SPLM economic reform workshop kicks off in Juba

JUBA, 16 March 2011 - A five-day workshop on economic reform under the theme “Growth and Sustainable Development in the coming new Republic of South Sudan” kicked off yesterday at Home and Away Business Centre in Juba.


The participants were welcomed by national secretariat of finance and economic Affairs, Cde. Gabriel Alaak. The conference was also briefed about the importance of the workshop by Cde. Dr. David Mayo as well as Cde. Dr. Anne Itto, the SPLM Deputy Secretariat General (SG). Cde. Pagan Amum Okiech also delivered a speech to the conference and emphasized that the workshop will address all issues related to economic reform.


Several renowned international scholars made presentations on various topics. Dr. Shanta Davarajan World Bank Chief of Economics for Africa region; Professor Lant Pritchett, Harvard University‘s Centre for International Development explained the meaning of the markets and institutions. Professor Tony Venable, Oxford University ‘s Centre for the Analysis of Resources Rich Economy, Dr. Edward Gemayel, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and former Deputy Secretary General, Norwegian Ministry of Finance explained the meaning of the Metronomic for oil rich new country. The presenters also discussed the role of finance institutions as well as agriculture and forestry in economic development in Southern Sudan.


The commercial banking reform in the Republic of South Sudan was presented by Michael Marino of Nile Commercial Bank, John Buong of Ivory Bank, Bacy James of Agriculture Bank of Sudan and Andrew Mayen of Buffalo Commercial Bank. They made the following recommendations:

 

  1. Restructuring and recapitalization of the local banks 75% owned by government;
  2. Credit allocation in order to develop the economy and reduce poverty;
  3. Fund flight, lack of incentive to depositors - BOSS should create Certificate of Depositors ( CDs) to attract the excess cash;
  4. Land reform - land ownership to enable business enterprise access credit;
  5. Fund s allocated to exchange bureaus should be given to local banks and all Forex outlets;
  6. Government should utilize local banks in revenue collection exercise (Taxes and Customs);
  7. Training of accountants and managers in order for local banks to contribute to the economy of South Sudan;
  8. Address the legal reforms such as Judiciary and land reform which has impact on the economy;
  9. Government through BOSS should come up with adequate policies and procedures to protect the customers; and
  10. BOSS should strengthen on site examination and off site surveillance to avoid financial sector inability and bank failure.


Mr. Elijah Malok Aleng, the Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Sudan (CBS) and President of the Bank of South Sudan (BOSS) also made a presentation on the existing banking institutions in Southern Sudan. He said that there are eight banks in Southern Sudan of which three are foreign. He also said that there are eight microfinance institutions in Southern Sudan. He also said that there are five insurance companies of which one is foreign owned. Mr. Malok also said that there are 33 operating Forexes in Southern Sudan.


Reported by Clement Aturjong


Heritage minister briefs media on preparations of symbols of authority

JUBA, 16 March 2011 – The minister for Culture and Heritage, Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS), H.E. Gabriel Changson Chang yesterday briefed the media on various issues relating to symbols of authority of the new country expected on 9th July 2011.


With regard to the Court of Arms/Medals, he said that two adverts inviting artists interested in designing it have been released. The adverts went out on Friday with a final submission date of April 21, 2011. We are doing it as part of the 2011 taskforce. A committee has been appointed to work out the technical aspects. The advert provides guidelines and a panel of nine judges will review the entries. It includes representatives of political parties, women, the army, police, Ministry of Culture and Heritage, civil society and faith-based organisations.


“We would like to have broad based participation on part of the national symbols”, he said. He explained that the ministry is taking this matter seriously because it is important to the new nation since the coat of arms will be used in many critical documents such as passport, nationality identification cards and letterheads, among others. “These must be ready by the 9th of July”, he asserted.


The minister also explained that the medals of honour will be used to honour South Sudan’s great leaders. He said the medals will be of 2 types: Grade 1 will be the first class given to heads of state. There will also be Grade 2 and 3. Other categories will include gold, silver and bronze medallions related to sports activities. He said that the recipients will be segregated into 13 categories.

 


H.E. Changson Chang (left) addressing the media. He is accompanied by Mr. George Garang (second left), the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Information.
[Photo: Ajang Monychol]


H.E. Chang also announced that the Dr. Garang Mausoleum will be upgraded to suit the July 9th celebrations and make it presentable for the occasion. He said that some of the proposed upgrades include a small monument of about 42mt high to be situated on the grave of Dr. John Garang - the monument will be engraved with names of heroes and martyrs; a memorial wall that will also be engraved with names; a raised stage for declaring independence; a pole for raising the flag high – this will remain as a symbol of independence; and the national museum and archives which will also be built there.


He also said that the Mausoleum may be renamed to reflect the number of services to be offered there. He reported that engineers have already been engaged for designs, which will be present on Friday at the Council of Ministers. Again, he asserted that all construction work must be completed before the 9th of July.


The minister also announced that a small body known as Miss Heritage South Sudan will be established to organise local and international beauty pageants. It will also organise South Sudan cultural shows within and in the neighbouring countries. The body will also conduct training of youth on cultural matters.


