France and South Sudan
1 – Political relations
July 9, the Republic of South Sudan gained its independence. Sudan was immediately recognized and established diplomatic relations with it.
The Minister of State, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Alain Juppe, was involved in Juba ceremonies of independence, and has signed with South Sudanese Deng Alor exchanged letters establishing diplomatic relations between France and the Republic Southern Sudan.
Sudan is a country of 1.8 million square kilometers, inhabited by 33 million, the GDP of 66.6 billion U.S. dollars, according to statistics from Khartoum. But there are still many issues to clarify the practical consequences of the separation of the two countries, which will be negotiated in the months to come.
2 – Economic relations
3 – Cultural, Science and technology relations
AFD projects are identified and managed by AFD’s regional office in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia).
AFD and GIZ (German technical cooperation) signed a €6m financing agreement for a water supply project in Juba, the capital of Southern Sudan, on 7 April 2011. This AFD grant completes the one allocated by the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation (BMZ) for the same amount.
This Franco-German cofinancing aims to develop the urban water sector in Southern Sudan.
It comes just 3 months after the self-determination referendum, which was held in January 2011 and will lead to the official creation of the 54th African State (and 193rd State in the world) on 9 July 2011.
Everything needs to be rebuilt in this fragile State, which is just emerging (since the 2005 peace agreements) from a civil war that lasted over 20 years, particularly in the field of basic infrastructure.
Only 5% of the population has access to sanitation
The water and sanitation sector is no exception: it is estimated that only 29% of the population has access to drinking water and only 5% to sanitation. In cities, access to drinking water is even worse: practically none of the networks are working and the access rate is estimated at 14%. These statistics mean that Southern Sudan ranks the lowest worldwide.
This alarming situation is likely to be exacerbated further by migratory flows, with on the one hand a strong rural exodus (80% of the population are still rural dwellers), and on the other hand the return of refugees and internally displaced persons, which could gather pace after the creation of the new State.
Institutional progress has, however, been observed since the peace agreements: a sectoral policy has been implemented since 2009, a Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation (MWRI) now coordinates the sector, an Urban Water Corporation has been set up, etc.
But these reforms have yet to be fully achieved and the lack of capacity of national actors makes it difficult to implement them.
Capacity building is a priority in this context and is consequently a core aspect of this project, which is based on 4 components:
1. Strengthening the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation (MWRI)
2. Reforming the Southern Sudan Urban Water Corporation (SSUWC)
3. Implementing pilot measures in the city of Yei
4. Capacity building for stakeholders in the water sector
The strategic choice of the city of Yei
• It is located in the south of Southern Sudan and should be spared from the different levels of conflict likely to occur with the separation from the North,
• It is at the crossroads of roads linking the country up with Uganda and DRC and has a potential to become a major secondary center. This will limit migrant flows towards the capital Juba.
In Yei, the project will create a primary distribution network, roughly twenty water vending kiosks, boreholes, water towers, public latrines (particularly in schools), hygiene promotion campaigns, a wastewater and sludge treatment basin… These facilities will directly benefit 20 000 residents and improve their living conditions.
The challenge is, however, much broader: Yei will in reality be a “testing center” for the implementation of the national water policy. An operator will be established there to manage operating and, for the first time in Southern Sudan, tariffs will be set with the aim of covering operating costs in order to ensure the service is sustainable.
A national water sector training center will also be set up.
These pilot measures will build the capacities of stakeholders at all levels (national, regional and local), taking into account the decentralization laws. They will apply to administrations just as much as to the private sector (small traders, electrical engineers, electricians…).