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South Sudan, Donor and IFC Partnership Supports Development of Vibrant Private Sector

Juba, Sudan, February 28, 2011— The government of South Sudan, with the support of donors, IFC and the World Bank Group, today launched an important partnership program that will support the development of the country’s private sector. South Sudan is counting on a viable private sector to contribute to its reconstruction and development as a newly independent state.  
The partnership will receive its primary funding from the governments of the Netherlands and South Sudan. It also receives funding from Denmark, Ireland, Norway and USAID.  The project has received donor commitments of approximately $9 million to date.
The program will be managed by IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, together with various South Sudan government ministries and private sector entities. It will focus on implementing three program components:
  • The second phase of an investment climate reform project, of which attracting new investments will be one part;
  • Small and medium size enterprise development project, primarily through training and capacity building, and;
  • Access to finance project that explores new financial instruments such as leasing and mobile banking.
“This is a new dawn in South Sudan and we are eager to help establish a viable private sector to spearhead economic growth, with special attention to agriculture,” said Nobert Braakhuis, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands Ambassador to Sudan. “The people of South Sudan, through their new government, can count on our ongoing support contributing to broad-based social and economic prosperity as a means to continued peace and stability.”
Following the results of a January, 2011 referendum, South Sudan will officially become an independent state on July 9, 2011. Although it remains one of the least developed countries in the world, South Sudan is showing signs of progress.
To date, more than 10,000 businesses have been registered. Five new mobile phone providers have been registered and are operating, with at least 5 million accounts; at least seven commercial banks have been established, including five microfinance institutions, serving more than 10,000 families across South Sudan; at least five regional commercial airlines serve Juba alone, and another five cargo airlines have made it easier to transport goods to the region.
"South Sudan has the potential to be a new land of opportunity in Africa," said Rachel Kyte, IFC Vice President for Business Advisory Services. "The people of South Sudan can count on the World Bank Group's full support in establishing a strong foundation that will support people in their businesses, stimulate investments, and help create jobs and economic opportunity. This will create a prosperous and sustainable future for the people of South Sudan that will demand the best of all its partners."
IFC Advisory Services in Africa provide a range of solutions to support private sector development across the continent. Improving the region’s investment climate is one of IFC’s top strategic priorities in Africa and IFC contributes strongly to the Investment Climate Advisory Services of the World Bank Group, along with other World Bank Group member institutions IBRD and MIGA.
Investment Climate Advisory Services of the World Bank Group has already been working in Southern Sudan for four years. In that time it supported the government to establish:
  • A legal and regulatory framework for investment;
  • Another six laws to support business entry, operations and exit;
  • Key institutions to support investments, and;A stronger business registry with a streamlined registration process.
The new program will build on the World Bank Group’s advisory work to date and IFC’s experience in other conflict affected states through the CASA program to bring innovative solutions. The new program will draw on IFC Advisory Services in other areas, including access to finance, and sustainable business advisory.
About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in developing countries. We create opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We do so by providing financing to help businesses employ more people and supply essential services, by mobilizing capital from others, and by delivering advisory services to ensure sustainable development. In a time of global economic uncertainty, our new investments climbed to a record $18 billion in fiscal 2010. For more information, visit .
About the World Bank Group
The World Bank Group is one of the world’s largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries. It comprises five closely associated institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA), which together form the World Bank; the International Finance Corporation (IFC); the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA); and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). Each institution plays a distinct role in the mission to fight poverty and improve living standards for people in the developing world. For more information, please visit , ,  and .