Reported by Rosemary Njeri Chacha


Civil servants to offer support for Abyei people

JUBA, 16 March 2011 – The Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS) workers have been requested by the GOSS minister for Labour and Public Service to donate a day’s salary to facilitate a humanitarian support to the people of Abyei.


This was announced yesterday by the Acting Chairperson of the Abyei Community, Mr. Mustafa Biong Majak. He also reported that the Governor of Warrap state has made a similar request for the state government workers to support the victims of the recent fighting in the Abyei region.


Mr. Majak, who is also the Director General of Information, GOSS Ministry of Information, made these announcements when he met a group of Abyei community members from Juba and the Diaspora in his office yesterday evening. During the meeting, he briefed the community members on the visit of the region by the GOSS ministers for SPLA and Veteran Affairs, H.E. Nhial Deng and Regional Cooperation, H.E. Deng Alor. He said that GOSS, under the leadership of President Salva Kiir Mayardit is committed to protecting the people of Abyei who, he emphasized, are people of Southern Sudan. He also appealed to the community members to complement what the government is doing.


During the meeting which was attended by over 33 members of the community, a representative of Abyei women in Kampala, Uganda expressed their solidarity with the people of Abyei on the ground. She informed the meeting that in spite of the fact that they have inadequate resources to assist the affected people of Abyei and especially IDPs displaced by recent fighting, they have managed to donate some non-food and food items including 30 bags of CSB, 10 bags of beans, six jericans of oil and 4 bags of salt as well as non food items such as clothes. She said they are working to transport the donations to Abyei.

 


Mr. Majak (centre) chairing the community meeting yesterday.


Ms Awor Kuol Chol also explained the role they played in collecting non-food and food items in Khartoum and Juba for the same cause. She said that the community of Abyei in Juba managed to collect about SDG 11,500 within ten days. She also said that the community has held a banquet in Juba for Abyei victims in which it collected about SDG 21,000. She said that the committee has been contacted by musician John Kodosay who has expressed willingness to perform charity concerts for the victims of Abyei fighting. She said that the concerts will be held this week or next week.


The members also elected seven people to form the Abyei Humanitarian Aid Committee. The committee is as follows:-


1. Mr. Mustafa Biong Majak - chairperson
2. Dr. Nykiir Ajang Jafor - member
3. Ms Awor Kuol Chol - member
4. Mr. Kuol Bagat - member
5. Mr. Kat Chol Fouk - member
6. Mr. Ajak Ashuel - member
7. Ms Abuk Ashuel - member


The committee will be the official contact for any humanitarian issues for the people of Abyei.


Reported by Clement Aturjong Kuot


Human rights to be included in schools syllabi

JUBA, 15 March 2011 – Issues relating to human rights will be included in the schools syllabi in the independent South Sudan, the chairman of the Southern Sudan Human Rights Commission (SSHRC), Mr. Lawrence Korbandy, has revealed.


Addressing the weekly media forum hosted by the Ministry of Information, Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS), Mr. Korbandy explained that the inclusion of human rights matters in the educational curricula follows a directive on the issue by the GOSS President Salva Kiir Mayardit last year. Mr. Korbandy underscored the role of education in concretizing respect for human rights in Southern Sudan.


Mr. Korbandy explained that Southern Sudan has progressed much better compared to its neighbours, including the North, which is yet to establish a human rights commission. He said that human rights are enshrined in the constitution. He explained that having the bill of rights in the constitution ensures that it remains even if there is a change of government. He said the mandate of the commission which encompasses good governance, respecting human dignity, provision of basic services, women’s rights, child rights, privacy and right to life is defined by the Southern Sudan Human Rights Commission Act.

 


Mr. Korbandy (left) addresses the media in the company of H.E. Dr. Marial (right).
[Photo: Ajang Monychol]


The SSHRC chairman also reported that the commission has set up offices in eight states of Southern Sudan since 2006. He also said that the commission has participated in monitoring important events such as the general elections and the referendum. The commission has also organised seminars and workshops for chiefs and the armed forces.


Admitting that the commission faces myriad challenges hampering its efforts to establish a footprint all over the country, he appealed to the general public and the media to collaborate with it in ensuring that the society respects human rights. He also called on the people to discard obsolete cultural practices which infringe on the rights of any segment of the society.


In response to a question relating to the current violence in Malakal and reported human rights abuses against the public, Mr. Korbandy compared the situation in Southern Sudan to what happened in Mozambique prior to its independence. He said that some general who had fallen out with FRELIMO was allegedly supported by South Africa, Rhodesia and other countries to destabilize the country. He said some people had not expected Southern Sudan to be a democratic and friendly nation. He said that these same people are the ones causing problems. He regretted that the consequences of such action have been loss of human life and inability of children to go to school. He added that the commission is monitoring the situation very closely.


Reported by Rosemary Njeri Chacha


NCP is working to destabilize Southern Sudan

JUBA, 15 March 2011 – H.E. Pagan Amum, the minister for Peace and CPA Implementation in the Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS) yesterday announced that the National Congress Party (NCP) is working with militia groups to destabilize Southern Sudan.


Addressing a press conference in Juba, H.E. Amum said that GOSS and the SPLM have obtained communication and documents which confirm this. He reported that the NCP is collaborating with what it describes as “friendly forces” in these plans to cause havoc in the South. He identified Dr. Lam Akol and Gen George Athor as some of the people working with the NCP to destabilize the South. He also said that President Omar al-Bashir is aware of these plots.


