By John Agok
The South Sudan’s Cooperative Socieities have promised to explore more opportunities on how to boost local capacity and empower communities through agricultural- business (Agric-biz).
Elijah Wamalwa, the Managing Director for Cooperative Bank of South Sudan said there was a need for collaboration and partnership with cooperative societies.
“We are coming up with ‘group-lending’ initiative that has been lending money to over two hundred Cooperative Societies in South Sudan.
“This is in a bid to build the capacity of local enterprises in financing their activities that eventually promote Agric-business in the private sector,” he said.
Wamalwa disclosed that they were also lending money on risk-sharing account through reasonable collateral that encourages financial inclusivity.
“We are also sharing the risk by giving loan on collateral; this is to avoid a situation where money is not return. We are doing this without considering profits in return but to promote and empower local community’s livelihoods,” the Banker stressed.
He was speaking on Thursday in Juba during Annual NGOs, Donors and Government Summit organized by the Cooperative Bank of South Sudan.
Prof. Mathew Gordon Udo, the Undersecretary at the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security applauded the partners and Donors for funding the projects aimed at implementing Ministry’s developed plan.
“We appreciated donors and partners for partnership to invest in private sector through Agric-business. We welcomed all partners to explore opportunities in engaging youth and women to build their capacity in Agric-business,” the official underscored.
Benedict Sorie Kanu, Country Manager for African Development Bank (AFDB) said that it was high time South Sudan moves away from oil dependency and embarks on Agric-business strategy.
“We need to move away from extensive dependency on oil commodity alone but rather improving Agric-business in private sector by empowering local entrepreneurs,” he stated.
The Bank official commended the government for relative peace in some parts of the Country.
He however urged the government to redouble peace implementation efforts so that the investors can invest to fix more in economic development sectors.
About 85 percent of South Sudan’s population especially youth and women get employed on Agricultural sector, according to a Research.
It is not clear how much money is generated economically than improving their livelihoods.
The Summit themed “Donor-Private Sector-NGO partnerships in economic development and transformation of livelihoods in South Sudan allow the partners to explore opportunities in areas of collaboration, and develop interest in youth and women by building their capacity in Agric-business sector.