Shortly after joining the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as its 188th member (Wednesday), the Republic of South Sudan became the World Bank’s newest member when its Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Kosti Manibe Ngai, signed the banks’s Articles of Agreement and Conventions, South Sudanese bank executives said Thursday.
“Even before joining, the World Bank has already been collaborating closely with us,” Ngai said, disclosing that “South Sudan was pleased that the formalities have finally been completed, and was looking forward to a long-term partnership with the World Bank Group as it works together on the much needed development of South Sudan.”
The signing of the agreement automatically makes South Sudan a member of the International Bank of Reconstruction and Development (IBRD).
It will also join the membership of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the International Development Association (IDA), the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA).
South Sudan became the world’s newest country on 9 July, 2011, after decades of conflict.
South Sudan has some of the lowest education, health and other human development results in the world, and more than half of the population live below the poverty line.
The country, however, has rich agricultural and forestry potential and significant oil reserves, the World Bank said.
As a member of the World Bank, South Sudan will have access to concessional loans from IDA, in addition to a wide range of technical and advisory services from the World Bank Group. The World Bank’s membership now stands at 188 countries.
“I am very pleased to welcome South Sudan, the world’s newest country, as the newest member of the World Bank Group, to help it manage and resolve its many formidable development challenges while it also builds a broad national coalition to secure lasting peace and prosperity,” said Mrs. Obiageli Ezekwesili, the World Bank’s Vice President for Africa.
She said the World Bank was strongly committed to this approach in South Sudan, and also to support the fight against corruption, to promote accountability and good governance, and to work closely with South Sudan and its communities for better social and economic development.
The World Bank has been actively engaged in South Sudan’s development since 2005, both through analytical work and as the administrator of the Multi-Donor Trust Fund for Southern Sudan (MDTF-SS), which is funded by 13 donors and the World Bank.
To date, the MDTF-SS has disbursed about US$ 505 million (against US$ 541 million committed), supporting 20 projects in 10 sectors considered vital to South Sudan