Arabic to be phased out from secondary schools in three years

JUBA, 23 August 2011 – The caretaker minister for General Education, Hon Dr Michael Milli Hussein has announced that Arabic will be replaced by English as the sole medium of instruction in secondary schools in the Republic of South Sudan within the next three years.

He reported that the ministry is already working on mainstreaming English language in its syllabi. He said that the ministry is currently reviewing 240 English book titles from Kenya. “We have chosen a panel of English teachers to review the books and advise on which ones can be acquired”, he said. The panel of teachers, he said, is currently meeting in Maridi for this exercise and is expected to report in the next one month.

Dr Hussein made this announcement on Saturday at Lobonok in Central Equatoria State when he opened Yapa Senior Secondary School which has been constructed through the concerted efforts of the local community.

The caretaker minister commended the community for complementing the government’s efforts in extending the reach of education. He announced that the ministry has already begun the process of constructing 30 primary and 4 secondary schools within the next 100 days as pledged by the President. He said this is being done with the support of the DFID. He also said that the government will sponsor a similar number of schools to be distributed in all the states of the Republic.


Dr Hussein (centre) flanked by other dignitaries during the ceremony to open Yapa Senior Secondary School on Saturday.
[Photo: Emmanuel Gai Maker]

He also explained that all the new secondary schools, including Yapa, will be national boarding institutions to enable the students to concentrate fully on their education. He also said that the schools will be used to cement the unity of the nation by mixing students from all the states.

Dr Hussein also said that the government is committed to uplifting the standards of education in the country. He explained that one way this can be achieved is by employing qualified teachers. He announced that all secondary school teachers will henceforth be university graduates. He declared that there is no way secondary school students can be taught by a teacher holding a similar certificate. He wondered how such a teacher can prepare students for the university yet they had not made it to the institutions of higher learning themselves. The caretaker minister also decried the lack of Maths and Science teachers in South Sudan. However, he reported that the government is already training more than 300 Maths and Science teachers in Juba and Aweil.

He also said that lack of adequate learning spaces and materials are also bedevilling education in the country. He reported that the DFID has committed to support the purchase of 6.5million books for the South Sudan’s schools. He said that the ministry is now working with the stakeholders to identify the books to be purchased. He said that the books will be updated to reflect current realities in the country.


Dr Hussein (centre) receives a painting from the representatives of Misereor, a German NGO, yesterday. Misereor's Director Prof Soyer is on the minister's left.
[Photo: Emmanuel Gai Maker]

The caretaker minister also delivered a cheque worth SSP 496,003 from the government to Yapa Senior Secondary School to cater for the completion of the remaining construction works and feeding of the students for the rest of the year.

The event was also attended by the Speaker of the National Legislative Assembly Right Hon James Wani Igga, the GOSS caretaker minister for Finance and Economic Planning Hon David Deng Athorbei, the deputy governor of Central Equatoria State, the Central Equatoria State minister for Education, and chiefs of Lobonok, among other community leaders.

In another event yesterday, Dr Hussein met representatives of Misereor, a German Catholic development organization led by its Director Prof Josef Soyer. During the meeting the NGO pledged to work with the ministry to leverage the efforts of the government in improving education levels in the country.

Dr Hussein said that Misereor has been working in the education and health sectors in South Sudan for over thirty years. He said South Sudan is keen to learn how Germany managed to emerge from the ashes of the Second World War to become a leading world power. On his part, Prof Soyer underscored the need for educated workforce for the development of the new country. He said that that skilled labourforce can only be developed through relevant education.

Reported by Gisma Shaban Suleiman

Government committed to providing clean water to all

JUBA, 23 August 2011 – The Government of the Republic of South Sudan is committed to providing clean and hygienic water for all the citizens. This was revealed during a planning and coordination workshop of the water resources stakeholders in the country held in Rumbek, Lakes State over the weekend.

The participants at the workshop urged the government to allocate more funds to the water and irrigation projects in the country. They urged the organizations installing water points all over the country to train the communities, especially women, to use the facilities responsibly and in a hygienic manner.

While closing the workshop on Sunday, the Deputy Governor of Lakes State Mr Daniel Ayual Makoi reiterated the commitment of the Lakes State government to work hand in hand with other state governments and the central government to implement water and irrigation projects to benefit the new country. He also assured the development partners working in the water sector of improved security in the state. Noting the critical role water plays in the very existence of living things, the deputy governor said there will be no turning back on the commitment.


Participants at the workshop.
[Photo: Michael Abraham]

Mr Joseph Makir Madit, the Lakes State minister for Housing and Physical Planning described the meeting as educative. On his part the minister for Housing in Eastern Equatoria Mr Mark Akio called on all the participants to apply the knowledge they had acquired from the workshop in spite of the challenges that they may face.

