The South Sudan Jobs Creation and Trade Development (JCTD) Project emanates from the technical assistance request of the Government of South Sudan to the International Trade Centre. It was designed as the result of the findings of the ITC scoping mission to South Sudan.
It aims to provide an integrated and holistic assistance for the development of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in the fruits and vegetables value chains to create economic and employment opportunities for South Sudanese population targeted under the project. It addresses the main challenges of the fruits and vegetables subsector along the value chains by improving production, processing and handling practices; building capacities of MSMEs to comply with mandatory market requirements and standards for enhanced access to markets; enhancing human skills as well as strengthening producer cooperatives. It will also address the employment problems of youth and women by building entrepreneurship and business management capacities and implementing innovative schemes to facilitate access to finance for youth entrepreneurs and youth-owned businesses.
The project is financed by the European Union under the EU Trust fund for Africa with a contribution of EUR 4.8 million and is implemented by ITC over a period of four years.
The project has an overall objective of improving the livelihoods of targeted South Sudanese populations through the creation of jobs and income. It has specific objectives of improving the competitiveness of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises and increasing employment opportunities for the South Sudanese labour force, with a focus on youth and women.
The interventions of the project in terms of increasing enterprise competitiveness and employment opportunities aim at delivering four main results including: a) the establishment of MSME competitiveness baseline data and a roadmap for the development of the target value chains; b) improved productive capacities and compliance to standards for MSMEs engaged in the targeted products; c) increased market linkages for MSMEs engaged in the targeted products; and d) improved employability and entrepreneurship capacity for the South Sudanese labour force, focussing on youth and women. The results are summarised in the logframe below.
Impact: Improved livelihoods of the South Sudanese population targeted under the project.
The Government will ensure the implementation of a comprehensive set of actions for conflict prevention, protection of citizens and maintain stability and security. The signed Revitalized Peace Agreement will continue to hold and its implementation will solidify peace in the country.
Government partners and private sector stakeholders remain committed and support project implementation and sustainability with effective participation in accordance to the set timeline.
Government's commitment to the development of the agricultural sector and youth empowerment remains at high level.
Absence/insignificant occurrence of negative external factors [such as floods, drought, unfavourable climate variability, disease and pests, public health emergencies (COVID19, Ebola, malaria epidemics), etc.] that may have major repercussion on socio-economic development.
Outcome: Increased MSME competitiveness and employment opportunities for the South Sudanese labour force, with a focus on youth and women.
Output 1. MSME competitiveness baseline data and roadmap for the development of the target value chains established
Output 2. Improved productive capacities and compliance to standards for MSMEs engaged in targeted product sectors
Output 3. Increased market linkages for MSMEs in the targeted product sectors
Output 4. Improved employability and entrepreneurship capacity for South Sudanese labour force, focussing on youth and women
In terms of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the project contributes to three main goals, namely SDG 2, SDG 8 and SGD 10. It contributes to the doubling productivity and incomes of small-scale food producers in particular women (SDG 2, target 2.3), and to the achievement of productive employment and creation of decent employment opportunities for women and men, including young people of South Sudan (SDG 8, target 8.5). In doing so, it will support efforts in achieving income growth of the bottom 40% (SDG 10, target 10.1).
The target beneficiaries of the project will be: micro, small and medium sized enterprises; South Sudanese labour force, including youth and women; and sector based cooperatives and associations. The project will support MSMEs that operate businesses in the fruit and vegetables subsector. A survey of these enterprises will be undertaken at the early stages of the project in order to identify relevant enterprises that would receive support under the project. Enterprises in both rural and urban areas will be benefiting from the project's intervention. Youth between 15 and 34 years of age will be primary beneficiaries of the project. Specific criteria will be developed during the inception phase to more concretely determine the size, demography and location of the target youth and women that will be supported under the project.
The project will directly or indirectly address the following cross cutting issues, namely poverty, human rights, youth, gender and environment.
