The political upheavals of 2011 in North Africa paved the way for a long transition process towards an uncertain outcome. Switzerland's activities are aimed at fostering a more inclusive, prosperous and peaceful region. Tunisia and Egypt are the two priority countries for the SDC in Switzerland's International Cooperation Strategy 2021–24 in North Africa.

North Africa is made up of countries with very different profiles. Owing to their geopolitical weight and their proximity to Europe, they are important partners for Switzerland. All the countries of the region face the same difficulties and issues of fragility: high unemployment, especially among young people and women; corruption; gender-based discrimination; regional disparities; and political, economic and social exclusion. On top of that, they also have to contend with precarious security conditions, economic stagnation and high migration flows.