Canada pledges to empower citizens
The Canadian Ambassador to South Sudan Jenny Hill has assured South Sudan of her government commitment to continue supporting the vulnerable citizens in the country.
She said Canada had the interest to invest in the human capital in the youth, women, and vulnerable children in the country to equip them with skills.
“Canada is interested in investing in human capital in the youth, women and vulnerable children. The whole population is looking like the most disadvantaged are looking for opportunities so that South Sudan can move forward peacefully and stabilise,” Amb. Jenny said.
She said Canada is a multicultural country that benefited from the diversity of people from various countries.
The diplomat said many Canadian-trained South Sudanese who were living within the country were contributing to development in South Sudan, saying it is what makes Canada proud.
The Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Deng Dau Deng called on the youth in Canada to return home to participate in development.
Deng acknowledged that the expertise acquired by youth in Canada would be pivotal in developing the country.
“We have a number of Canadians in our country who came back and they are now doing a lot of work, some of them are working in the government, others are working in the private sectors.
“[These people] got the training and the knowledge and came back to South Sudan. We want to appeal to those who are still in Canada to come and work because when you get an education and get the skills; it will be useful for us here,” he appealed.
Most South Sudanese students went to Canada through the World University Service of Canada (WUSC) from neighbouring Uganda and Kenya.
The refugee sponsorship program targets well-performing students with refugee statuses.
The diplomatic relation between South Sudan and Canada began immediately after South Sudan’s independence on July 9, 2011.
Canada set up its office for bilateral relations in Juba in 2011and announced establishing of its diplomatic mission in September 2014. The first Canadian embassy was established in 2015 while South Sudan is represented in Canada by its embassy in Washington DC.
Canada has been supporting regional and international mediation towards a peaceful resolution of conflict in South Sudan. Reports indicate that the Canadian government had been supporting peace and development in South Sudan in areas not limited to humanitarian assistance, peacekeeping, peacebuilding and laying the foundation for development.
It is also strategic in South Sudan’s political arena. This is on the area of the peaceful resolution of the conflict by co-representing Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Partners Forum in the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission, which is an oversight body strategic under the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan.
In 2017, Canada channelled $101.48 million to assist South Sudan towards quality health services emphasising sexual and reproductive health and rights, reducing food insecurity, improving access to quality education and support towards inclusive governance for vulnerable populations like women and girls.
Canadian aid has helped in providing emergency food and nutrition, water and sanitation, healthcare, protection services and shelter for vulnerable populations affected by conflicts.
The current projects are said to be focused on crisis management by funding efforts to eradicate intercommunal violence, engaging citizens and promoting accountability.
In 2018, the two-way merchandise trade between the two countries amounted to $10.2 million. In the same year, Canadian exports to South Sudan included aircraft parts, textile and clothing items as well as sea products.
Canadian imports from South Sudan included electrical or electronic machinery and equipment.