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Zain South Sudan
Zain South Sudan
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Juba – November 5, 2013:Zain South Sudan, the country's leading telecom operator, announces the visit of internationally renowned actor and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Peace and Reconciliation, Forest Whitaker, to the company's head office in Juba. The purpose of the visit was to discuss the progress of Zain's mobile network expansion and steps forward of 'The Whitaker Peace and Development Initiative' in the country, with Zain South Sudan CEO Wassim Mansour. Telecommunications and connectivity for the South Sudan community to the rest of the world plays a critical role in the initiative's aims of capacity building, dialogue and empowerment.
South Sudan recently embarked on an exceptional three-year partnership with
‘The Whitaker Peace and Development Initiative’, in cooperation with UNESCO and
Ericsson to establish a Youth Peacemaker Network (YPN) in South Sudan,
comprised of youth from the 10 states in the country. In developing youth’s
capacities in peace-building, the partners are working on (1) the formation of
a youth network, (2) capacity development workshops and long-term support, (3)
the establishment of a Youth Leadership Forum that will engage youth in policy
dialogue relevant to the their own development.
The Whitaker Peace and Development Initiative was founded by Mr. Whitaker and is a non-profit organization dedicated to peace-building and community empowerment in areas of conflict everywhere. The organization focuses on empowering and inspiring youth, women, and global citizens to promote peace across the planet.
Commenting on the milestone visit of Mr. Whitaker, Zain South Sudan CEO Wassim Mansour said, "Capacity building is one of the main strategic thrusts of Zain South Sudan and through telecommunications, the company is focusing on narrowing the digital divide and empowering South Sudanese youth with the necessary skills to develop a more productive future in their chosen fields."
continued, “Our partnership with ‘The Whitaker Peace and Development
Initiative’, UNESCO and Ericsson is exactly the type of cooperation required to
improve living and social standards in South Sudan. It is important for
organizations from different backgrounds to come together for a single cause, which
in this case is to improve the prospects of young people in the country.”
his part, Mr. Whitaker commented, “Zain South Sudan is an example of
a company that looks beyond its business involvement in a country and considers
how best to support the social development of the community. At ‘The Whitaker
Peace and Development Initiative’ we support and sustain our peace initiatives
with conflict-resolution training programs and methodology, grassroots efforts,
access to experts, social media, technology, content, and 21st century
communication tools, none of which would be possible without the assistance
from organizations such as UNESCO, Zain and Ericsson.”
The network of youth peacemakers organized by ‘The Whitaker Peace and Development Initiative’ in cooperation with UNESCO, Zain and Ericsson aims to bring young people together, and motivate them to become agents of positive change. The program also aims to develop their capacity building with respect to reconciliation, and peace building, as well as equip them with the social and technical competencies required to undertake their activities effectively. These include basic computer training and development of negotiation skills.
The project will aim to draw on national pride and consolidate inter-tribal relations by bringing together youth from diverse educational, economic, religious, geographical and tribal backgrounds. The network will be inclusive of disabled youth and will ensure a gender balance.
Additionally, during the meeting, Mr. Mansour unveiled to Mr. Whitaker Zain South Sudan's inspirational 'I Am' marketing campaign that was recently launched across the country, to which Mr. Whitaker remarked, "I'm truly overwhelmed by this inspiring and empowering campaign, it really touched me and I'm sure it will capture the heart and minds of the South Sudan community. The campaign aligns perfectly to the aims and cause of 'The Whitaker Peace and Development Initiative'."
With a population of approximately 10 million inhabitants, 72% of whom are under the age of 30, South Sudan’s prolonged conflict has left the younger generation highly fragmented and traumatized. Inter-communal conflicts remain prevalent and are often led by youth whose opportunities to be productive members of society have been deprived by decades of conflict. The effects have been detrimental to peace and stability and it is in these areas that the program in meant to be most effective.
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