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Firas Raad, the Country Manager, World Bank (L), Benjamin Ayali Koyongwa, Undersecretary for Planning, Ministry of Finance (M), and Tehmina Khan, Lead Economist, World Bank(R).

World Bank tells South Sudan government to invest in human capital

The government has been urged by the World Bank to invest more in human capital development in order to improve the literacy rate and reduce poverty.

Tehmina Khan, lead economist of the World Bank South Sudan office said on Wednesday that investing in the health and wealth of human beings is a fundamental element of the country’s longer term growth, development and prosperity.

“With an illiteracy rate of 70 percent and around 60 percent of school-aged children being out of school, South Sudan needs to make serious turnaround in its human capital outcomes,” said Khan during the release of the World Bank Economic Monitor Report at Radisson Blu Hotel in Juba.

Benjamin Ayali Koyongwa, the Undersecretary for Planning at the Ministry of Finance and Planning said the ongoing implementation of the 2018 revitalized peace agreement implementation has led to improved macro-economic stability across the country.

‘The 2018 peace agreement as well as macroeconomic, governance and exchange rate reforms initiated since 2021 with the support of development partners have helped to improve macro-economic stability and curb hyperinflation,” said Koyongwa.

Firas Raad, the Country Manager for World Bank South Sudan said investments in human capital are critical for the country to lay foundations for inclusive growth and support its exit from economic fragility.

“The gains in macro-economic stability and the relative return to peace have had a positive impact on activities in the non-oil sector. This is a significant development as South Sudan being a young country, relies on the non-oil sector to provide jobs and incomes for the majority of the population,” said Raad.

He added that diversifying towards the non-oil sector, improving productivity, and achieving higher growth in a sustainable and inclusive manner is critical because of the underlying challenges of fragility in the country.

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