Framing the discussion against the backdrop of continued economic stagnation in Tunisia and drawing on examples from Kasserine specifically, Aliriza outlined how corruption was hurting Tunisia’s potential economic recover in four key areas:

  1. Job creation;
  2. Foreign assistance;
  3. Development & investment;
  4. The production of alternative economies.

Aliriza argued that these issues of corruption pose a real threat to security and to the social fabric, the latter evidenced by the countrywide protests in January.

To combat these problems, Aliriza called for corruption to be prioritised by foreign donors, partners and the Tunisian government and warned that without action there would be significant unrest in the months to come. He also proposed that the Tunisian government consider making more arrests based on cases of nepotism, bribery, or kickbacks practised by members of the ousted former President Ben Ali’s clan. This, he suggested, would send a message that might curb systemic corruption.

The discussion was moderated by Chloe de Preneuf, Programme Coordinator at the Legatum Institute.

About the Speaker

Fadil Aliriza is a Visiting Senior Fellow for the Legatum Institute’s Transitions Forum. Fadil is an accomplished journalist and analyst with a special focus on Tunisia and Libya. His work regularly appears in Democracy Lab, the Legatum Institute’s online partnership with Foreign Policy magazine. In addition, he has contributed to NPR, BBC, The Atlantic Council and The Independent. Previously, Fadil served as Editor of Foreign News at the Hürriyet Daily News in Istanbul, Turkey, where he was based. Over the course of his fellowship at the Legatum Institute, Fadil will research and author a series of papers that analyse how certain state actors in Tunisia are shaping the debate around the country’s democratic transition. Fadil is currently pursuing a Master's degree in Middle East politics at SOAS, University of London.