H.E. Amum also revealed that the national government has directed the telephone operators to monitor and intercept telephone conversations of leading SPLM figures, especially those involved in the CPA implementation.

 


H.E. Amum (centre) addresses the media accompanied by H.E. Marial (left). On the right is the Advisor to the minister of Information, Mr. David Nok Marial.


The minister also said that the NCP seems to be treating the SPLM and GOSS as an enemy. He said that the NCP is arming militia groups and deploying them along the borders and other areas in the region to fight GOSS and the people of Southern Sudan. He said that the documents in his custody confirm that the NCP provided military supplies to Southern rebels at Kosti. He asserted that the so-called opposition political parties are military agents of the NCP bent to destabilize their own country.


In spite of these accusations, the minister emphasized that GOSS/SPLM is still keen on reaching peaceful consensus on pending issues. “GOSS has a vision for mutual respect between the two emerging states”, he said. He also said that GOSS is working tirelessly to ensure that the two states live peacefully side by side.


He expressed hope that the NCP will come back to the negotiation table so that issues like Abyei, border demarcation, currency, oil sharing, and others can be resolved amicably. However, he pointed out that it would not be easy to cooperate with the NCP if it is bent on destabilizing the South. “How can you share resources with someone who is destabilizing you”, he wondered.


The minister also assured the people of Southern Sudan that their government is capable of defending them and is committed to do so. The press conference was also attended by H.E. Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin, the GOSS minister for Information.


Reported by Clement Aturjong Kuot


Budget sails through third reading

JUBA, 14 March 2011 – The Southern Sudan Legislative Assembly (SSLA) today passed the Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS) 2011 budget through its third reading.


Prof. Barri A. Wanji, the Chairperson of the SSLA’s Economy, Development and Finance Committee presented the budget in its third reading during the Second Session Assembly/2011/Second Session/2011 Ordinary Sitting No. 8/2011 dated 14th March, 2011 held at the SSLA main Hall in Juba.


After deliberation and discussions a motion terminating debate on the issue was raised by Hon. Zechariah Matoor Makuei of Rumbek Centre Constituency (SPLM). He argued that the draft budget had been deliberated extensively by the August House in its second reading. The motion was second by honorable members.


However, before putting the matter to vote, the SSLA Speaker Right Hon. James Wani Igga gave a chance to Hon. Minister for Finance and Economic Planning to comment and respond to the issues raised by honorable members.


The minister stressed that there are no macroeconomic indicators which can be quoted by the minister at the moment but reported that the indicators will be released as soon as they are produced by Statistics department. He accepted to produce quarterly reports to the SSLA. He complained of many road blocks which he said are hindering taxation and in general the economy process as well as state taxation. He said that the ministry will harmonize the taxation system.


The minister also said that 2 million USD has been paid by GEMTEL Company to Ministry of Finance. The money was borrowed from the ministry. He also reported that the company has promised to pay the balance in due course. The minister also pledged to brief the SSLA will on donor funds.


The minister also called upon the SPLM –DC members not to politicize the issue of SPLA soldiers because even though they had not been paid during struggle they managed to liberate the people of Southern Sudan. He said that low payment of the SPLA officers is under discussion and will be resolved.


Prof. Wanji decried the over-reliance on oil revenues by Southern Sudan. He said that the government should broaden its revenue base as from 9 July 2011. He said that the country should be self-reliant and stop importing basic commodities from its neighbours such as Kenya and Uganda.


The motion was finally put to vote. 127 honorable members voted to terminate the debate and pass the budget in its third reading while 3 members of SPLM-DC opposed it. Thus, the budget passed its third reading with the members requesting the committee to work on the amendments and present the new draft to the SSLA for the fourth and final reading tomorrow at 3 PM.


Reported by Clement Aturjong Kuot


SSCCSE launches 2010 statistical yearbook for South Sudan

JUBA, 10 March 2011 – The Southern Sudan Centre for Census Statistics and Evaluation (SSCCSE) yesterday launched the 2010 statistical yearbook for South Sudan. The statistical yearbook is published annually by the SSCCSE and is intended to be a reference document providing statistical information for each year.


In his opening remarks, the Vice President of the Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS), H.E. Dr. Riek Machar Teny, who was the guest of honour at the launch, congratulated the SSCCSE on the preparation and launching of the Statistical Yearbook 2010. He also expressed great pleasure in the presentations delivered by the SSCCSE senior officials and the directors of the GIS information system, and Economics and Statistics. The Vice President acknowledged the importance of the SSCCSE in providing vital information to government agencies as well as to NGOs.


He said that knowledge is power and is important for targeting interventions and choosing (development) priorities adding that the centre offered a signal service to the government. “Without information no direction can be reached neither can the national goals be achieved”. He also said that the data is also an important tool for the media and all the people of Southern Sudan.


The Vice President reiterated the need for statistics in every sector of the economy saying that quantifiable data is to some degree a measure of progress or failure. He reiterated that no sector was outside the purview of statistics and every sector was quantifiable to a degree. He added that statistical data collection enhances the measurement of the government’s actions and plans and is important as food security is central to development.

