Malakal, 11 October 2019 – During a joint high-level visit to Malakal on 10 October 2019, Chargé d’Affaires of Japan to South Sudan, Mitsuhiro Toyama, and United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Deputy Resident Representative, Elliman Jagne, visited Malakal to monitor the progress towards the rehabilitation and revival of the Upper Nile University campus, funded by the government of Japan and implemented by UNDP. This visit marks three months since the begin of the reconstruction and is on track to be completed by March 2020.
The delegation, conducted by UNDP and the Embassy of Japan to South Sudan, was joined by the Acting Governor of Central Upper Nile State Hon. Andrea Miyom Monytoch, Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology Hon. Yien Oral Lam and the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Academics, Upper Nile University Prof. Dr. Yohanes Edward Odhok.
The reconstruction of the university is set to deliver a major improvement to the university’s infrastructure and make possible relocation and full resumption of learning at the university’s Malakal campus. The visit served as an opportunity to meet Central Upper Nile State officials and interact with Upper Nile University fraternity, contractors and workers. The delegation also took stock of the positive spillover of jobs and businesses created as a result of ongoing reconstruction work. As a result, over 300 jobs have been created to date due to the activities around the rehabilitation of the university.
Expressing his appreciation for the warm welcome by the city and addressing the teams on the ground, Chargé d’Affaires of Japan to South Sudan, Mitsuhiro Toyama, described the project is an investment for the future of the students, people and the city as it brings about a good education opportunity to the region. He congratulated the immense progress made by the teams and encouraged the people of Central Upper Nile State to keep the spirit of reconciliation in the Upper Nile and continue to work towards the development of the area.
With young people making up 70 percent of the country’s population, Upper Nile University’s presence in Malakal is expected to generate opportunities for young people, reorient them from crisis and give them space to become important social actors for the country.
UNDP’s Deputy Resident Representative, Elliman Jagne, addressed the teams and urged them to focus on the economic and social impact the university can potentially unlock. “By developing important skills in the local market, as well as employment opportunities and access to basic services, the rehabilitation of this university will play be critical in stimulating the local economy,” he added. He also extended his gratitude and support to the government and people of Japan that brought this project to fruition.
Currently, the University of Upper Nile is operating from Juba as the escalation of conflict forced the university to close its campus in 2013. The reconstruction works focus on key facilities of the main campus in Malakal for approximately 2,000 students specializing in Economics, Human Development, Public Health, and Education to be able to relocate back to their campus.
The Acting Governor of Central Upper Nile State Hon. Andrea Miyom Monytoch said that the Upper Nile University’s Malakal campus will contribute to the progressive transformation of South Sudan towards durable peace and sustainable development.
This partnership also includes the renovation and equipping of a Cultural Center within the University of Juba. This center will provide library services and materials to support training programmes and cultural enrichment. The Cultural Center renovation work is expected to be completed by April 2020.
The Minister of Higher Education, Science, and Technology Hon. Yien Oral Lam Tut concluded the visit by thanking UNDP and the Government of Japan for reinvigorating Upper Nile University – an iconic institution of South Sudan.
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