Tunisia: $500 Million African Export-Import Bank Loan Approved

by | Jun 2, 2023 | Economic, Tunisia


On 1 June 2023, the Tunisian Parliament approved by majority vote an agreement to obtain a loan from the African Export-Import Bank, in the amount of $500 million US dollars. The agreement was finalized in April 2023, but was pending approval by Parliament.

The terms of the loan stipulate repayment over a period of 5 years, with a grace period of 2 years.

Parliament affirmed that the law approving receipt of the loan aims to mobilize external sources for borrowing necessary to finance the state budget for the year 2023. The bulk of the loan funds will reportedly be spent on supplying grain and fuel to the Tunisian market, both of which have shown signs of supply chain disruptions in recent weeks.

In light of the ongoing severe economic crisis, Tunisia has been seeking for some time to obtain foreign financing, particularly as negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are still ongoing.

The Tunisian economy is facing inflation of about 10.01% and an indebtedness rate of 79.9% of GDP, according to data presented by the Ministry of Finance during the plenary session of Parliament.


To overcome the current financial and economic crises, Tunisia will need to borrow significant funds in the short-term. The loan from the African Export-Import Bank will provide short-term relief but leaves a significant gap in Tunisia’s national budget that explicitly included a $2 billion funding agreement with the IMF.

While President Kais Saied continues to search for financing options that do not include a loan deal with the IMF, most analysts and commentators have concluded that Tunisia has few other viable options. Most other sources of funding have either formally or informally made their granting of loan funds contingent upon completion of the IMF deal. 

As shortages of basic goods appear to be worsening due to Tunisia’s waning creditworthiness, potential continues to grow for unrest and frustration among Tunisians bearing the cost of rising costs and inflation.


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