 


H.E. Machar addressing guests at the launch.


He said that decades of long wars had deprived Southern Sudan of the opportunity of development in various fields and it deserves to see quick realization of development and the peace dividend. He encouraged the SSCCSE to continue providing a sound base of information for Southern Sudan. With regard to the GIS, he said that the South had previously been denied GIS because it was an American technology owing to the sanctions on Sudan. He said that now that it is available, it should be taught in institutions of higher learning. He emphasized that there should be greater utilization of GIS in government and that it should be available in all units dealing with statistics such as Ministry of Health and others. He said that this would help reduce the workload of SSCCSE as line ministries would also be conducting their own surveys. He concluded that as Southern Sudan becomes a state, the Centre should consider a new name in the light of the fact that independent nations have (statistical) bureaus. He also suggested that the name should be shorter.


On his part, the chairperson of the SSCCSE, H.E. Isaiah Chol Aruai said that the 2010 Yearbook is more detailed than the previous editions. He also said that the current edition also contains information on the Food and Nutrition Security Assessment in Sudan and highlights a variety of food security indicators including undernourishment, dietary energy consumption and the depth of hunger.


The chairperson also said that capacity building is one of the greatest challenges the centre faces. He explained that it takes a long time and costs a lot of money. He clarified that low human capacity was not the issue but low levels of skills. He said that SSCCSE staff had proven that given the skills they were able to rise to the challenge and perform. He said that when many of the staff joined the centre they were not trained to produce maps, prepare complex statistical syntax or design sample surveys which are some of the highly technical tasks being carried out by SSCCSE staff.


The chairperson also thanked the Government of Southern Sudan which assisted the Centre with budgetary allocations; the UNDP for funding the production of the Yearbook; and other organizations which helped in data collection as well as FAO which furnished the Centre with data on the food security report.


Reported by Barnaba Mabor Mayom

 


Summary of decisions of the SPLM/NCP negotiations of the Finance, Economic and Natural Resources Cluster

JUBA, 10 March 2011 - The two parties to the negotiations duly represented by their appointed representatives discussed diligently the issues tabled for negotiations and made the following decisions:

 

  1. The debt relief shall be jointly carried out by the two parties through an appeal letter to the creditors only if the outstanding CPA issues are squarely resolved, namely, oil related matters, redemption of the SDGs by the CBOS once the South Sudan state introduces its new currency, border demarcation, Abyei and security.
  2. The oil sub-cluster of both parties discussed a range of issues on oil after July 9th 2011. There were no agreements on access to oil and the ownership to the pipeline and other related assets such as refineries.
  3. The sub-cluster on banking and currency managed to agree on setting up technical committees to follow up banking related matters but failed to agree on currency redemption by CBOS.
  4. The sub-cluster on debt and assets agreed on a joint letter to the creditors but conditioned such joint approach with substantive progress on issues stated in resolution (1) above.
  5. Both parties agreed for a follow up meeting scheduled for April 2011.


SPLM/NCP Heads of the Sub-Clusters:


- H.E.Pagan Amum, Lead Negotiator
- H.E. Idris Abde Kadir, Lead Negotiator.
- H.E. Kosti Manibe, Head of the Cluster
- H.E. Saeed Al Katieb, Head of Cluster
- H.E. Paul Mayom Akec, Head of Sub-Cluster (Oil)
- H.E. Al Fatih Al- Nour, Head of Sub-cluster (Debt)
- H.E. Dr. Sabir Ahmed, Head of Sub-Cluster (Banking and Currency)
- H.E. Changson Lew Chang, Sub-Cluster (Banking and Currency)
 

Mediation & Facilitation: AUHIP, USA, NORWAY.
Prepared by: SS2011 Taskforce, Observer Status

 


Second reading of GOSS 2011 budget

JUBA, 8 March 2011 – The GOSS Annual Budget for the Fiscal Year 2011 in its second reading was presented by Hon. Prof Barri A. Wanji, the Chairperson for Committee of Development, Economy and Finance to the Southern Sudan Legislative Assembly (SSLA) yesterday.


In the Second Assembly /2011/second session /2011 during an ordinary Sitting No: 6/2011 dated Monday 7th March, 2011 at the SSLA Main Hall in Juba. The Hon. Prof. Barri A. Wanji presented the report of the Annual Budget of GOSS for the Fiscal Year 2011 in its second reading. The report is comprised of 30 pages. The total estimated budget for 2011 is 5.7 billion compared to 5.6 billion for 2010.

