New team of professionals arrive in South Sudan to help build South Sudanese capacities

Mar 14, 2016

New Civil Service Support Officer, Dr. Dagim Leykun, arrives at Juba International Airport.

Dr. Dagim Leykun is a general surgeon from Ethiopia. He arrived in Juba determined to help South Sudanese doctors improve their performance.

“I volunteer because civil services here are struggling. They don’t have trained specialists in health. When you are in the medical field, you want to help. There is a huge demand for health service in Africa and as an African I want to help my people,” he explained.

The professionals, which include eleven Ethiopians and one Ugandan, arrived together with similar objectives.

“I have been working for 13 years in child protection. I heard that this country has faced conflict,” said Child Protection Officer Twesigane Maureen, a Ugandan national. “In that kind of situation, children are the most affected, so I have come to share my skills and expertise to support the country in putting polices in place that can assist the children who are the ones suffering the most.”

“I like to go here-and-there to learn and to have different experiences. I will share my experience and I also want to see how they work and learn from them. We will share knowledge,” said Selamawit Shiferaw, an anaesthetist from Ethiopia. “I like to learn about the way of life in different parts and how they face the challenges. I like also to test myself in difficult situations.”

The group arrives as the second batch of Civil Service Support Officers (CSSOs) of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) joint programme with the Government of South Sudan, which aims to bring professionals from Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia to the Republic of South Sudan (RSS) for capacity building and skills transfer in areas such as health, child protection, aviation, agriculture, audit and management.

The RSS/IGAD Regional Initiative, convened by donors during the 2010 Oslo Accord to support South Sudan after independence, has already deployed 199 officials, to 22 national and state institutions across South Sudan during its Phase I.  The second phase started last August, and now saw 102 CSSOs deployed to 15 national, 27 state and 3 counties institutions. By the end of 2016, 139 total CSSOs will be deployed.

South Sudan’s Undersecretary for Public Service and Human Resource Development, Hon. Juma Yoane Kebi; Ethiopian Ambassador to South Sudan, H.E. Fesseha Shawel Gebre; and Uganda Embassy representative, Mr. Alex Kwitonda Bigira gathered at the airport to welcome the new team.

“The IGAD initiative is a trendsetter for new forms of south-south cooperation. We are proud to count on great professionals from neighbour countries," said the Undersecretary for South Sudan’s Ministry of Labour, Public Service and Human Resource Hon. Juma Yoane Kebi.

“We had a similar experience as South Sudan during our civil war, 25 years ago. We share the same challenges in terms of development and we want to help our brothers of South Sudan. With this programme we want to pass them some skills, and they can also learn from our previous experience,” said Ethiopian Ambassador to South Sudan, H.E. Fesseha Shawel Gebre. 

Uganda Embassy representative, Mr. Alex Kwitonda Bigira; UNDP Deputy Country Director, Mr. Jean Luc Stalon; Norway representative, Mr. Gunnar Holm ; Undersecretary for South Sudan’s Ministry of Labour, Public Service and Human Resource, Hon. Juma Yoane Kebi; Ethiopian Ambassador to South Sudan, H.E. Fesseha Shawel Gebre; Representative of the Kenyan Ambassador  in South Sudan, Mr.  John Kiplimo.Uganda Embassy representative, Mr. Alex Kwitonda Bigira; UNDP Deputy Country Director, Mr. Jean Luc Stalon; Norway representative, Mr. Gunnar Holm ; Undersecretary for South Sudan’s Ministry of Labour, Public Service and Human Resource, Hon. Juma Yoane Kebi; Ethiopian Ambassador to South Sudan, H.E. Fesseha Shawel Gebre; Representative of the Kenyan Ambassador in South Sudan, Mr. John Kiplimo.

“Countries in the south support countries from the south. We have to help to each other because as neighbours, Uganda, Ethiopia and Kenya could also benefit from South Sudan’s development and we can learn from each other. I am glad that we are joining our voices to address the issues of the region,” said Uganda Embassy representative Mr. Alex Kwitonda Bigira.

The day after the arrival of the new CSSO’s, UNDP Deputy Country Director Mr. Jean Luc Stalon and Mr. Gunnar Holm Norway representative expressed their gratitude to the professionals for participating in the programme. 

"Your arrival brings power to the country. Thank you for your willingness to support the people of South Sudan. We are also grateful to Norway, for its generosity and its willingness to support South Sudan,” said UNDP Deputy Country Director Jean Luc Stalon.

“This programme is key for economic development and active peace. We are very proud of being part of this unique initiative that we strongly believe will help South Sudan. The implementation, success, and continuation of this programme is only possible with the support of UNDP and the hard work of the participants,” expressed Norway Representative, Mr. Gunnar Holm.

Civil Service Support Officers together with UNDP Staff, representatives of Ugandan, Kenyan, Ethiopian and Norway Embassies, and the Undersecretary for South Sudan’s Ministry of Labour.Civil Service Support Officers together with UNDP Staff, representatives of Ugandan, Kenyan, Ethiopian and Norway Embassies, and the Undersecretary for South Sudan’s Ministry of Labour.

As a key part of the programme, the CSSOs are “twinned” with South Sudanese civil servants. The first phase programming empowered 8 cooperative societies and trained over 1000 South Sudanese civil servants in different sectors. Phase II aims to increase support to the subnational level and, as such, will deploy over 60% of the CSSOs to the states and counties.

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