South Sudan’s Minister of Gender, Child-Marriage and Child-Soldiers has communicated that President Salva Kiir has secured a $8 million grant from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to train, prepare and supply South Sudanese housemaids.

A late-comer to the competitive and lucrative housemaidens supply business, South Sudan hopes to wisely utilise the grant to boost its current standing in the international ‘housemaiding’ enterprises.

This latest tapping into one of its under-utilised resources (women) to make it a lucrative commodity, experts agree, will greatly improve its economy which, until now, depended solely on oil exports and cash-cow work. The training scheme is tentatively called ‘Tidy Tukuls’ and participants of which will be awarded the title of UAE-certified maids, a qualification that should be respected and recognised in at least 4 other Mid-East countries.

“This generous grant offers a unique opportunity to train young South Sudanese women and build their capacity in the profession of housemaiding and after that we can facilitate their mass export to the UAE and their placement in an appropriate house…. Unemployment and early-marriage among our young women will be a thing of history” said the minister.

President Kiir was in the UAE on a two-day visit to woo investors to the world’s newest nation. Whilst there, the president successfully managed to sign various other cooperation deals, many of which granted UAE access and exemption from taxes in return for grants and promises to build capacity in various UAE-friendly fields.

This is not the first time the two nations have reached out to each other, in 2012, UAE donated 20 thousand tonnes of sand that was later used to renovate government houses and a year later, at the height of a famine crisis, a UAE-based company pledged to donate camel-milk-based ice-cream and water-melon seeds to feed the hungry.

Saakam will keep you posted when the training places become available, initial response show that South Sudanese women are keen to be housemaidens in the UAE.