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The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) on Wednesday, 18 October 2017 approved Sudan’s Country Brief 2017-2019, designed to help the country build resilience and address core issues of fragility.
Board members commended the recent lifting of US sanction on the country and emphasized the need to help tackle the political, economic, social, and environmental challenges that Sudan is currently facing.
Interventions provided in the Country Brief would enable Sudan improve social service delivery, create jobs and livelihood opportunities in agriculture and agro-industry with emphasis on youth and women.
Sudan has been grappling with the impact of South Sudan’s secession in 2011, leading to the loss of 75% of oil resources and profound macroeconomic challenges, exacerbated by weak capacity to effectively deliver basic social services and a staggering external debt undermining the country’s access to concessional financing.
Despite these challenges, the country’s economic outlook has brightened by the prospects of reintegration into the global economy following the revocation of the US economic sanctions.
Relying on in-depth fragility analysis, economic and sector works, and the outcomes of the Bank President’s visit in March, the Country Brief is hinged on two pillars – Capacity building for improving social service delivery and Agriculture for Job Creation and Livelihoods.
The first pillar aims at strengthening institutions to improve social service delivery and build resilience of marginalized segments of the population. Interventions under the pillar will focus on: i) improving governance and addressing institutional capacity constraints that impede the delivery of basic social services, and ii) undertaking targeted operations that directly deliver basic social services to the poor.
Creating employment and livelihood opportunities to address the core causes of the country’s persistent fragility will be the focus of the second pillar. This will be achieved through: i) strengthening agricultural value chains to create jobs and livelihoods opportunities; ii) enhancing innovation in agriculture to improve productivity, incomes and employment opportunities; and iii) supporting agricultural entrepreneurship, especially for the youth (young men and women).
These areas of intervention are aligned with the Bank’s and the country’s development strategies and policies and anchored on two of the High 5 priorities, especially “Feed Africa” and “Improve the Quality of Life for the people of Africa.
In concrete terms, the Bank will finance seven projects – three under Pillar I, and 4 projects under Pillar II – as well as private sector engagements and opportunities that would be generated by the permanent lifting of economic sanctions.
Funding under the Country Brief will be sourced largely from the Transition Support Facility (TSF) Performance Based Allocation (PBA), as well as Bilateral Trust Funds and Facilities to the tune of US$110 million.
The Board emphasized the need to strengthen country dialogue on fragility and resilience building; debt relief and arrears clearance; economic diversification through agriculture, agro-industries and agribusiness; policy reforms in key sectors; governance and accountability; as well as unemployment and livelihoods development.