Tunis/Tunisia — Tunisia seeks to strenghten its social welfare system through a reform programme and gear up for transition to new working schemes, Social Affairs Minister Malek Ezzahi said in an address at the 48th Arab Labour Conference in Cairo (September 18-25).
"This reform agenda is intended to establish good governance in the management of social funds, ensure good control of their expenses and improve their ability to to repay their debts," he added.
"It also aims to pursue necessary reforms of social security systems, control deficits in pension systems in the public and private sectors and revise the social security system for workers by putting in place a new insurance system which will cover the risk of job loss for economic reasons," the minister said.
The emphasis placed on "digital economy and job-related issues" in Arab Labour Organisation (ALO) Director General Fayez Ali Al Mutairi's report, Ezzahi said, reflects the organisation's keenness to be in tune with the challenges facing Arab countries, notably technological developments, artificial intelligence, digitisation, etc.
Technological challenges, digital divide and the lack of the necessary infrastructure for this transition require Arab countries to pool efforts in order to put in place a joint legal framework for technology-related jobs.
Technical cooperation in digital economy needs to be stepped up, the minister said. It is also highly important to develop partnerships with international organisations to narrow the gap with developed countries.
Artificial intelligence and new working schemes offer job opportunities on the medium and long term in Arab countries, he added.
Tunisia put in place a national strategy for artificial intelligence. The first phase revolves around major pilot projects in health, transport and education in a bid to prepare for transition to the knowledge economy.