March 01–JUBA — The emerging independent state of South Sudan has launched an ambitious program that will embark on robust development of the country’s private sector following its people’s overwhelming vote for independence from north Sudan in the recent January referendum.
The people of South Sudan, in accordance with the peace deal signed with north Sudan in 2005, voted in favour of independence, which will officially begin on 9 July 2011. Despite its huge resource potential, the region is amongst the poorest in the world. Its private sector is still in its infancy.
On Monday a joint program involving the government, the World Bank Group (WBG), part of the World Bank and a number of donor countries launched a private sector development program — described by the officials as key to development in the region.
The partnership will receive its primary funding from the governments of the Netherlands and South Sudan. It will also receive funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID); and the governments of Denmark, Ireland and Norway.
The WBG also comprises of five closely associated financial institutions which include the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA). The Group also includes the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) and the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). Each institution plays a distinct role in the mission to fight poverty and improve living standards for people in the developing world.