Kairouan, capital of the Kairouan Governorate, has 150,000 inhabitants. It is located 150 km south of Tunis, 70 km inland. A spiritual city with a rich heritage listed by UNESCO since 1988—the largest mosque in the city is the oldest in the country—Kairouan is a significant city for local Tunisian democracy. It will soon house the first agency for local democracy in the country.
Strasbourg, the democratic capital of Europe, wishes to demonstrate its willingness to provide concrete support through this new partnership for the ongoing democratic process in Tunisia. This is also in response to the request of the Kairouan people.
The partnership agreement between Strasbourg and Kairouan was sponsored by the Council of Europe's Congress of Local and Regional Authorities.
This new framework agreement established two major areas of this partnership: the desire to encourage active citizenship through the promotion of local democracy and participation by citizens and improved living conditions for the inhabitants of Kairouan.
Youth exchanges are a top priority through the support of the AMSED association (the Migration, Solidarity and Sharing for Development Association) that is currently working on numerous projects with its Tunisian partners. These exchanges will be continued and whenever possible will also involve young people from Fez in Morocco and Oran in Algeria.
The issue of urban mobility is also a priority in discussions between the two cities. With an undeniable expertise in urban mobility through its tram network, the application of Urban Transit Plans and the promotion of mobilities, Strasbourg now wishes to share this experience with Kairouan in collaboration with the CODATU network and the European Association for Local Democracy (ALDA).
Strasbourg and Kairouan have something else in common—their partnership with Fez. In fact, all three cities wish to develop three-way exchanges.