 


Prof Wanji presenting the budget.
[Photo: Marchelo Leopoldo]


Hon. Prof Wanji indicated that the Ministry of Finance and Economy Planning in the Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS) should come up with key areas of economic growth. The Committee has also examined the strategy for macroeconomic management which includes monetary policies on the southern Sudan economy, social deliveries to the people of southern Sudan and policy of decentralized system. The Committee has come up the following general recommendations:

 

  1. Improved public finance management; the committee requested the ministry of Finance and Economic Planning to comply with the 2011 Appropriation Act;
  2. Requested the Ministry to release funds to various ministries to enhance performance;
  3. Requested all spending agencies including the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning to submit to SSLA quarterly reports of performance for accountability, transparency and for common good of the people of Southern Sudan;
  4. MFEP to submit Budget Implementation report to the SSLA in accordance with the Appropriation Act and the Constitution;
  5. Additional SDG 10,000,000 (ten million) be given to the ministry of Gender, Child and Social Welfare;
  6. Requested the ministry of Finance and Economic Planning to pay contractors who transported the IDPs from the North and Diaspora;
  7. Immediate implementation of the development of hydroelectric power for industrialization of Southern Sudan;
  8. Revival of key industries of Nzara Agro–industrial Complex, Wau Fruit Factory, Wau Brewery, Tonj Kenaff, Mongala Agro-complex, Kapoeta and Managayat Cement, Upper Taalanga tea and coffee projects, Aweil Rice Scheme, Melut Sugar Factory, Iron Industry in Wau, Malakal Tannery, Gum Africa and Yirol Oil mill. The mentioned industries should be implemented under the Public Private Partnership initiative or foreign direct investment;
  9. Assembly directed the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning to ensure that all spending agencies to close their accounts at the end of the financial year to enable the Audit Chamber to undertake auditing;
  10. Assembly requested the MFEP to brief the SSLA leadership on reserves; and
  11. Assembly requested the Bank of Southern Sudan to invest on reserve and participate in the budgeting process by making decisive proposals on monetary policies.


The Sitting was chaired by Right Hon Speaker of the SSLA. It was attended by 116 honorable members, GOSS ministers, senior officials of the ministries, local and international media. After the presentation, the floor was given to opposition leader to comment on the report of Annual Budget of GOSS 2011.


By Clement Aturjong Kuot


Correction on the advert of vacancies at the GOSS Ministry of Human Resource Development

JUBA, 8 March 2011 -  The email address provided in the advertisement of vacancies in the Ministry of Human Resource Development is not correct. Please note that the correct address is:

 

mohrdvtgoss@gmail.com


We sincerely apologize for the mistake and the inconvenience occasioned to applicants by this oversight on our part. Kindly accept our apology.

 

Angeth Acol de Dut
Undersecretary


Zimbabwe is also willing to send teachers to South Sudan

JUBA, 7 March 2011 – More support is flowing in for the education sector of South Sudan after in readiness of its independence. Zimbabwe has become the latest country to offer support for the new country.


The pledge of the Zimbabwean government was received today by the minister for Education, Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS), H.E. Dr. Michael Milli Hussein during a meeting between him and the Zimbabwean Consul General, Mr. Kufa Chinoza, in Juba.


Addressing the press after the meeting, the minister said that they discussed ways of collaboration between the two countries in the educational sector. He said there are many educational lessons to learn from Zimbabwe which is one of the countries with high literacy levels in Africa.

 


Mr. Kufa Chinoza during the meeting.
[Photo: Emmanuel Gai Maker]


Dr. Hussein also lauded the support offered by the people and government of Zimbabwe to Southern Sudanese during the struggle. He expressed confidence that educational sector will definitely provide a new platform of collaboration.


On his part, Mr. Chinoza said that Zimbabwe has a surplus of trained teachers some of whom are currently spread in many Diasporas. He said that a meeting between the two ministers from both countries will discuss a framework of collaboration in this regard in due course.


Mr. Chinoza also said that the country opened a consulate in South Sudan early this year, just before the referendum. He said that he was very impressed with the conduct of the referendum. He said his country has a lot to learn from and share with Zimbabweans.


Reported by Emanuel Gai Maker


Foreign ministry delegation to visit Juba today

KHARTOUM, 6 March 2011 (SUNA) - A delegation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, chaired by the Undersecretary of the Ministry, Ambassador Rahamtalla Mohamed Osman, will leave for Juba today to meet with the officials of the Ministry of the Regional Cooperation of the Government of South Sudan (GOSS) and other senior officials.


The spokesman of the Ministry said that the two-day visit aims for reviewing the means of cooperation between the two ministries and boosting the relations between them. He said that the delegation will convey to the GOSS officials the Foreign Ministry's desire to extend experiences and training to South Sudan as well as reviewing the issue of the southern diplomats in the ministry.


He said that the establishment of two embassies in Khartoum and Juba will also be discussed.
 


South Sudan explores oil export options

JUBA, 4 March 2011 (UPI) - Officials in South Sudan said they are exploring alternative export options for their oil reserves as Juba moves closer to independence.


H.E. Pagan Amum, secretary-general of the southern ruling party Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM), said South Sudan would become a landlocked country once it gains independence later this year.


"If there are more oil finds that will justify building new pipelines, then those will be built," he was quoted by Emirate newspaper The National as saying. He said the southern government could look to its neighbours like Kenya and the Democratic Republic of Congo for help in reaching ports in the Indian and Atlantic oceans.


Most of the 500,000 barrels of oil produced each day in Sudan comes from southern territories. Currently, both regions split oil revenue evenly with oil from the south headed northward through a pipeline owned by the national government in Khartoum. Khartoum has its own oil ambitions, the newspaper added. Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has ordered his oil ministry to work on exploring the region for reserves.
 