Mr Muki Batali Bulli, the commissioner of Kajo Keji who was representing the Local Government Board at the meeting urged the government of the Republic of South Sudan to implement the recommendation of the participants that the workshop be held twice a year.

The UNICEF representative at the workshop, Mr Ken Maskall, reiterated his organization’s commitment to support the Republic of South Sudan in building essential infrastructure to enable it to deliver services such as the provision of clean drinking water. He commended the unity of the people in seeking solutions to the challenges the communities in the country face.

The three-day workshop was organized by the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation of the Government of the Republic of South Sudan and hosted by Lakes State at Rumbek.

Reported by Alex Amin John

New Office of the President opens in Juba

JUBA, 22 August 2011 - The new Office of the President of the Republic of South Sudan H.E Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit was officially opened today Monday August 22nd, 2011, in a very special ceremony organized by the President's office.

The new office was redesigned and constructed by Makover Construction Company under the supervision of the Ministry of Housing and Physical Planning.


President Kiir cutting the tape to open the new office.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]

The caretaker minister in the Office of the President Dr. Cirino Hiteng described the new facility as meeting international standards making it “a real Office of the President of the state”.

On her part, the caretaker minister for Housing and Physical Planning Mrs. Nunu Kumba said the next step, to be taken soon, is to build a big Presidential Palace for the Republic of South Sudan.


The new office in Juba.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]

In his key remarks when addressing the opening ceremony, President Kiir congratulated Makeover Construction Company for having done a very good job by redesigning and standardizing the office.

Reported by Thomas Kenneth/P.P.U/RSS

The NLA passes provisional order of Bank of South Sudan

JUBA, 22 August 2011 – The National Legislative Assembly (NLA) of the Republic of South Sudan today unanimously passed the Provisional Order No. 18 of the Bank of South Sudan in its second reading through acclamation. The provisional order had been presented to the house by Hon. Dengtial A. Kuur the chairperson of the Committee of Legislation and Legal Affairs of the NLA.

During the same sitting, the NLA also resolved to form a committee to vet the recent Presidential appointees to the positions of Chief Justice and Governor of the Bank of South Sudan as well his deputies. Justice Chan Reec Madut has been appointed the Chief Justice while Mr. Kornelio Koryom Mayiik has been appointed the Governor of the Bank of South Sudan with Mr. John Dor Majok and Mr. Jamal Abdallah Wani as the Deputy Governors.

The matter was brought to the house by Hon. Michael Makuei Lueth, the caretaker minister for Parliamentary Affairs. The NLA agreed to form a 17-member committee to vet the appointees and present recommendations to the house. It also agreed that 14 members of the committee should come from the SPLM while the other three should come from the other political parties represented in the NLA.

Some honourable members suggested that persons appointed to senior government offices should possess the relevant technical skills of the respective offices, good moral track record and physical fitness in accordance with Article 57(8) of the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan, 2011.

The sitting was chaired by the Right Hon. Gen. James Wani Igga, the Speaker of NLA. It was attended by 224 members including GOSS caretaker ministers and the Government Chief Whip.

Reported by Clement Aturjong Kuot

Agriculture minister advocates modern farming methods

JUBA, 22 August 2011 - The caretaker minister for Agriculture and Forestry Dr. Anne Itto has called on the farmers in the Republic of South Sudan to use modern farming methods to produce high quality crops capable of competing with crops from the rest of the world in the global marketplace.

“Grow your crops according to the emerging market trends and standards”, said Dr. Itto.

While encouraging the local farmers to embrace new agricultural techniques, the caretaker minister singled out the production of mangoes which she said is still traditional leading to poor harvests in spite of the country’s huge potential for the fruit.

The caretaker minister stated that much as South Sudan is blessed with a lot of mangoes, the local varieties are not the best and cannot sell in the international markets. “Most of our mangoes are of poor quality; they grow tall and straight making it difficult to harvest them”, she said adding that most of the mango harvests are done by crude methods such as hitting resulting in the fruit being damaged on landing.


Dr. Itto (right) explains how mangoes are grafted when she visited Nyeli Odema demonstration farm.
[Photo: Matata Safi]

She further explained that the farm intends to produce good quality mangoes in next three years. “The mangoes you see here are not just ordinary mangoes but grafted mangoes”, said Dr.Itto. She went on to explain that this type of improved mangoes matures within three years compared to the traditional ones which take many years to bear fruits. She also added that the grafted mangoes produce big succulent fruits and are generally short and umbrella-shaped making it easier to harvest without damaging the fruits.

