Peopleandstories Melek Code Cooperation


Melek Kessentini:
A peacemaker finds his purpose in HR

Soft Landing facilitates market entry for companies expanding to Tunisia. The aim is to create local jobs.

Melek's employment in Tunis for the German start-up CodeCooperation is a good example of the work of Soft Landing. The initiative by Invest for Jobs in Tunisia supported 18 European companies to set foot in the country since June 2022. Melek works for one of the companies as an HR specialist, building the IT-team needed to nearshore IT activities in Tunisia.

Twenty-nine-year old Melek Kessentini from Sfax in Tunisia is one of those people who are good at a lot of things, which can be challenging when choosing the right career. With good grades and encouragement from his family, he began a degree in Mechanical Engineering—but then he realized that the field wasn’t for him. “Year by year, I started to become more self-aware. I realized what I wanted and what I didn't want.”, he said.

So, he listened to his inner self, honed in on his people skills and joined the international exchange and leadership organization AIESEC as a volunteer. Founded following the destruction of World War II, AIESEC aims at activating student leadership qualities as well as fostering peace and acceptance through volunteering and internship opportunities abroad. Melek rose through the ranks to become honorary Vice President for Incoming Global Talent, as well as President of a local Rotaract branch – a part of the international service organization Rotary.

“The unexpected prepares you for the future.”

Melek Kessentini

Through his volunteering, he conducted numerous interviews to recruit candidates – and that is how he found what he wanted to do. “What I like about working in recruitment: there is always a challenge, but there is no 1 and 0. You are always talking with people. You are always trying to discover talents.”, he explains with a big smile. When German start-up Code Cooperation reached out with a potential job offer in human resources in March 2022, he knew it was the job opportunity he had been waiting for.

Support for start-ups and new perspectives for young talents

Code Cooperation from Berlin is a start-up that enables early-stage start-ups to set up their products by providing coding and IT- support. Code Cooperation was on the lookout for expanding their technical team and Tunisia caught the company's eye: A lot of accessible IT-talents and specialists, the relative proximity to Berlin and the ease of working in the same time zone. But what really made the difference when choosing Tunisia over other IT-competitors, for example in Asia, was the access to an existing start-up and IT-ecosystem through the initiative Soft Landing.

Soft Landing, an initiative by Invest for Jobs in Tunisia, provides workspaces with an existing IT-infrastructure and a lively network as well as other set up support like recruitment or legal advice to companies expanding to Tunisia. Other offers to European and African companies that want to set up their IT business in Tunisia include ecosystem tours as well as partner due diligence and training programs. These support services provide companies with what they need to hit the ground running. In exchange, the companies share their expertise with the Tunisian tech ecosystem and commit to creating new IT jobs for Tunisians.

With support from Soft Landing, Code Cooperation was ready to start their business in early 2022 in Tunisia. Melek was one of their first hires in March 2022. A social butterfly at heart, he quickly felt comfortable with the team and his new role. After beginning the job remotely, he started to come in to work at The Dot – a coworking space in Tunis offered by Soft Landing – in August 2022. “The open space is amazing. The restaurant downstairs, the people, the environment is great!”, he said.

Responsibility meets passion

At Code Cooperation, he has the responsibility to find just the right hires for the team to take off, such as a marketing manager, several interns and especially Fullstack developers. Apart from that, Melek has regular HR tasks, takes care of the employees and keeps an eye on changing technical needs. “There are always new technologies that you need to adapt to and there are always new needs. So, if we have new needs, we need to recruit new employees with new talents.”, he explained.

He knows he is in the right sector. “There are more and more opportunities in IT in Tunisia.”, he says. At the same time, he knows it is a challenging field, given the rapid change it is constantly undergoing. Melek is committed to staying agile, because: “The unexpected prepares you for the future.”


We are looking forward to hearing from you

Under the Invest for Jobs brand, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) has put together a package of measures to support German, European and African companies in investment activities that have a high impact on employment in Africa. The Special Initiative "Decent Work for a Just Transition" – the official title – offers comprehensive advice, contacts and financial support to overcome investment barriers. The development objective is to work together with companies to create up to 100,000 good jobs and to improve working conditions and social protection in its African partner countries.

Partner countries: Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Morocco, Rwanda, Senegal and Tunisia.

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