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AfDB helps to modernise South Sudan’s financial system

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July 28, 2019 (JUBA) - The African Development Bank (AfDB) Board has approved a total of $6.6 million in funding to finance South Sudan’s payment and settlement systems integration project.

The project, AfDB said in a statement, is consistent with the institution’s updated country strategy paper which concentrates on state-building through capacity and infrastructure development.

The project is reportedly also aligned with South Sudan’s National Development Strategy 2018-2021, which confirms the need to restore and maintain economic infrastructure.

“The objective of the project is to modernise the payment systems in South Sudan in order to improve the country’s financial systems and promote regional integration,” partly reads the AfDB’s statement.

It is widely expected that the project will assist South Sudan to develop and harmonise its payment systems in line with those of five member countries of the East African Community (EAC), thereby facilitating progress towards the monetary union in the EAC and increasing trade and economic activities within the region.

The implementation of the new project will reportedly commence during the 2019/2020 financial year, and the EAC secretariat will coordinate project implementation, in close collaboration with the Central Bank of South Sudan.

“Once completed, the project will have produced a modernised payment system for South Sudan, a Central Bank with greater capacity to provide oversight, and policies and regulations to support payments and settlements,” further notes the statement.

These achievements, it added, will put South Sudan in a position to interconnect better with other East African countries to ease transfers of funds through the East African Payment System (EAPS) platform.

AfDB’s country manager for South Sudan, Benedict Kanu said the modernisation of payment systems to bolster the financial system’s performance will not only increase the formal financial sector but also encourage regional integration.

“Moreover, the established linkages between financial inclusion and inclusive growth will benefit the people of South Sudan by assisting them to invest more in their economy”, said Kanu.

He added, “The activities of the proposed project will not only promote better governance in the financial sector but also improve access to much-needed credit, thereby enabling businesses, especially SMEs, to expand, creating jobs and reinvigorating growth”.

Since 2012, the AfDB has reportedly contributed more than $160.55 million in development aid across various sectors for South Sudan. The financial institution’s support has focused on capacity building, and infrastructure development, with particular emphasis on creating conditions for promoting peace, stability and state-building, in line with South Sudan’s and the Bank’s strategic priorities.

(ST)

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