Huge numbers of antelope move across the plains of Southern Sudan's Boma National Park

BOMA NATIONAL PARK, 3 March 2011(Global Post) — For hours the four-seat plane flew over a burned landscape of blackened earth and browning grass. A thick haze thrown into the sky by bushfires shortened the horizon obscuring the Boma Escarpment and, beyond it, the Ethiopian highlands.

 

The landscape in this part of Sudan is startling: patches of pasture and sparse forest, curving river bends and swampy lakes, and, in the distance, mountains erupting out of the endless flatness of the un-peopled savannah, their high rocky domes circled by vultures and thick green forest huddling in the gullies on their steep slopes. And there are animals.

 

“When we first came up here after the war there was a real sense of discovery,” said Paul Elkan of the Wildlife Conservation Society, a USAID-funded organization working with the new South Sudan government to protect the animals and establish this vast and remote chunk of southern Sudan as a tourist destination.

 

“People were saying there were no elephants, that there was nothing left. But on the first day we saw a bull elephant, giraffe, oryx," he added. The big discovery, however, was one of the world’s largest animal migrations as 1.3 million antelope follow a continuous circuit across the landscape.

 

Experts say the movement is on a par with Tanzania’s famed Serengeti wildlife migration and the government here hopes that tourists will be drawn to this undiscovered wilderness bringing in much-needed income to one of the poorest countries on earth.

 

“If we manage and plan it well tourism can inject a lot of money — maybe more than oil — into the economy of southern Sudan,” said Daniel Wani, undersecretary of the Ministry of Wildlife Conservation and Tourism in Juba, the southern capital. For now, oil accounts for almost the entire budget of South Sudan. But it is a finite resource. “Oil will get depleted but tourism will be there. The animals, if we conserve them well, will be there,” Wani said.

 

The government, which in July will celebrate its independence from the North after a referendum on secession held last month, is seeking operators and investors to open up what Wani calls its “world class parks” to high-end tourism: fly-in safaris to luxury tented camps. Wani hopes that “within the year”, tourists might begin coming to southern Sudan again, a country that only six years ago emerged from decades of civil war that killed an estimated 2 million people and scattered 4 million more.

 

Sudan’s wildlife held on, barely. Elephant populations were decimated, buffalo came close to extirpation and just 1,000 hartebeest (a large horned antelope) remained in Boma park, down from 40,000 in the early 1980s. A handful of zebra survived, rhinos have yet to be spotted. The damage was devastating but the war also stunted development so that roads were not built, urban centers did not sprawl and vast areas of this huge country were left almost untouched. Boma National Park — one of six in the southern Sudan territory — covers 5 million acres.

 

“The contiguous Boma-Bandigilo-Jonglei plains is one of the largest pieces of intact, roadless savannah in Africa, and is the home of this migration,” said Elkan, whose field camp wraps around the foot of Nyat hill on the eastern edge of the park. The two-hour low altitude flight from Juba crosses just one barely-used dirt road.

 

The seasonal antelope migration is made up of 750,000 white-eared kob, 300,000 mongalla gazelle, 150,000 tiang and 60,000 reedbuck. During the dry months of November-April, the migration splits moving northwards toward the Ethiopian border and the swamps of the Sudd; in the wet season the animals congregate further south in Boma and neighboring Badingilo National Park.

 

Elkan has seen herds of tiang 30,000 strong and white-eared kob stretching to the horizon. “It’s one of those things where you say, ‘My God, you cannot see this anywhere else in the world.’ It’s a tremendous wilderness experience,” he said.

 

There are also up to 600 elephant in Boma and as many as 4,000 in the Sudd, a hard-to-reach swamp where animals found refuge from wartime hunters and continue to find safety there from post-war poachers who supply a thriving commercial bushmeat trade that has emerged in recent years.

 

Anti-poaching operations by the government, supported by the Wildlife Conservation Society, have arrested illegal hunters, confiscating their weapons and bushmeat. A key aspect to the long-term, anti-poaching strategy is to provide information to local cattle-keeping and farming communities about the benefits of wildlife conservation and tourism.

 

“We talk to the elders and the chiefs, and they talk to the youth,” said Michael Lopidia, a community outreach worker for the Wildlife Conservation Society. “We tell them, ‘Imagine if this was your cattle being slaughtered like this! You would just take a rope and hang yourself.'" The dangers of poaching and of the wilderness being chopped up and destroyed up by new roads means that for animals that survived years of war the threat is not over.

 

With multi-million dollar funding from USAID, the ministry and the Wildlife Conservation Society are working to manage the protected areas and secure safe migratory corridors for the animals across the vast savannah. Wani said that fighting poaching and educating the local people about conservation were top priorities. “The past has been difficult and there are challenges, but I can see a bright future for southern Sudan," he said. “We have potential here, nature has been very kind to us and has given us everything that we need.”


By Tristan McConnell


Egypt to send teachers to South Sudan

JUBA, 4 March 2011 – The Egyptian government will send teachers to support secondary school education in South Sudan as a stopgap measure while the new country trains its own.


This was decided in a meeting between the minister for Education, Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS), H.E. Dr. Michael Milli Hussein and the Secretary General of the Egyptian Technical Cooperation for Africa, Dr. Fatima Jalal yesterday in Juba.


Addressing the press after the meeting, Dr. Hussein announced that apart from sending the teachers, the Egyptian government will also support teachers’ training by establishing a training college in South Sudan and through exchange programmes. He also said that the Egyptian government will also establish and equip computer laboratories in secondary schools in the country.

