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Institute for African Renaissance Studies

Capacity and Institutional Building Programmes

The UNISA/DFA/SPLM-A/GOSS Sudan Project 2004-2011

Since the adoption of the tripartite MOU between the Government of South Africa, as represented by the Department of Foreign Affairs (hereafter the “DFA”), the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) and the University of South Africa (UNISA) in March 2004 for human resources capacity and institutions building in Southern Sudan there have been significant developments. As of end of August 2008 more than 900 top and middle-level leaders and managers had been trained. Among the major developments since the signing of the CPA on 9 January, 2005 are:

  1. A successful pre-implementation assessment mission by a delegation composed of members of the tripartite partners led by Prof Gutto to Southern Sudan, Kenya and Uganda between 1 May and 13 May 2004. UNISA (CARS) spent close to R 300 000 on the mission and related activities. This was UNISA’s initial direct financial and intellectual contribution to this flagship Pan African project. In addition, UNISA undertook not to make profit and charge management fees or honoraria for facilitation by academics employed by the University on aspects of the Project funded by the Government of South Africa [1]. This translates into financial and intellectual solidarity contribution by the University in furtherance of the university’s vision and mission as well as UNISA 2015.

  2. The signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) between the Government of Sudan (GOS) and the SPLM/A took place on 9 January 2005 in Nairobi, Kenya.

  3. The signing of the Funding Agreement for the project between DFA and UNISA was effected between 3rd and 8th of February 2005. Government committed R 7.1 million to the project in 2005, R 27 million for 2006 and pledged to commit further funding for 2007-2011.
  4. The implementation commenced with the Leadership Orientation Workshop at New Site, New Sudan, between the 5th and 10th February 2005. This was followed by practical experiential exposure in South Africa involving lectures and visits to various government departments, relevant institutions and organs of state, civil society and some academic structures of the University between the 28th of March and the 9th of April 2005. A considerable number of those who participated in the Leadership Orientation training programme are occupying senior positions in the new Sudanese Government of National Unity (SGNU) and the Government of Southern Sudan (GSS) as First National Vice President and President of the South, cabinet ministers, advisors to the Presidency and cabinet, state governors, senior diplomats, army commanders and senior civil servants.

  5. The Leadership training was followed by a successful six-weeks training of 25 top diplomats and potential diplomats at the Institute for African Renaissance Studies, UNISA, on “Diplomacy and International Relations” between 19 July and 28 August 2005. Again, most of the trainees now serve as cabinet ministers, advisors to the Presidency and cabinet, senior diplomats and senior civil servants in SGNU and the GSS.

  6. The singing into law of the Interim Constitution of the Republic of Sudan and the inauguration of the SGNU in Khartoum on July 9 2005, with the leader of the SPLM/A, Dr John Garang de Mabior, as the First Vice President of the Republic of Sudan and President of the GSS.

  7. The Abyei Boundary Commission’s Report (ABC) was presented to the Presidency (President Bashir, First Vice President Dr Garang and Second Vice President Ali Osman Taha) in Khartoum on July 15 2005. The ABC is an integral part of the CPA[2] and was mandated to determine whether or not the Abyei Area – home to the Ngok Dinka – was part of the South (Bahr el Ghazal) or the North (Western Kordofan) in 1905[3] and to give the Ngok Dinka in the Abyei Area the right to self-determining through a referendum whether they will belong to Southern Sudan or the North six years after the signing of the CPA. So far, the erstwhile GOS that is the senior partner in the SGNU has stalled on publicly accepting and implementing the decision of the ABC [4].

  8. Dr Garang died tragically in a plane crash (a Ugandan Presidential Helicopter) on July 30 2005. Dr Garang was given a state funeral and was buried in Juba, the Capital of GSS, on August 6 2005. A service was held for the trainee diplomats and the UNISA community at CARS on that day.

  9. Commander Salva Kirr who was second in command to Dr Garang succeeded Dr Garang as leader of the SPLM/A on August 1, 2005.

  10. He, Commander Salva Kirr, was sworn in to succeed Dr Garang as Sudan’s First Vice President of the SGNU on August 8, 2005

  11. The Cabinet of the SGNU was constituted and sworn in on 20 September 2005.

  12. The signing of the Interim Constitution of Southern Sudan on 5 October 2005.

  13. The GSS was established on 22 October 2005.

  14. Training Module on Public Service and Administration commenced at CARS on February 15 2006 and ended on 10 March 2006; the UNISA Centre for Public Administration and Management (CePAM) was the lead academic structure for the theoretical part of the Module.

  15. Training Module on Public Finance Management was held between April 18 and May 12 2006; CARS and UNISA’ Department of Administration and Management were the lead academic structure for the theoretical part of Module.

  16. Training Module on Government Communication & Information Management was held between June 19 and July 8 2006; CARS, Information Science, Computing Science, Communications, Political Science, all at UNISA, and Informatics at UP will participate in theoretical academic part of Module.

