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FACT-CHECK

South Sudan’s Finance Ministry hasn’t signed an AfDB and UNESCO agreement to support businesses

The ad is a hoax and scam being peddled on a fake Facebook page impersonating the Minister of Finance, Bak Barnaba Chol.

A Facebook page bearing the name of the Minister of Finance and Planning, Bak Barnaba Chol, which posted a statement about funding opportunities for small and medium business enterprises (SMEs) in South Sudan, is a hoax.


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The page, in its statement, claimed that the Ministry of Finance and Planning signed an 11 million dollar agreement with the African Development Bank (AfDB) and UNESCO to provide support for business owners, companies, and organisations.

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“We are therefore calling upon all eligible business owners, companies, and organisations to apply for this funding opportunity under the Investing in [the] diversified economy-led growth model,” reads a statement posted on Facebook bearing the name Dr Bak Barnaba Chol on January, 28th 2024 with a link attached for the applicants to apply for the funding opportunity.

Screenshot of the Facebook page claim.
Screenshot of the Facebook page claim.

Claim Verification:

211 Check reviewed the Facebook page’s transparency, but it turned out that the page was created on January 27th 2024, and had only 109 likes and 359 followers during the review, which raised suspicion of a fake account since it is new.

The screenshot of the page transparency
The screenshot of the page transparency

The Google form link attached with the statement for the application process collects personal information of the applicants (name, contacts, address, occupation), business or organisation entity name and type, number of employees, and the amount of the fund which is maximally limited at 500,000USD including other information to be filled before applying.

Screenshot of the Google form
Screenshot of the Google form

The Ministry of Finance and Planning, in a statement it published on its Facebook page on January 28th 2024, debunked the claim as a scam and fake account impersonating the Minister of Finance, Dr Bak Barnaba Chol.

“This is to inform the general public and social media users in particular to be cautious of unscrupulous scammers using the name of the Honorable Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr. Bak Barnaba Chol, to scam unsuspecting Facebook subscribers,” reads part of the statement the Ministry shared to the public on its Facebook page.

“It should be noted that all formal communications from the Ministry of Finance and Planning are either published on the official website or posted here on this official Facebook Page,” it added.

The screenshot of the Ministry of Finance statement debunking the claim as a scam and fake
The screenshot of the Ministry of Finance statement debunking the claim as a scam and fake

211 Check contacted the African Development Bank (AfDB) South Sudan country’s office Manager and UNESCO’s Juba office for comments via email, but the efforts were unsuccessful.

Conclusion:

211 Check finds a post soliciting applications on a Facebook page impersonating the Minister of Finance and Planning, Bak Barnaba Chol, a hoax. No public record shows the Ministry of Finance and Planning has signed an 11 million dollar agreement with the African Development Bank and UNESCO to support Small and Medium Enterprises business owners in South Sudan.

The AfDB and UNESCO websites do not show any agreement of 11 million dollars signed with the Ministry of Finance and Planning of South Sudan to support business and organisation entities.

Credit: 211 Check

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