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The African Development Bank (AfDB) shared in the history making event in Juba last Saturday, as South Sudan became Africa’s newest sovereign state.
AfDB Regional Director for East Africa, Steve Kayizzi–Mugerwa represented the Bank, accompanied by the Bank’s Resident Representative in Khartoum, Abdul Kamara.
South Sudan has already applied to become a regional member country of the AfDB.
The AfDB has been engaged in a number of efforts aimed at dealing with the complex geopolitical and socio-economic situation of the country. , including the formulation of a comprehensive operational strategy for South Sudan.
“The Bank plays an important role in working closely with South Sudan to ensure that it has a sound and sustainable development landscape right from the start,” said Mr. Kayizzi-Mugerwa.
Mr Kayizzi-Mugerwa chaired a filmed discussion with two senior colleagues on the future of South Sudan after independence. The colleagues were Ms. Sunita Pitamber, head of the AfDB’s Fragile States Unit, which specializes in assisting post-conflict and post-crisis African countries, and Lead Economist, Mr Solomane Kone.
Mr Kayizzi-Mugerwa opened the talk by pointing out that, as a land-locked country, South Sudan would be crucial for regional integration. He added that the prosperity of the countries surrounding South Sudan would depend on the prosperity of the new nation.
Mr Kone agreed, saying the AfDB was making an assessment for the country’s development, and it would ‘streamline the assessment in the overall regional strategy for East Africa’.
For her part, Ms Pitamber pointed out the importance of involving all the authorities in South Sudan, not just those of central government. While it was very important to work with the Ministries of Planning and of Finance, she stressed that local government should not be overlooked. ‘Local government is very important for a country coming out of conflict. The participation of different communities, regions and states is very important’, she said
|AfDB set to accompany South Sudan on path to development|