By Charles K Mark
Cooperative Bank of South Sudan plans hosting a summit to promote partnerships for sustainable development of citizens.
The bank’s chief executive officer (CEO) and managing director, Elijah Wamalwa, revealed on Wednesday, during a media engagement in Juba.
He said the summit, scheduled for September 27, 2023, is focused on sustainable growth through agribusiness value chain development.
“The summit seeks to empower grass-roots communities by investing in agri-business through cooperatives, enhance financial inclusivity and incubation,” Wamalwa explained.
He added that the summit also aims at capacity building as well as promoting initiatives on climate resilience and blue economy.
The bank’s managing director said the submit targets to create clear work plans on how to progress with sustainable development programmes.
According to Wamalwa, during the summit, some discussions will focus on creating working groups, networks for current and future projects in South Sudan.
“We shall lobby through the relevant authorities to enact measures that will support a sustainable developmental agenda.”
The CEO noted that the institute seeks to create awareness among the public about the importance of sustainable development as a means to promote self-reliance and improve livelihoods.
Head of legal affairs officer at Cooperative Bank, Esther Tadare observed that agriculture plays an important role in the economy of any country.
However, she noted that most agricultural producers in South Sudan only practice it at subsistence scales.
“Even though the country is rich in terms of agricultural potential, most agriculture is for subsistence, and we believe that development in the value chain will enhance commercial farming to improve quality of life,” Tadare said.
Meanwhile, the head of Institutions and Cooperative Banking Development, Stephen Almadi said many communities lack access to financial services and affordable credit.
“The summit aims to highlight interventions that can be put in place by the various actors to bridge the deficit,” said Almadi.
He emphasized that sustainable development requires developmental initiatives to be environmentally sound to protect the ecosystems of which they are part.
“Co-operatives all over the world have been instrumental in terms of sustainable development in the world,” Almadi said.
He noted that sustainable development needs government’s good will and political support to succeed.