• Reference: P-SD-K00-003
  • Appraisal Date: 15/01/2015
  • Board Presentation: 01/07/2015
  • Status: LendingLEND
  • Implementing Agency: GOVERNMENT OF SUDAN
  • Location: Territoire du Soudan


This project will have a significant impact on women's economic empowerment in Sudan, as it will support the implementation of policies related to women's economic empowerment while addressing the capacity building needs of the women producers in the project area as well as the institutions relevant to women's economic empowerment. The project has four components, three of them are mutually reinforcing components:

(i) Support to Policy Implementation and Good Governance;

(ii) Business and Skills Development;

(iii) Institutional Capacity Building; and

(iv)Project Management.


The overall development objective of Good Governance and Women Economic Empowerment Project (GGWEEP) is to promote good governance and foster inclusive growth by enhancing implementation of policies, strengthening institutions and building capacities to increase the participation of women in economic activities in Sudan.


The project is aligned with the priorities of the Government of Sudan Interim Poverty Reduction Strategy (I-PRSP), the National Development Plan(2012-2016) and the Five-Year Economic Reform Program (2015-2019).The priority sectors targeted by these policies include: strengthening governance and institutional capacity, human resources development and employment creation. The project is also firmly anchored in the objectives of the Combined Country Brief and Country Portfolio Performance Report (CPPR) for 2014-2016. This project specifically falls under pillar I of the Country Brief "Governance and Accountability". A key development challenge to be addressed by the project is to enhance good governance by supporting implementation of policies through strengthening of institutions and building capacities to increase the participation of women in economic activities. Institutional framework to support women empowerment is in place but lacks effectiveness due to a number of factors, including:

(i) Widespread capacity weakness at institutional and beneficiary levels;

(ii) Fragmentation and disconnect between the various actors that impede effective delivery of key services for women economic empowerment;

(iii)Limited managerial and organizational capacity of women entrepreneurs;

(iv) Low level of awareness of women producers about banking and micro-finance services that are provided by financial institutions, and:

(v)Weaknesses in the outreach capacity of financial institutions to reach women in rural areas. Rationale for Bank's Involvement. The Government of Sudan (GoS)has put in place many policies, legislations to support gender equality and women's empowerment, but women still have low access to economic opportunities. The Ministry of Welfare and Social Security (MoWSS),under its the General Directorate of Women and Family Affairs (GDWFA) is the institutional custodian for implementing women empowerment and other social policies under the umbrella of the overarching policy framework-theWENP(2007).However policy implementation challenges persist due to lack of effective mechanisms to enforce laws and policies.Similar capacity weaknesses cut-across many institutions involved in implementing the broad goals of the WENP including dedicated financial institutions supporting small scale producers and traders, of which the majority are women. Long-term economic empowerment for women in Sudan requires broad investment programs to address existing gaps at both institutional and beneficiary levels. These programs include business skills development, development of market outlets for agricultural and non-agricultural products, supporting efforts at value addition to primary products, strengthening of Micro-Finance Institutions (MFIs) for effective credit services, strengthening of rural women groups and cooperatives, support to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) that are linked to agriculture and livestock commodities markets, and the creation of awareness of opportunities offered by Government and other actors. In addition, capacity building program is required for institutions supporting women empowerment at federal and state levels. The key focus of the GoS five-year development plan (2012-2016) plan is institutional and capacity development. Strengthening the participation of women in enterprise development and economic activities will help the country achieve development objectives outlined in the development plan. The project objectives are relevant to Sudan's development strategies related to women's economic empowerment as articulated in the WENP (2007).Moreover, the government has put emphasis on the importance of the private sector in growth and creation of employment opportunities in the Five Year Economic Reform Program (2015-2019), which also underpins the strategy to transition from oil-led growth to agriculture and manufacturing-led growth. In all these programs, the government has provided meagre resources to capacitate the financial institutions responsible for promoting trade and SMEs development as well as microfinance services. The proposed capacity building project is in alignment with the AfDB Group's Ten Year Strategy (2013-2022), in which the Bank Group placed emphasis on capacity building of RMCs/RECs, particularly in upgrading the human, organizational and institutional capacity to be absorbed and effectively utilized. The Ten-Year Strategy also placed gender as one of the three areas of special emphasis that is considered as a vehicle for inclusive growth. The project is well aligned with the Bank's Gender Strategy Investing on Gender Equality for Africa's Transformation (2014-2018), namely Pillar II on Economic Empowerment and Pillar III on Knowledge Management and Capacity Building. It is also relevant to the Bank's Strategy on Addressing Fragility and Building Resilience in Africa (2014-2019), specifically the second focus area in promoting resilient societies through access to employment, with special focus on women's empowerment. The project is also well aligned with the Sudan Country Brief 2014-16, Pillar III- Governance and Accountability, which aims among other objectives, to build the human and institutional capacities required for the country to get out of fragility and the Bank's Human Capital Strategy (2014 - 2018).


The project will build the capacity of women, especially young women in enterprise development in areas of Darfur (the five states) and Blue Nile States. The choice for project activities was informed by government decision based on the specificity of the targeted areas. Both regions represent some of the worst conflict-prone zones and have many IDPs in camps that have very limited access to economic opportunities and are highly dependent upon humanitarian aid for their daily subsistence. As there are currently more female-headed households among the IDPs in conflict prone areas (Darfur and Blue Nile), the project will focus on integrating and empowering them to access productive resources. To achieve this goal, a number of institutions at federal and state level will be targeted by this project to benefit from capacity building and institutional support programs to enable them effectively undertake the role of building capacity of beneficiaries at community level. Social Impact and Poverty Reduction: The Project is aimed at enhancing women's economic welfare and their capacity to effectively contribute to national development and poverty alleviation. The project activities have been carefully selected to enhance good governance and inclusive growth in Sudan that is important to un-locking the country's growth potentials. The project will target women in beneficiary states, who contribute significantly to the economic activities, especially those who head their households. Impact on Gender: The proposed project will foster a conducive environment for implementation of policies related to women's economic empowerment while selectively meeting the capacity building needs of the women producers and traders as well as exporters and MSMEs in the five Darfur states and the Blue Nile State. The project will also strengthen the institutions relevant to women's economic empowerment both at the federal and state levels, including financial institutions specifically targeting women economic activities. In addition, it will promote gender mainstreaming through all the capacity building components at institutional and beneficiary levels.

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