  17. The second group on Training Module on Public Finance Management was held between 22 July to 20 August 2006; CARS and UNISA’ Department of Administration and Management is the lead academic structure for the theoretical part of Module.

  18. The second group in Training Module on Public Service and Administration was held between 29 August to 24 September 2006; the UNISA Centre for Public Administration and Management (CePAM) was the lead academic structure for the theoretical part of the Module.

  19. The first group on Training Module for Justice, Legal and Constitutional Affairs was held between 2 to 30 October 2006; CARS, The College of Law and the Justice College were the lead academic structures for the theoretical-practical part of the Module.

  20. The first group on Training Module on Inter-Governmental Relations and Co-ordination was held in April-May 2007.

  21. The first group on Training Module on Local Government (Commissioners) was held in June-July 2007

  22. The second group on Training Module on Local Government (Commissioners) was held between 11 August - 9 September 2007

  23. The second group on Training Module on Diplomacy and International Relations was held between 23 September to 28 October 2007

  24. The third group on Training Module on Local Government and Public Administration and the second group on Training Module on Government Communication & Information Management was held simultaneously between 16 of February and 15 March 2008

  25. Training for a group from the Judiciary (judges and magistrates) and a second group from Correctional (Prison) Services were held simultaneously between 02 and 31 August 2008.

  26. Training of 2 groups from the Justice Cluster:  Judiciary and Legal Affairs together with 1 group in the Mining Industry Cluster:  The Mineral Industry for Public Sector Officials were held simultaneously between the 14th February 2009 and the 17th May 2009.

Naturally, there have been some fundamental changes in circumstances since the needs were identified and priorities set in 2004 and 2005. The principal ones are: the political authority in the South is now not only the SPLM/A but rather the SPLM/A and the Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS); in addition, the SPLM/A is also part of the Government of Sudan in Khartoum (GOS) that is responsible for the whole of the Sudan; there are processes that need capacity building that were not specifically factored in the initial needs identification and prioritising such as developing competencies to establish electoral systems and preparing the population for elections and the referenda; and the need to identify more clearly partners and facilities for executing some of the training inside Southern Sudan itself or in the neighbouring countries such as Uganda, Kenya or Ethiopia.

In light of the above developments, the tripartite project team agreed in principle towards the end of 2005 that there was  need to visit Southern Sudan with a view to meeting with the SPLM/A and GOSS to re-assess and re-confirm the needs and priorities for capacity and institutions building in Southern Sudan, including the Abyei Area. This re-assessment mission took place. At an informal meeting between the responsible ministers from the GOSS and the CAR (UNISA) leadership on 27 November 2006 in Pretoria, it was agreed that a team including Prof Gutto should re-visit Juba and some states (provinces) to finalise the re-assessment and re-alignment of the programme for 2008 onwards. GOSS’s Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Human Resources was to facilitate the visit. The review, re-assessment and re-alignment mission, composed of UNISA and DFA representatives and an observer team from SAMDI, visited Southern Sudan in September 2007. One of the main outcomes of the visit was an agreement between the principal partners (UNISA/DFA/GOSS) that after completing the two remaining modules in phase 2 by the end of March 2008, the commencement of phase 3 in June-July 2008[6] should mark the beginning of multi-sites delivery – South Africa and Southern Sudan. A delegation from UNISA, DFA and SAMDI visited Juba in May-June 2008 and confirmed that the delivery sites will be South Africa and Southern Sudan as from 2008 and that groups of judges, magistrates, legal services and energy and natural resources will be trained before the end of 2008.

It is planned that a Chief Director in the DFA, Mr Graham Maitland, and Prof Gutto will visit Juba between 24th and 27th September 2008 to finalise plans for delivery of capacity and institutions building training and on-the-job training and mentorship in Southern Sudan.

As indicated in footnote 5 below, it should be anticipated that the original MOU will require updating and amending, through adoption of protocols, in order to take account of and accommodate the new needs and priorities and to streamline responsibilities and management of the project, in light of the lessons that have been learned so far.

Prepared by Professor Shadrack Gutto, Overall University Planner and Coordinator of Academic Programmes, The Sudan Project, August 2008.

  1. Does not apply to funding from other donors or sources. The first funding from outside sources was in the second-half of 2008 by the government of the Federal Republic of Germany; the German funding is specifically targeted to the justice and law enforcement agencies.

  2.  Abyei Protocol, signed at Naivasha, Kenya, 26 May 2004.

  3. The CPA expressly states that the decision of the ABC is “final” and “binding” on the parties to the CPA.

  4. Professor Shadrack Gutto of UNISA was appointed to the 15-member ABC as an independent legal expert by the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD).

  5. This is the first time that an international donor, the Government of Germany, has sponsored the training. The German Ambassador stated at the opening ceremony that they regard the programme very highly and will continue their support in the future. This is a credit to UNISA’s high quality standards and the professionalism and dedicated of all those involved.

  6. This has been rescheduled to start sometime in November-December 2008. The revised MOU to cover the period 2008-2011 is pending signatures of the parties.