Home | News    Tuesday 12 February 2008

Four South Sudan private agencies win one mln USD award

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February 11, 2008 (JUBA) — The southern Sudan Government Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Supply and the Bank of Southern Sudan on February 8, 2008 announced an award funding worth 1 million dollars to four microfinance agencies.

From left to right the WB Sudan Director, Kenichi Ohashi, GoSS Minister of Commerce, Trade and Supply, Anthony Lino Makana and the Deputy Director of the Bank of Southern Sudan Mr Kornelio Koryom Mayik. (WB)

The Microfinance Project, which is being supported by the Multi-Donor Trust Fund (MDTF) administered by the World Bank, is enshrined in the Interim Constitution of Southern Sudan which states that "all levels of government in Southern Sudan shall facilitate the development of the private sector, particularly indigenous entrepreneurs to establish and develop a viable private sector capable of participating effectively in reconstruction and development of Southern Sudan."

Speaking at the ceremony held at the World Bank Meeting Hall in Juba, the Minister of Commerce Trade and Supply, Anthony Lino Makana, emphasized the important role of entrepreneurs in fostering economic growth. He warned that any agency that will default will not only forfeit the award but will also be asked to repay any misused amount.

The four winning agencies selected on a competitive basis include the Sudan Microfinance Initiative (SUMI), the Bangladesh Rural Cooperative (BRAC), Finance Sudan and the Savannah Farmers’ Cooperative.

The agencies are expected to cover seven of the ten States of Southern Sudan in the next three years but a senior official of the Bank of Southern Sudan Mr Albino Dak Othow said the Bank would boost microfinance services in all the ten States. He said in the next competition in May this year the Bank will contribute at least another 1 million dollars.

The World Bank Country Director for Sudan and Ethiopia, Kenichi Ohashi, told the gathering that while the government institutions are still in the making a private sector driven microfinance service is a commendable intervention. “It is the best thing to do to get people on their feet in Southern Sudan,” he remarked.

The Deputy Governor of Bank of Southern Sudan, Kornelio Koryom Mayik, said microfinance service is a vehicle of realizing the SPLM vision of taking services to rural areas. “It is going to make life in rural areas attractive,” he emphasized.

The World Bank Private Sector Development Task Team Leader, Magdi Amin, concurred with the Mayik saying the Microfinance activity will provide employment. He pointed out that when people have decent employment to earn their living, they have self-esteem and live in peace.

The Chairman of the Southern Sudan Chamber of Commerce, Ngor Ayuel Kacgor, said the success of big businesses will depend on the success of small scale businesses that will be supported by the microfinance providers.

The Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Supply also used the occasion to launch the Business Plan Competition Facility that is designed to support start up and expansion of microfinance providers and services by targeting those who already have the potential to expand.

Entrepreneurs wanting to take part in the competition have been advised to take the competition documents from the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Supply in the Government of Southern Sudan.

Magdi of the World Bank explained that in this competition winners will be awarded funds to operate their businesses while losers will be coached how to plan their businesses.

(ST)

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