South Sudan, Donor and IFC Partnership Supports Development of Vibrant Private Sector
The government of South Sudan, with the support of donors, IFC and the World Bank Group, today launched an important partnership program that will support the development of the country’s private sector. South Sudan is counting on a viable private sector to contribute to its reconstruction and development as a newly independent state.
The partnership will receive its primary funding from the governments of the Netherlands and South Sudan. It also receives funding from Denmark, Ireland, Norway and USAID. The project has received donor commitments of approximately $9 million to date.
The program will be managed by IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, together with various South Sudan government ministries and private sector entities. It will focus on implementing three program components:
- The second phase of an investment climate reform project, of which attracting new investments will be one part;
- Small and medium size enterprise development project, primarily through training and capacity building, and;
- Access to finance project that explores new financial instruments such as leasing and mobile banking.
“This is a new dawn in South Sudan and we are eager to help establish a viable private sector to spearhead economic growth, with special attention to agriculture,” said Nobert Braakhuis, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands Ambassador to Sudan. “The people of South Sudan, through their new government, can count on our ongoing support contributing to broad-based social and economic prosperity as a means to continued peace and stability.”
Following the results of a January, 2011 referendum, South Sudan will officially become an independent state on July 9, 2011. Although it remains one of the least developed countries in the world, South Sudan is showing signs of progress.
To date, more than 10,000 businesses have been registered. Five new mobile phone providers have been registered and are operating, with at least 5 million accounts; at least seven commercial banks have been established, including five microfinance institutions, serving more than 10,000 families across South Sudan; at least five regional commercial airlines serve Juba alone, and another five cargo airlines have made it easier to transport goods to the region.
"South Sudan has the potential to be a new land of opportunity in Africa," said Rachel Kyte, IFC Vice President for Business Advisory Services. "The people of South Sudan can count on the World Bank Group's full support in establishing a strong foundation that will support people in their businesses, stimulate investments, and help create jobs and economic opportunity. This will create a prosperous and sustainable future for the people of South Sudan that will demand the best of all its partners."
IFC Advisory Services in Africa provide a range of solutions to support private sector development across the continent. Improving the region’s investment climate is one of IFC’s top strategic priorities in Africa and IFC contributes strongly to the Investment Climate Advisory Services of the World Bank Group, along with other World Bank Group member institutions IBRD and MIGA.
Investment Climate Advisory Services of the World Bank Group has already been working in Southern Sudan for four years. In that time it supported the government to establish:
- A legal and regulatory framework for investment;
- Another six laws to support business entry, operations and exit;
- Key institutions to support investments, and;A stronger business registry with a streamlined registration process.
The new program will build on the World Bank Group’s advisory work to date and IFC’s experience in other conflict affected states through the CASA program to bring innovative solutions. The new program will draw on IFC Advisory Services in other areas, including access to finance, and sustainable business advisory.
This article was originally posted on Sustainable Development Africa Platform