Name of the municipality: Sousse
Population: 242,000 inhabitants (2014)
Area: 45 km2
President: Mohamed Ikbel Khaled
Contact: Mr. Daga Noureddine: email@example.com
Sousse, a flagship and historical town, is the result of diverse and precious ruins known all over the world. The city has been able to harmoniously embrace modernity by becoming a major economic hub and a top Mediterranean tourism destination. Today, it is a dynamic regional metropolis in continuous expansion.
Capital of the Governorate bearing the same name, it is the third city of Tunisia by its demographic weight, its territorial extent and its multiple functions. The prodigious growth it has experienced since the 1960s, makes it the development hub of Central Tunisia and one of the pillars of the national economy.
But it is above all seaside tourism—through the all-important place it holds in the life of the entire region—that has shaped the urban landscape and contributed largely to the development of all the potentialities. Its superb coastline and the luminosity of its sky, which has always been praised by illustrious travelers such as Maupassant, Gide, Paul Klee and many others, attract nearly one and a half million foreign visitors every year. As a result, the city’s population almost doubles during the summer season. Sousse prides itself on its very distant origins, its rich heritage and an enviable geographical setting. It has been able to make the most of the beneficial presence of the rich Mediterranean Sea to become an authentic melting pot of outstanding cultures. This is where its vocation as a haven and land of interactions was born, a cosmopolitan city, the “Pearl of the Sahel,” which remains one of its most distinctive features.
Main Economic Activities:
The city of Sousse has been able to take advantage of its favorable geographical position and its proximity to the sea, a privileged place of transit, to develop many industrial, agricultural and tourist activities. Nevertheless, this economic boom has created significant environmental challenges.
The industrial activities of the city of Sousse are diverse, mainly composed of heavy industries (production of transport equipment), textile industries and food-processing infrastructures for export (60% of the industrial units having the status of companies are entirely exporters). The industrial processes used make up a large part of the emissions.
Agriculture occupies an important place in the economy of Sousse; with more than 150 hectares of arable land, Sousse cultivates mainly olive trees and has become the second production hub after Sfax. The city’s agricultural potential is essentially the product of large and increasingly modern farms, which demonstrate a genuine ambition to increase profitability and the production of large volumes.
Sousse also enjoys a rich historical heritage which attracts tourists from all over the world. Today there are about 130 hotel units entirely dedicated to tourism throughout the city. Three large tourist resorts have been built and the sector creates nearly 20,000 jobs each year during the high season.
Conditions and Environmental Challenges:
The city of Sousse has systematically adhered to approaches to the development of renewable energies, particularly solar energy and the control of energy consumption through ambitious programs of energy efficiency and rational use of energy.
In the context of promoting renewable energies, and insofar as solar energy will provide additional capacity, the municipality has planned to implement a series of actions, with the invaluable assistance of the National Agency for Energy Management (ANME) for the use of solar energy for water heating in its sports facilities.
In designing projects, it has introduced the concept of “energy audit,” with the aim of creating buildings with a very low energy consumption footprint (including the case of the Olympic swimming pool in Sousse currently under study).
The city of Sousse is aware of the obligation of a rational use of energy in order to face the energy challenges. If it’s true that the techniques, means and human resources are still lacking in this strategic area, the will for an optimal realization of the choices is a reality shared by the administration, the private sector and the civil society.