By William Madouk Garang
The government of South Sudan through the African Parks Network secured 25 million US Dollars for the rehabilitation and management of national parks in a bid to boost tourism in the country.
Yesterday, the minister of Wildlife Conservation & Tourism, Rizik Zachariah tabled Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between his docket and the African Park Network before the economic cluster chaired by the Vice President Dr. James Wani Igga and it was passed.
The MOU entailed for establishment and building of Boma, Badingilo national parks and the Jonglei plain as a viable biodiversity hub for both the fauna and flora.
Speaking to the media, the deputy minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Lily Albino Akol said the MOU was passed and the African Park Network had committed to invest in the country’s tourism sector.
“The first item was memorandum of understanding that was signed between the Ministry of Wildlife and African Parks Network – the MOU entailed promoting tourism as well as conserving wildlife and the habitat for wildlife in South Sudan and capacity building,” Ms. Akol said.
“The MOU also addresses the issues of funding, the African Parks Network has agreed to fund infrastructure, capacity building, and communication network to the tune of 25 million US dollars,” she continued.
Ms. Akol said that the Minister of Wildlife was directed by the Economic Cluster to present it before the council of ministers and then to parliament for further appraisal and approval.
She added that the second phase of funding will be a joint venture between the Ministry of Wildlife and the African Parks Network whereby the duos will mobilize funds to facilitate tourism sector.
On August 25, 2022, the Minister of Wildlife Conservation and Tourism, Zachariah struck the deal with the African parks in which the organization pledged to fund tourism sector with over 50 million US Dollars.
Minister Zacharia said that the 10-year renewable management agreement seeks to invest in the protection of wildlife and in enhancing infrastructure development of the tourism sector.
The African Parks is a South African conservation organization that takes on complete responsibility for the rehabilitation and long-term management of national parks in partnership with governments and local communities.
They currently manage 17 national parks and protected areas in 11 countries covering over 13.3 million hectares in Angola, Benin, Central African Republic, Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Mozambique, the Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.