8 August 2017 – The third cycle of the UNITAR South Sudan Fellowship Programme: Entrepreneurship and Leadership Youth Training began as 25 young South Sudanese professionals took part in the programme’s Orientation Workshop in Juba, South Sudan. The programme is a six-month capacity-building training for junior- to mid-career-level professionals that focuses on project management, leadership, and social entrepreneurship skills. This year, 25 Fellows and Coaches, including 11 women, from the public sector, private sector, academic institutions, media, and civil society organisations of South Sudan will take part in the programme. 

Now in its third cycle, the programme has 50 alumni, who represent 34 different organizations. Coaches, standout Fellows from the previous cycle who provide mentorship to current Fellows throughout the programme, are again a part of the group. The Coaches will not only share their own experiences but also provide Fellows with lessons learned and insight gained through communication with their counterparts from various sectors. 

The Orientation Workshop, which marked the first time the diverse group has come together, provided the new Fellows with an overview of the programme and helped them prepare for the coming workshops and assignments. The first session covered expectations and roles and responsibilities for both Fellows and UNITAR, as well as the programme structure and timeline. In the second session, Fellows undertook individual needs assessment with UNITAR to identify their specific learning needs, so that UNITAR can further tailor the learning objectives of the programme to address them in an effective manner. Finally, Fellows received an introduction to Japanese culture, in order to prepare them for the workshop in Hiroshima later this fall. 

Workshop I, schedules to take place from 16 to 20 August in Entebbe, Uganda, will introduce Fellows to social entrepreneurship and will go into detail regard types of Organizational Needs Assessment and best practices.  

UNITAR Hiroshima Office Head Mihoko Kumamoto remarked, “We are excited to announce the successful kick-start of the UNITAR South Sudan Fellowship Programme Cycle 2017. This programme aims at building a cohort of future leaders who are committed to serving the people of South Sudan and creating a better future for the country. In addition, their fall visit to Hiroshima, which has revived from ashes to a beautiful, modern, resilient city, will give them opportunities to learn important lessons on peace and post-conflict recovery. We would like to express our sincere appreciation to our partners, particularly the people of South Sudan, the people of Japan, UNDP, and UN Women for joining hands with us to support the future of South Sudan.”

H.E. Kiya Masahiko, Ambassador of Japan to South Sudan, first requested the participants of the ceremony to join him in praying for the victims of 1945 August 6th Nuclear Weapon attack to Hiroshima, and all those who became victims of war and conflict all over the world. He then expressed: "I am very glad to see the successful start of UNITAR Leadership and Entrepreneurship Programme today. I hope that, through this programme, the selected Fellows will learn not only technical skills related to leadership and social entrepreneurship but also will be inspired by witnessing with their own eyes how people in Hiroshima have achieved post-war recovery and reconstruction to date. The Government and the people of Japan will continue supporting capacity building of highly-motivated South Sudanese people through various projects, including UNITAR fellowship. "

Mr. Garang Akuel Athiang, Acting Director of Human Resource Development, Ministry of Labor, Public Service, and Human Resource Development, Republic of South Sudan, said during the workshop, “The impact of this programme is important to the Ministry of Labor, because it’s our responsibility to help train South Sudanese to have a better future. I would like to give a special thanks to UNITAR for the programme that has taken up such service. The subjects of this training, leadership and entrepreneurship, are very important to South Sudan.” Mr. Athiang also commended the role of Coaches, who were selected based on their work as Fellows during the previous programme cycle. He advised current Fellows to make the best use of Coaches’ knowledge during the programme and to work hard so that they too can become mentors to their fellow South Sudanese. 

Mr. Isaac Chinkok Kenti, Director General of the Institute for Democratic Studies, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Republic of South Sudan, who also attended the workshop, told Fellows to “get expertise in the relevant areas that are important to South Sudan.” He reminded the gathering that South Sudan is lucky because it has many young and energetic people who can play role in the reconstruction of the country. Mr. Kenti also said he was happy to see the assembled Fellows because they “were all selected on a competitive basis – no tribalism, no nepotism.” Mr. Kenti continued, “I am confident that you are competent enough to understand and utilize what you are being taught.”

One of the Fellows, Mary Kadi E. Manoah, said, “We aspire to emulate the example of Hiroshima, which, through its visionary aspects, was able to reconstruct itself into what it is today. This training will surely help us focus our energies together to achieve more overall. We look forward to the continuity of such programmes to contribute to building our own capacities, as well as those of our beneficiaries, represented by the various institutions in our country. Our sincerest gratitude goes to the whole UNITAR team and the Japanese and South Sudanese Governments for this invaluable opportunity.”

About the Programme

The UNITAR South Sudan Fellowship Programme was developed by the UNITAR Hiroshima Office, with funding support from the Government and people of Japan and with institutional support from the Government of the Republic of South Sudan, to cultivate the social entrepreneurship and project-development knowledge, skills, and attitudes of selected South Sudanese professionals. The programme features a blended learning methodology and includes asynchronous and online training, coupled with two juba-based and two international workshops. Each workshop links with Fellows-led projects examining challenges and opportunities as they exist in South Sudan today. 

Social entrepreneurship is the main theme of this year’s programme. The majority of the South Sudan’s population is youth; providing them with the entrepreneurial skills and insight to identify business opportunities, to lead, and to develop projects that will address the needs of their communities and create employment opportunities is critical to the country’s future. 

South Sudan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation is the political focal point for the programme and the Ministry of Labour, Public Service, and Human Resource Development is the operational focal point.

About UNITAR

The United Nations Institute for Training and Research is a principal training arm of the United Nations, working in every region of the world. It empowers individuals, governments, and organisations through knowledge and learning to effectively overcome contemporary global challenges. The UNITAR Hiroshima Office, mandated to promote post-conflict reconstruction and international peace, has long engaged in designing and conducting training for people from post-conflict countries, such as Afghanistan and Iraq, and commands a unique understanding of the needs of such trainees as they work toward peace.  

For more information

At the UNITAR Hiroshima Office
Shamsul Hadi SHAMS (Mr.)
E-mail: shamsul.shams@unitar.org
Phone: +81 82 511 2424

At the Embassy of Japan in South Sudan
Takanobu NAKAHARA (Mr.)
E-mail: takanobu.nakahara@mofa.go.jp
Phone: +211 (0)959 003152