and financial inclusion, by improving low-income populations’ access to financial services (credit, savings, payments, fund transfers, etc.) and by developing the microfinance institutions’ ability to meet growing demand. 

MicroMED promotes the strengthening of skills and qualifications by supporting educational initiatives in academic and on-going training. The program provides technical assistance to professional organisations and public authorities, through contributing to their training and by raising their awareness of the industry’s best practices and evolving regulations.

A flagship project in Tunisia’s social and economic integration, MicroMED covers the MENA region.


Technical assistance for inclusive finance

Through improving and disseminating knowledge on financial inclusion, market growth and greater transparency, ADA helps create conditions that allow microfinance institutions to better meet the specific requirements of 3.5 million families and 245,000 Tunisian companies, which are still excluded from financial services as the services currently on offer are not tailored to their needs.

ADA was selected as an expert in inclusive finance, to support the implementation of the MicroMED project to strengthen the sector and contribute to the development of inclusive finance.

Two lines of action are going to be implemented in order to address this issue:  

1. Supporting the creation of a national observatory on financial inclusion

This observatory, which will be hosted at the Central Bank of Tunisia, will both analyse and monitor the state and development of financial inclusion in Tunisia. It will also be entrusted with the task of disseminating information and, more specifically, will serve as a tool to support decision-making for the public authorities, operators and donors.  

2. Building the capacity of the stakeholders and developing the market

This will involve supporting the economic and institutional viability of the microfinance operators, improving the staff’s skills, making the practitioners aware of good practice in microfinance, and providing information to the segments of the population targeted by microfinance. 

  • agence

    An agency of Taysir Microfinance in Tunis

  • Aymen Ben Lakhdar

    Aymen Ben Lakhdar, Director of a Taysir Microfinance Agency

  • Chaari Itidel

    Chaari Itidel, Directrice de Ressources Humaines chez Taysir

Meet Taysir Microfinance, an MFI that has attended the courses offered by MicroMED

Chaari Itidel, Director of Human Resources, and Aymen Ben Lakhdar, Director of an agency of Taysir Microfinance, explain the operation of one of the largest MFIs in Tunisia.

In 2014, Taysir was accredited as a microfinance institution. This is the first MFI created after the adaptation of the law on microfinance in Tunisia in 2011 that regulates the sector.

"The legal framework is now favorable to the expansion and development, as well as the evolution of the Microfinance sector in Tunisia," says Taysir HRD.

Although still young, Taysir is an MFI with fundamental values ​​such as innovation, coaching, training and customer proximity.

Mobile banking in daily practice

Taysir wants to be close to his client by using the new techniques. Among other things, mobile agencies move to customers who live outside major Tunisian cities. The MFI also operates 100% cashless disbursements and payments are made via mobile devices.

Their clients just need the phone and the postcard (worth around €8) to get the money back.

The importance of a well-selected client

Taysir focuses on the customer's choice. Most of the work is done during the prospecting, to know the profile of the client before granting credit. Surveys are conducted. For the client's first credit, two advisers work in pairs.

An accompanying credit and training available to everyone

In fact, Taysir is an MFI that is very involved in capacity building. Both the client and the Taysir employee can choose between many trainings to learn and develop in this very recent sector in Tunisia. The agency's staff, agents and credit counselors are constantly being trained to best manage the client's profile. The manager of the agency, despite his background from a business school in Tunis, also needed more specialized training in microfinance to work in an MFI.

In addition to follow-up through active coaching, and many training in management and finance, Taysir provides everyone on its website with a toolbox that allows you to learn how to manage a business.

Customer accompaniment and proximity are at the heart of Taysir's operation: "We technically support in training, management and finance, but also in self-confidence, especially for young graduates, advise them and improve their product."

All types of projects are funded, ranging from income-generating activities, to ready-to-wear, catering, and crafts, but the one that is the most financed is agriculture and livestock.

Taysir is also very attentive to gender parity in their clientele, more than 50% of Taysir clients are female: "The best customers are women! They are more responsible", confirms the director of the agency visited.

In addition to the social mission, the MFI is committed to sustainable and ecological development: "We are very proud of our recycling project Rascalni, which also raises awareness about sorting out waste," he adds.

"Thanks to MicoMED"

Taysir participated in the first courses given by MicroMED. "In Tunisia, there were no microfinance experts before MicroMED, it was a primordial need to have a framework to extend expertise," says Taysir HRD.

Impressed by the mission of MicroMED to train the trainers, our two interlocutors say: "The idea is great to share the knowledge and to continue it independently. It is very interesting to be in contact with other MFIs as well, to share the experience. We are not in competition but we share in order to advance the sector."

Taysir in numbers:

  • 100% mobile, without cash
  • 6 agencies in Tunisia (Expansion project with new agencies)
  • 7 mobile antennas: wheeled agencies that can access rural customers and farmers
  • 90 people employed in 6 regions with a total of 7,000 customers
  • 54% female clients
  • 46% young people (- 35 years old)
  • 54% of customers in regional development zone
  • PAR 30: 3%


directeur ACA

Interview with Mounir Drissi, General Director of ABF

On November 9, the inauguration of the first microfinance training center in Tunis took place. On this occasion, we met Mounir Drissi, General Director of the Academy of Banking and Finance (ABF) in Tunis where the training will be held.

"An Academy created by banks and for banks"

Why was it so essential for the ABF to add the Certification in Continuing Education in Microfinance?

