Norway has pledged USD 10 million to help South Sudan build up its political infrastructure as part of continued peacekeeping efforts.
Under the deal approximately 200 civil servants from neighbouring Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia, the three IGAD (Inter-Governmental Authority on Development) countries, will coach various public and political staff.
“The country has good leaders, but its administrative and technical staff are not sufficiently trained,” Minister for International Development Erik Solheim tells The Foreigner, who signed the agreement with South Sudanese Minister for Labour and Public Service Awut Deng Acuil during his visit to the country last week.
According to Minister Solheim, the agreement is to enhance capacity building in the areas of education, health, and infrastructure, amongst others.
“We have agreed with the President of South Sudan to be a strategic partner. Although we have not set any time-limit, the aim is to allow the country to function without foreigners,” Minister Solheim says.
Norway and South Sudan will also be cooperating on oil, but Norway will not be receiving any direct advantages.
“It is just to benefit world peace in a global perspective,” says the minister.
The UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) will be administering the funds, which will be paid out for the duration of the initiative.
The agreement is irrespective of the south’s vote for succession, due to be held on 09 January 2011.
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