The African Development Bank’s Vice President for Regional Development (www.AfDB.org), Integration and Business Delivery, Marie-Laure Akin-Olugbade has concluded a three-day visit to South Sudan.
Akin-Olugbade met with high-level government officials including First Vice President, Riek Machar, and the ministers of Finance and National Planning, Interior, Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, and Youth and Sports, as well as senior officials from the ministries of Agriculture and Forestry, Water Resources and Irrigation. She also met with the Governor of the Central Bank in South Sudan.
Their discussions centered on strengthening collaboration around the government’s strategic priorities and addressing South Sudan’s development needs. Dr. Machar thanked the Bank for the continued strong partnership and appealed for more support in the key priority areas such as agriculture, energy, roads, and water and sanitation.
The vice-president commended the government of South Sudan for its excellent portfolio performance and reiterated the Bank’s commitment to increase agricultural production and productivity for enhanced food security. She pledged a sixty percent increase in Bank financing to the country in 2024, in response to the significant humanitarian and development needs
“The Bank has allocated $46.7 million to support agriculture value chain development, notably for rice, sesame, sorghum and fish,” she noted. She commended South Sudan for being amongst the first countries to implement the Food and Agriculture Compact program (https://apo-opa.co/3HTETuE), following the Dakar 2 Summit (https://apo-opa.co/3HDwueK) held in January 2023.
The mission also sought additional pathways for closer collaboration with UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, to strengthen support to forcibly displaced persons in the context of increased conflicts in Africa, including in the region. Akin-Olugbade joined UNHCR Assistant High Commissioner-Operations, Raouf Mazou, for a joint visit to Gendrassa refugee camp in Maban County, in the northeastern part of the country.
The vice-president also visited a Bank-financed Resilience Water for Improved Livelihood project in Juba, which has boosted water supply infrastructure in Juba city. She also visited the African Development Bank’s Country Office and interacted with staff members.
Yero Baldeh, Director of the Transition Support Coordination Office, Themba Bhebhe, Country Manager for South Sudan, and Gassia Assadourian, Chief Program Officer, accompanied the vice-president.
The Bank’s ongoing portfolio in South Sudan amounts to $160 million, with the top sectors being agriculture, skills and social development, and governance.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Development Bank Group (AfDB).
Click here (https://apo-opa.co/3HRtw6B) for photos.
Communication and External Relations Department
About the African Development Bank Group:
The African Development Bank Group is Africa’s premier development finance institution. It comprises three distinct entities: the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Development Fund (ADF) and the Nigeria Trust Fund (NTF). On the ground in 41 African countries with an external office in Japan, the Bank contributes to the economic development and the social progress of its 54 regional member states. For more information: www.AfDB.org