According to the Global Multidimensional Poverty Index 2019, 91.9% of the South Sudanese population are multidimensionally poor. The vast majority of the population lives under the international poverty line of less than 2 dollars per day. This is the result of long years of conflict and economic crisis. According to the reports of UNHCR and OCHA, about 7 million people, representing more than 54 of the population, are presently severely food insecure. As the large proportion of the population lives in rural areas, poverty is primarily rural in the country, characterized by a general lack of economic opportunities and access to basic services. This project will contribute to improve the livelihoods of young people and women to access economic opportunities through improved employability and entrepreneurship opportunities for self-employment. This is expected to improve incomes of households and individuals and thereby contribute to poverty reduction.
Human rights, resilience and conflict sensitivity are at the core of the action as the key response to current political and economic challenges in South Sudan. Human rights issues are mainstreamed throughout by dedicating a special attention to women, to vulnerable communities and youth participation. The identification of activities will be designed to address opportunities for people including from rural and more remote areas. Accessibility of the activities, including trainings and entrepreneurial support, will be ensured to all including persons with disabilities.
Also, in the articulation with the private sector, the action will support businesses in ensuring their full respect for human rights, including by not being complicit in human rights abuses, forced and child labor, and to contribute to the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.
Youth unemployment is a major concern in South Sudan. A study by the African Development Bank identified a number of factors that has led to high youth unemployment rate, including: skills mismatch, lack of employment opportunities, lack of access to financial services, land, markets, insufficient labour demand, lack of skilled labour supply, economic and political exclusion of youths, absence of solid legal and regulatory framework and coherent policy. This in turn is believed to have contributed to increased number of youth criminal activities and rebellion. According to the latest data estimate of the United Nations Population Fund, there are about 4.6 million young people between the ages of 15 and 34, accounting for about 35% of the population. Young people of 15 to 24 years of age represent 20% of the population, and the labour force aged 15 years and above is estimated at 5.7 million. This project as part of its main interventions aims to ensure the participation of the South Sudanese youth in economic activities and jobs that will be created in the fruits and vegetables subsector by enhancing their vocational, technical and entrepreneurship skills, knowledge and capacities. Accordingly, youth focussed capacity building training and coaching programmes will be designed in alignment with ongoing technical and vocational education and training initiatives run by the Government as well as supported by projects of different development partners.
During the conflict where men have been involved in the armed forces, women in the country have been producing food, managing households and feeding the soldiers. However, the gender disparity in South Sudan has been high. There is high gap in access to education between the male and female. According to UNDP Gender Development Index, South Sudan is part of tier 5, among the countries with the highest gender disparity. According to UNESCO, female literacy rate is 19.2% compared to the male literacy rate of 34.8%. The support of women under this programme is inherent. The programme will provide opportunities to both young girls and women to improve their skills through vocational and technical training and better position their status in the community in terms of their access to economic opportunities, education and employment. The implementing partner will be requested to collect and present sex-disaggregated data of the action target groups where possible.
This action will take into consideration the Sexual and Gender Based Violence in South Sudan (that is among the highest in the world) while planning and implementing activities.
Given the specific focus on women within this action, a gender protection component will be mainstreamed throughout the activities, and especially in case of activities under Result 2.
According to the African Development Bank Country Strategy Paper, environmental degradation and volatile seasonal rainfall trends affect South Sudan and these environmental factors are causing serious losses in forest cover, biodiversity and wildlife and fertile soil resources. Droughts and floods cause up to 70% of variability in food production . This project is not intended to directly implement environmental strategies. However, it will aim at analysing the environmental impact of all its operations and incorporate methods to enhance the awareness of target MSMEs and youth groups of the benefits of climate resilient and sustainable business practices and better know-how on their implementation. Additionally, the action might consider including sensitisation on green aspects such as local production, sustainable agricultural methods, and sustainable crops.
Prior to commencement of main project implementation, inception phase activities will be carried out. The inception phase activities will involve identification and mapping of project partners, beneficiaries, specific products and project sites; baseline assessment and establishment of targets; analysis of project sustainability and design of sustainability strategy; establishing a project implementation and monitoring framework; constituting a Project Steering Committee, and revision of proposed project activities and results based on inception phase findings. The inception phase will be implemented over a period of six months.
financed by the European Union
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Mr. Aklile Mitiku HABTEMARIAMCountry Manager for South SudanJCTDP Project Manager+41 22 730 email@example.com