 


Dr. Hussein (left) meets the Egyptian delegation led by Dr. Jalal (second left).
[Photo: Emmanuel Gai Maker]


The minister also reported that the Egyptian delegation also agreed to support technical education by funding the training of technical teachers. He said technical education is important to develop skills necessary for the labour market in the new country. Dr. Hussein also said that he lobbied the team for the recognition of the educational certificates from South Sudan by neighbouring countries and the international community.


On her part, Dr. Jalal reported that Egypt will support the mainstreaming of girl-child education, educational programmes evaluation, education for special needs, and logistical aid for educational programmes. She also said that her team was in the country to assure South Sudanese that the projects Egypt support will proceed as planned even when South Sudan declares independence. She also said that they were assessing what has been achieved so far in a bid to ensure that the projects accomplish the goals for which they were initiated.


In another event, Dr. Hussein met Dr. Laurence Clarke, the manager of the World Bank Programme in South Sudan. Dr. Clarke briefed the minister on education projects funded by the Multi-Donor Trust Fund (MDTF) which is managed by the World Bank. He said that the World Bank is happy with the progress of a number of projects in Jonglei, Northern Bahr el Ghazal and Warrap states. He also said that he has noticed a high number of new school projects in most parts of South Sudan. He said this is encouraging and lauded the progress being realized in the education sector as well as the keenness of the communities to send children to school.


Reported by Emmanuel Gai Maker and Gisma Shaban Suleiman


Vacancies - GOSS Ministry of Human Resource Development

JUBA, 3 March 2011 - The Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of Southern Sudan is inviting qualified Southern Sudanese nationals to apply for the following positions in the ministry:

 

  1. Director General for Institutional Development and Training – Grade 2
  2. Director General for Administration and Finance – Grade 2
  3. Deputy Director for Database Management – Grade 4
  4. Deputy Director for Establishment – Grade 4
  5. Deputy Director of Accounts – Grade 4
  6. Deputy Director of Procurement and Supplies – Grade 4
  7. Senior Public Relations Officer – Grade 7
  8. Senior ICT Officer/Technician – Grade 7
  9. Executive Secretary – Grade 7


For details on the job descriptions, requirements and application procedures, visit “Career Opportunities” page.
 


Southern Sudan HIV/AIDS prevalence lowest in the region

JUBA, 3 March 2011 – The prevalence rate of the HIV/AIDS in Southern Sudan is much lower than it is in the neighbouring countries such as Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the chairperson of the Southern Sudan HIV/AIDS Commission, Dr. Esterina Novello has said.


Dr. Novello said that at about three percent, the prevalence rate has improved tremendously as a result of the extensive awareness of the disease as a result of massive campaigns by the commission as well as the Ministry of Health in the Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS).


She reported that the last campaign to get people tested was very well received. She said that senior government officers including the GOSS minister for Health, Dr. Luka Monoja; minister for Humanitarian Affairs, H.E. James Kok; the SPLA chief of staff, Lt. Gen. James Hoth; representatives of the United Nations; as well as several ministers from the Central Equatoria state government turned up on the World AIDS Day and were tested publicly. She said that the number of ordinary citizens seeking VCT services increased tremendously after this.


Dr. Novello also explained that the commission has embraced the peer counselling approach in which peers educate each other on how to prevent the disease, its treatment and the need to know one’s status. She reported that these peer educators are effective because they go door-to-door.

 


Dr. Novello during the interview.
[Photo: Matata Safi]


She also explained that the public testing has reduced the stigma of those living positively. She said that initially anyone spotted near the VCT centres would automatically be suspected of being immoral or already infected. She also said that the commission also provides pre and post-testing counselling to enable the people to cope with the results. She also reported that the commission offers medication to those who have reached the treatment stage. Dr. Novello also explained that the commission refers those who are positive to psycho-support groups which she said are in almost all the states of South Sudan. The chairperson also emphasized that the associations are very instrumental for awareness creation and home-based care provision.


Dr. Novello also reported that prevalence rates are lowest in rural areas. Among the states, she said that Western Equatoria has the highest prevalence rate at 7.6 percent followed by Central Equatoria (specifically Juba) at 3.7 percent and Eastern Equatoria at 3.1 percent. She also said that the prevalence rate is highest in the border areas. She reported that a project by IGAD countries is working to contain cross-border infections. She said that the commission has identified several hotspots in the country and is providing requisite services at the localities. She identified some of the hotspots as Kaya, Nimule, Nasir and Kajo Keji.


She reiterated the commitment of the Government of Southern Sudan to manage the disease saying that it would still be concerned even if the prevalence rate was lower than one percent. Dr. Novello spoke to GOSS.ORG editor in her office in Juba this morning.
 


Public appeal for information

JUBA, 2 March 2011 - The Ministry of Information, Government of Southern Sudan, is planning to publish a special booklet featuring all aspects of life of Southern Sudan to celebrate the independence of South Sudan on 9th July 2011.

