25 Young South Sudanese Professionals Begin UNITAR Leadership and Entrepreneurship Programme in Juba

The third cycle of the UNITAR South Sudan Fellowship Programme: Entrepreneurship and Leadership Youth Training began as 25 young South Sudanese professionals took part in the programme’s Orientation Workshop in Juba, South Sudan. The programme is a sixmonth capacity-building training for junior- to mid-career-level professionals that focuses on project management, leadership, and social entrepreneurship skills. This year, 25 Fellows and Coaches, including 11 women, from the public sector, private sector, academic institutions, media, and civil society organisations of South Sudan will take part in the programme.  

Now in its third cycle, the programme has 50 alumni, who represent 34 different organizations. Coaches, standout Fellows from the previous cycle who provide mentorship to current Fellows throughout the programme, are again a part of the group. The Coaches will not only share their own experiences but also provide Fellows with lessons learned and insight gained through communication with their counterparts from various sectors.  

The Orientation Workshop, which marked the first time the diverse group has come together, provided the new Fellows with an overview of the programme and helped them prepare for the coming workshops and assignments. The first session covered expectations and roles and responsibilities for both Fellows and UNITAR, as well as the programme structure and timeline. In the second session, Fellows undertook individual needs assessment with UNITAR to identify their specific learning needs, so that UNITAR can further tailor the learning objectives of the programme to address them in an effective manner. Finally, Fellows received an introduction to Japanese culture, in order to prepare them for the workshop in Hiroshima later this fall.  

Workshop I, schedules to take place from 16 to 20 August in Entebbe, Uganda, will introduce Fellows to social entrepreneurship and will go into detail regard types of Organizational Needs Assessment and best practices.   

Ambassador Isaac Chinkok Kenti, Director General of the Institute for Diplomatic Studies, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Republic of South Sudan, who also attended the workshop, told Fellows to “get expertise in the relevant areas that are important to South Sudan.” He reminded the gathering that South Sudan is lucky because it has many young and energetic people who can play role in the reconstruction of the country. Ambassador. Kenti also said he was happy to see the assembled Fellows because they “were all selected on a competitive basis – no tribalism, no nepotism.” Ambassador Kenti continued, “I am confident that you are competent enough to understand and utilize what you are being taught.” 

Mr. Garang Akuel Athiang, Acting Director of Human Resource Development, Ministry of Labor, Public Service and Human Resource Development, Republic of South Sudan, said during the workshop, “The impact of this programme is important to the Ministry of Labor, because it’s our responsibility to help train South Sudanese to have a better future. I would like to give a special thanks to UNITAR for the programme that has taken up such service. The subjects of this training, leadership and entrepreneurship, are very important to South Sudan.” Mr. Athiang also commended the role of Coaches, who were selected based on their work as Fellows during the previous programme cycle. He advised current Fellows to make the best use of Coaches’ knowledge during the programme and to work hard so that they too can become mentors to their fellow South Sudanese. 

H.E. Kiya Masahiko, Ambassador of Japan to South Sudan, first requested the participants of the ceremony to join him in praying for the victims of 1945 August 6th Nuclear Weapon attack to Hiroshima, and all those who became victims of war and conflict all over the world. He then expressed: “I am very glad to see the successful start of UNITAR Leadership and Entrepreneurship Programme today. I hope that, through this programme, the selected Fellows will learn not only technical skills related to leadership and social entrepreneurship but also will be inspired by witnessing with their own eyes how people in Hiroshima have achieved post-war recovery and reconstruction to date. The Government and the people of Japan will continue supporting capacity building of highlymotivated South Sudanese people through various projects, including UNITAR fellowship.” 

UNITAR Hiroshima Office Head Mihoko Kumamoto remarked, “We are excited to announce the successful kick-start of the UNITAR South Sudan Fellowship Programme Cycle 2017. This programme aims at building a cohort of future leaders who are committed to serving the people of South Sudan and creating a better future for the country. In addition, their fall visit to Hiroshima, which has revived from ashes to a beautiful, modern, resilient city, will give them opportunities to learn important lessons on peace and post-conflict recovery. We would like to express our sincere appreciation to our partners, particularly the people of South Sudan, the people of Japan, UNDP, and UN Women for joining hands with us to support the future of South Sudan.” 

One of the Fellows, Mary Kadi E. Manoah, said, “We aspire to emulate the example of Hiroshima, which, through its visionary aspects, was able to reconstruct itself into what it is today. This training will surely help us focus our energies together to achieve more overall. We look forward to the continuity of such programmes to contribute to building our own capacities, as well as those of our beneficiaries, represented by the various institutions in our country. Our sincerest gratitude goes to the whole UNITAR team and the Japanese and South Sudanese Governments for this invaluable opportunity.” 

Distributed by APO on behalf of Embassy of Japan in South Sudan.

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