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Skilled jobs retained in Tunisia

News from 2020-09-14 / DEG

In Germany, when companies do not have enough work for their employees owing to the coronavirus pandemic, the usual response is to provide them with short-time working allowances. In Tunisia, there were also efforts geared towards avoiding widespread loss of jobs during the country-wide lockdown. Here, however, foreign companies were expected to continue paying wages on their own, without any support from the state. This can bring even established companies to the brink of collapse very quickly.

Tunisia is also where Kaschke Components GmbH has five production facilities, where it manufactures customer-specific inductive components, mainly for electrical circuits. These can be found for example in industrial robots, washing machines, electric cars and medical technology.

DEG provided the company with a short-term loan from the AfricaConnect programme for coronavirus-related support, which is financed with funds from the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). This made it possible to continue paying the wages and salaries of all staff, including temporary employees. Kaschke employs no fewer than 1,800 people in Tunisia, more than 90 percent of which are women. In some cases, they are the second generation of their family to work at the German SME, which has been producing components in the North African country for more than 40 years. As Joachim Prieß, Managing Director of Kaschke Components GmbH, explains: The trust shown to us and DEG’s flexiblity with regard to this loan during such a major crisis has been instrumental in helping us to ensure that our employees are provided for. As an SME, we have not been able to secure any loans for Tunisia to date.”

AfricaConnect is part of the German government’s Development Investment Fund and is implemented by DEG. It is geared towards the subsidiaries of European companies that are already active in Africa or that are planning to enter the market there.

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