22 May 2017, Juba, South Sudan – The United Nations Institute of Training and Research (UNITAR) Hiroshima Office and the Embassy of Japan in South Sudan launched the 3rd Cycle of UNITAR South Sudan Fellowship Programme. Focusing on project management, leadership and entrepreneurship skills, the six-month capacity-building training programme offers scholarship to 25 South Sudanese Fellows and coaches from public sector, private sector, academic institutions, and civil society organisations.
The programme consists of four workshops—two in Juba and two others internationally. Designed for junior to mid-career level South Sudanese professionals, social entrepreneurship is the main theme of this year’s programme. The majority of the South Sudan’s population are youth; therefore, providing them with the entrepreneurial skills and insight to identify business opportunities, to lead, and to develop projects that will address the specific needs of their communities, and creates employment opportunities for youth, is critical. The Fellowship’s capacity building scheme facilitates development of entrepreneurial initiatives of private sector, especially small and medium enterprises, and contributes to stable economic prosperity of South Sudan in the long run. Such business development initiatives can also serve to generate income for the unemployed and thus reduce aid dependency.
On 15 May 2017, a ceremony was held in Juba to conclude the 2016 Cycle and to launch the 2017 Cycle of the programme. A number of key guests from the Government of South Sudan and international organizations, as well as UNITAR Alumni from the 2015 Cycle, witnessed the Fellows present their final project proposals. The total number of UNITAR Alumni in South Sudan now stands at 50, representing 34 different governmental and non-governmental organizations.
During the ceremony, the Honourable Gathoth Gatkuoth Hothnyang, Minister of Labour, Public Service and Human Resource Development, stated, “We are grateful to the people of Japan for their tireless support to the people of South Sudan through this Fellowship programme. More than 60% of the population is youth, and we believe that human development is crucial for the Republic of South Sudan to maintain peace and embrace development. We believe that training Fellows in needs assessment and project proposal writing will reduce the need to hire foreign consultants, and allow the Fellows to be change agents in our various institutions.”
“South Sudan Fellowship Programme presents great opportunities for young professionals from diverse backgrounds to work together for a common goal, which is to create a better future for South Sudan. Building friendship and trust is essential for their personal and professional lives, and in the long run, will contribute significantly to nation building,” said Mihoko Kumamoto, Head of the UNITAR Hiroshima Office.
Kiya Masahiko, Ambassador of Japan to South Sudan, noted: “The Government and the people of Japan are behind the self-help efforts of the people of South Sudan to achieve sustainable peace and development. As a nation that rose from the devastation of war, Japan is eager to see peace take root in South Sudan by the people’s leadership and ownership galvanized through this Japan-UNITAR Hiroshima project. The Government of Japan, a strong advocate of global peace and development, is committed to supporting the South Sudanese people through a range of humanitarian, development and peacebuilding projects, including through UNITAR Hiroshima.”
The programme is being coordinated with the support of the Government of the Republic of South Sudan. The 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.