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Private sector key to increasing employment in S. Sudan

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September 21, 2014 (JUBA) – A well-developed private sector is vital to increasing employment opportunities in South Sudan, the head of the World Bank in the country, Nicola Pontara, said.

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Minister of finance and economic planning Aggrey Tisa (second from left) launching the Global Human Development Report in the South Sudanese capital, Juba (Photo: UNDP)

“Growth in Africa has been driven mainly by oil, gas and minerals sectors, which have not been able to provide large-scale employment opportunities. Hence poverty level still remains very high,” said Pontara.

“One-third of South Sudan’s population comprises of youth and until and unless the country fails to provide jobs, there are always opportunities for the youth to engage in conflict,” he added.

The 2014 Global Human Development report warns that the number of jobless youths will rise and reduce in Africa and South Asia by 2050 respectively unless inclusive social-economic policies are put in place.

“Where social and legal institutions, power structures, political spaces, or traditions and social structural norms do not serve members of society equally-and where they create structural barriers for some people and groups to exercise their rights and choices-they give rise to structural vulnerabilities,” the report says.

It adds that 2.2 billion people globally live in multidimensional poverty translating to more than 15% while 80% lack comprehensive social protection. About 12% reportedly suffer from chronic hunger and over 1.5 billion are in to informal or precarious unemployment.

No country in Africa ranked in the very high development index- category, with only Mauritius, Libya, Seychelles, and Tunisia along China among the countries with high development index.

Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda and Sudan ranked in the low human development index, despite enjoying sustained economic growth over past periods.

“The Human Development Index of South Sudan is still missing. The data on income and education could not be provided on time due to the December crisis,” said Balazs Horvath, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) country director.

Horvath said UNDP was working with South Sudan National Bureau of Statistics (SSNBS) to ensure data on the young nation features in next year’s report.

South Sudan descended in to conflict late last year leading to destruction of markets, infrastructure and deaths of thousands while over 1.3 million people still remain in internally displaced camps.

“It’s is not that South Sudan has no data but the international agencies concerned don’t have data on the country,” said finance minister Aggrey Tisa Sabuni.
He said fluctuating prices in the country remains a huge challenge and diversifying sources of revenue meant giving people choices.

Although South Sudan has vast land for agriculture, only 4% of it is being utilised.

(ST)

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