Our mission is to adapt training programs to the changes in the environment and to the changing realities of credit institutions and the world of finance in Tunisia.

The Academy wants to be very close to reality and the topical issues by meeting the expectations coming from banks with the objective to upgrade their staff. It was therefore natural that with the birth and development of the microfinance sector in Tunisia, the ABF would also like to meet the training needs of its staff.

Microfinance is the little brother of the bank, since the amounts are lower. In addition to the very social aspect, in the end, it's the same job of finance. For the sustainability of the MFI it is important to have a specific banking training. We have already had the project to get into microfinance by being aware of training needs in this very recent sector. So when we were approached by MicroMED, we immediately said yes.

The impact of credit is also to combat unemployment, so the socio-economic aspect for the country has been very important and motivating as well.

How did the partnership with MicroMED develop?

Following the work with ADA, as part of the MicroMED project, two certificates and nine training themes will be proposed within the Academy on subjects meeting the needs of MFIs present in Tunisia. In the past, we have already been able to test and adapt these courses.

We will work with the 14 in-house trainers already trained and certified by MicroMED. It is therefore the capitalization or transfer of MicroMED know-how to the ABF. In November, MicroMED pedagogical material was handed over to the ABF for the Academy to launch the program in 2018.

Our role now is to sustain the expertise acquired so as to become autonomous.

About the Academy of Banks and Finance in Tunis:

The Academy of Banks and Finance was created in 1961 by the Central Bank of Tunisia to train managers of the banking sector mainly to ensure their evolution. As part of the Professional Association of Tunisian Banks, the ABF wants to cover all training for staff and has issued certificates and diplomas to thousands of bankers.

It also provides diplomas organized in partnership with the academic world such as masters courses in risk management, in banking governance, control and internal audit, in Human Resources, Islamic finance, or the fight against money laundering.

The ABF aims to develop skills and know-how in specific areas of banking activity and favors the sharing of experiences and skills with stakeholders from the financial community.

Tunisia inaugurates its first microfinance training center


November 9, 2017, Tunis

An important milestone for the MicroMED project and the microfinance sector in Tunisia

The Academy of Banks and Finance, specialised in education and certification of Tunisian bankers, will add a string to its bow by providing the first courses in microfinance within its premises. This is indeed a first for this country where the sector has been developing for only a few years, following the 2011 revolution.

At the inauguration, Ms. Sonia Zoghlami, from the Tunisian Ministry of Finance, stressed that "strengthening the capacity of microfinance actors in Tunisia is one of three pillars of the MicroMED project, developed by ADA". Its objective is aimed at both the growth and the professionalisation of the sector in the country. Thanks to the creation of the center, a larger number of courses can be given on a regular basis, which will accelerate the professionalisation of the actors. Two professional certifications have been put in place to qualify the management and loan officers of microfinance institutions operating in Tunisia.

Transfer of skills at the local level

After the implementation of these certifications and the program of courses on the 9 key themes, MicroMED's objective is to transfer the skills to ensure that the course is perpetuated by the Academy of Banks and Finance independently. Teachers are also composed of 14 local trainers from Tunisian MFI staff trained by ADA to transmit their skills autonomously. Mr. Ahmed el Karm, President of the ABF, thanked the authors of the project for the trust given to the ABF: "It is a heavy responsibility to train the executives of this new sector, but vital for the microfinance and for Tunisia. "

Mr. Thomas Lammar, from the Luxembourg MAEE, recalled Luxembourg's long commitment in the microfinance sector: "Active for more than 20 years in inclusive finance, Luxembourg has become a world reference with 1/3 of investments in this area and more than half of the assets under management worldwide. " He also shared his optimism regarding the optimal access to sustainable employment in Tunisia thanks to the evolution and growth of the sector.

The MicroMED project is not finished yet and one of the next steps is the implementation of the first university degree in microfinance in Tunisia.

The official inauguration of the training center took place at the Academy of Banking and Finance in Tunis with as guests:

  • Mr. Thomas Lammar, Attaché de Légation at the Directorate for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Action of the Luxembourg Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs
  • Mr Olivier Massart, Director of ADA - Luxembourg
  • Mr Bernard Georges, Project Officer MicroMED, ADA - Luxembourg
  • Mr. Ahmed el Karm, President of the ABF - Tunisia
  • Mr. Mounir Drissi, Director General of ABF - Tunisia
  • Eberhard Bömcke, Advisor, Deputy Head of Division at the EIB Luxembourg
  • Mr Joaquín Guzmán Carrizosa, Counsel - Legal Department at the EIB Luxembourg
  • Mrs Sonia Zoghlami Directorate General for Financing, Ministry of Finance - Tunisia
  • Ms. Nejla Ben Abdallah, Director of Financial Inclusion, Ministry of Finance - Tunisia
  • Ms. Amel Zaoui, Director of Microfinance, Ministry of Finance - Tunisia
  • Mr. Faker Halleb, Director of the Observatoire de l'Inclusion Financière - Tunisia
  • Mr Saloua Hsoumi, Director General of European Cooperation, Ministry of Development, Investment and International Cooperation - Tunisia
  • Mr. Bessem Mbarek, Director, Ministry of Development, Investment and International Cooperation - Tunisia
  • Mr. Mahmoud Mansour, Director General of the Microfinance Control Authority - Tunisia
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