Monday, 9 December 2019—To address key drivers of inequality in South Sudan, improving access to education, basic services, livelihoods support, and innovative solutions tailored to local needs are needed in order to improve human development indicators.
These intervention points and more were tabled by speakers and panelists during a joint launch event “Accelerating Impact for Transformation in South Sudan” focused on examining the theme of the Human Development Report 2019 “Beyond income, beyond averages, beyond today: inequalities in human development in the 21st century”.
“Inequality in South Sudan persists because of the endemic poverty in our communities and makes it difficult for political decisions to reflect the aspirations of the society,” said Deputy Minister of Finance and Planning Hon. John Dor Majok, who presided over the event.
A panel discussion chaired by Presidential Advisor for Economic Affairs Hon. Aggrey Tisa Sabuni anchored the programme, and featured Member of the National Dialogue and SPLM secretariat, Hon. Peter Lam Both; COO of m-Gurush, Mr. Mou Ambrose Tiik; Entrepreneur and Participant in the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme 2019, Ms. Luris Mulla; and Member of East Africa Youth Parliament and co-founder of Oxygen Girls Foundation of South Sudan, Ms. Grace Aguil Garang.
“The real drivers of inequality, poverty, and unemployment have to do with putting a proper governance system in place. It means well-established strong institutions which can deliver services to the people. It means a merit-based civil service which are able to come forward and implement public policies which address these issues,” said Hon. Aggrey Tisa Sabuni. The panelists further emphasized the role of public policies to support aspiring entrepreneurs, as well as financial inclusion and economic empowerment of women.
“To support the development aspirations of South Sudan and eventually achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, we must leave no one behind. Human development cannot wait. That is why we must accelerate the way in which we work,” said Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Humanitarian Coordinator Mr. Alain Noudehou.
The report’s new data and methods were highlighted during a presentation by UNDP economists on how inequality affects people’s lives in a way that measures based on averages cannot. South Sudan’s Human Development Index value for 2018 is 0.413—which put the country in the low human development category—positioning it at 186 out of 189 countries and territories.
“There is still more needed to build capabilities in South Sudan for improving human development: in education, health, income, rights, and gender parity. What the young people here today are looking for is a South Sudan where people are happy, where rules are followed, where rights are protected and where young people are free to pursue their dreams in peace and stability,” said Dr. Kamil Kamaluddeen, UNDP South Sudan Resident Representative. The Accelerator Lab will work as a tool to help achieve this vision, said Dr. Kamaluddeen, thanking donor partners Germany, Italy, and Qatar for their vision and support of the initiative.
“The Accelerator Lab is people. People with aspirations and motivation to make a change, as we see in those of you gathered here today. Its role is to stimulate innovation and it has the potential to be catalytic to the next generation of development solutions,” said Embassy of Germany’s Head of Cooperation Ms. Janika Walter.
The South Sudan Accelerator Lab is focused on alleviating poverty through youth employment and empowerment, private sector and value chain development by elevating and scaling local solutions to development challenges. It is located within UNDP South Sudan’s office and is part of UNDP’s global Lab Network now operating in more than 60 countries.
More information the South Sudan Accelerator Lab can be found HERE.
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