 

Therefore, the Ministry of Information is kindly requesting any persons with information and photographs on the historical Southern uprisings, martyrs, heroes and heroines to bring them to the ministry. Some of the uprisings may include:

a) Azande uprising;
b) Nuer “Ngundeng” uprising;
c) Dinka (Kon Anok and Arithdit) uprising;
d) Anyanya movement; and
e) The SPLM/A.

 

We also appeal for any other important information related to the liberation struggle in Southern Sudan. A token of appreciation will be given for any substantive information received.

 

Mr. Mustafa Biong Majak
For the Undersecretary, Ministry of Information
GOSS – Juba

 

For more information, please contact either Ms. Agatha David on 0995-304282/0477-117888 or Mr. Santino Okanyi on 0912-898922/0477-106173. You can also send information to gossbooklet@yahoo.com.
 

 


President Kiir meets the World Bank VP

JUBA, 1 March 2011 - The First Vice President of the Republic and President of the Government of southern Sudan Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit yesterday met the Vice President of World Bank for International Financial Corporation Ms Rachel Kyte in his office at Presidential Guest House J-1.


During the meeting, the President and Ms Kyte discussed the need for supporting the private sector and the role to be played by the private sector in creating job opportunities for the people of Southern Sudan.

 


President Kiir with Ms Kyte.


Ms Kyte who was accompanied by the minister for Investment H.E Oyay Deng Ajak told the press after the meeting that the World Bank group and the International Financial Corporation (WB/IFC) will work closely with GOSS ministries of Finance and Investment to improve the investment climate for small businesses in Southern Sudan by providing opportunities of investment from regional and international companies.


Ms Kyte said that investment priorities will include infrastructure, agriculture and eventually power generation so as to make the small and medium size companies of Southern Sudan get access to finance, business training and capacity building.

 


President Kiir and Ms Kyte pose with other leaders after the meeting.


By Thomas Kenneth


Consultations on capital city still ongoing

JUBA, 1 March 2011 – The ministerial committee dealing with the possible relocation of the capital of the Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS) is still consulting the leaders and communities concerned before a concrete decision can be made on whether and where to relocate the city.


Addressing the weekly media forum hosted by the Ministry of Information, the GOSS minister for Investment, H.E. Gen. Oyay Deng Ajak, who is also the chairperson of the committee, reported that they are considering four options for the capital. The first option is to relocate the government of Central Equatoria state and leave Juba as the seat of power for the Government of Southern Sudan.

 


General Oyay addressing the media.
[Photo: Matata Safi]


The second option is for the communities in Central Equatoria to identify and give GOSS a new location east of the Nile to build the capital. Alternatively, the Central Equatoria communities can give GOSS any other location suitable for a capital.


The fourth option is to relocate the capital city of the Government of Southern Sudan to Ramciel which is considered as the geographic centre of the new country. Gen. Oyay explained that the consideration of Ramciel is based on the decision of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) during the war to build the capital of Southern Sudan at the location. He explained that the decision was shelved because the interim constitution recognized Juba as the capital city.


Gen. Oyay also explained that this is not the first time the government is consulting with the Central Equatoria state over the capital. He reported that a committee under the chairmanship of H.E. John Luk Jok engaged the state in 2006 but reportedly with no success.

 


Mr. David Nok Marial making a point.
[Photo: Matata Safi]


The minister explained that the need to get ample space for the new capital is paramount. He said that Juba, in its current status, is unplanned, disorganized and congested. He reported that some developments have been shelved because there is no land to execute them on. He said the situation is worse now in light of the new expectations and needs of the new country. For instance, he said that there are many consulates which would like to build embassies in Juba but they cannot because there is no space in the city.


He announced that his team is awaiting the feedback from the Central Equatoria state government and the community leaders. He reported that they have requested for one month beginning last week to consult. In the meantime, he said, his team will visit Ramciel to consult with the concerned governments, leaders and people in the course of this week.


Gen. Oyay also clarified that the decision will be made by the GOSS but with consultations. He also said that the process will be transparent and will go through the requisite stages required by the law. He reiterated that the process will not be executed hastily.


Responding to questions from the journalists, the minister allayed concerns that investors in Juba will incur heavy losses if the capital is relocated. He said that in case of relocation, the new capital will offer greater opportunities for investment. He also explained that Juba will remain as the commercial capital if the government sets base elsewhere.

 


Some of the senior ministry officials and journalists who attended the forum.
[Photo: Matata Safi]


The minister admitted that the relocation of the capital will be expensive. However, he clarified that even if it remains in Juba, the city will have to be planned and built afresh. He said that the design of the city has not been formalized and stated that any designs currently being circulated are just suggestions. On whether the location of Juba near the border will pose a security threat, he said that the position is not unique as many other cities are in similar locations. He cited Maputo, Luanda, Kinshasa and even Washington DC as being on coasts of their countries.


Gen. Oyay said that regardless of where the city will be located, the government is keen to build a modern city which is suitable for a new country born in this century. He said that it will not be built in one day but gradually, perhaps by different generations.


The forum was chaired by the Advisor to the minister for Information, Mr. David Nok Marial who also appealed to the citizens not to fear the challenge. He said that the project requires determination and courage, which he expressed confidence the people and government of Southern Sudan have. The forum was attended by senior officers of the ministry led by the Undersecretary, Mr. George Garang Deng. Journalists from several local and international media institutions were present.