On how to get grafted mangoes, Dr. Itto explained that these can be produced through intermarrying of two different varieties of mango seedlings on a single mango plant with the disease-resistant one as the root mango and the one giving high quality fruits, but is not disease-resistant as the fruit bearer. To do this, she said, a farmer has to slice a “wound” on the young stem of the mango seedling that is resistant to diseases and chop off the stem of the other mongo seedling that produces good fruits and bandage it on the first one until when the two become one.

The minister called on the farmers to apply these modern methods of farming that can enable them to become a leading global producer of mangoes, among other fruits and fruit products.

Dr. Itto made this appeal on Saturday while addressing the media at Nyeli Odema demonstration farm 45miles along the Juba-Nimule road where she had gone to witness the first crop harvests from the farm established in March this year.

Reported by Matata Safi

President’s office to be opened tomorrow

JUBA, 21 August 2011 - The new office of the President of the Republic of South Sudan H.E Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit, which was constructed by Makeover Construction Company, will be officially opened tomorrow Monday, August 22nd, 2011.


The new Office of the President of the Republic of South Sudan-Eastern side.
[Photo: PPU]

The new Office of the President-Western side.
[Photo: PPU]


Reported by Thomas Kenneth/P.P.U/RSS

President Kiir promises to improve Muslim conditions in South Sudan

JUBA, 21 August 2011 – The President of the Republic of South Sudan H.E Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit has reiterated his commitment to address the challenges facing the Muslim community in South Sudan and will double efforts to improve their conditions in the country.


President Kiir addressing Muslim Community at Presidential Palace.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]

President Kiir made the remarks when addressing Muslims yesterday evening of Saturday 20th, August, 2011 on occasion of Presidential Ramadan Breakfast organized at the Presidential Guest House in Juba. President of the Republic called on South Sudanese to refrain from practising religious corruption and also not to politicize religion.


Muslims Praying Ramadan.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]

H.E Kiir said the SLPM struggled for religious freedom. The President also castigated the Akhir Lahza newspaper publishing from Khartoum, which published a false story against him that his son from a fourth wife called John Salva Kiir has become a Muslim before the declaration of South Sudan independence. President Kiir said he has neither a fourth wife nor a son called John.


Muslim Women Praying Ramadan at J-1.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]

On his part, the Chairperson of the Muslim Council Gen. Tahir Bior narrated many challenges and problems facing the Muslim Community in the region and called on the President to intervene and redeem the situation. Gen. Bior also called for returning of Maulit Square back to the Muslims.

Reported by Thomas Kenneth/P.P.U/RSS

“Replicate Nyeli Odema demonstration farm”, urges Dr Itto

JUBA, 21 August 2011 – The caretaker minister for Agriculture and Forestry, Hon Dr Anne Itto has urged the country and the community of Nyeli Odema in particular, to learn and practise what they have witnessed at the Nyeli Odema demonstration farm, Lokiliri Payam, Central Equatoria.

The caretaker minister made this appeal yesterday when she witnessed the first maize crop harvest from the demonstration farm. The farm which is located 45 miles along the Juba-Nimule road produces almost all crops ranging from maize, cassava, groundnuts, beans, sweet potatoes, carrots, cabbages, water melons, okra and grafted quality mangoes.


Dr Itto addressing the media at the farm.
[Photo: Matata Safi]

Dr Itto explained that the idea of the demonstration farm was conceived in March this year when it became apparent that the community living in the area had abandoned agriculture for charcoal burning. She said that the situation may be the same in the other parts of the country. She appealed to the community to focus on agriculture which is more profitable and environment-friendlier than charcoal burning.

“This place is only one-hour’s drive from Juba. With this demonstration farm I want to show everybody that there is no reason why we should be importing food from Uganda or Kenya. There is no reason why we should be going hungry and no reason for languishing in poverty”, she said. She also urged the people not to be discouraged by the challenges of agriculture explaining that some of the crops at the demonstration farm were affected by the dry spell but others survived and produced a good harvest.


Dr Itto (right) and the Undersecretary for Agriculture Mr Beda Machar (left) sampling groundnuts at the farm.
[Photo: Matata Safi]

The caretaker minister decried the common negative attitude of the people towards agriculture where it is considered as “a job of the un-educated”. She urged the people to embrace farming and produce food for subsistence and trade both locally and regionally.

Dr Itto called on the people to embrace mechanized agriculture to boost agricultural produce. She explained that there is already a tractor hire scheme in the ministry which the farmers should take advantage of when preparing farms.


Maize harvesting.
[Photo: Matata Safi]

She also explained that improving the farmers’ access to quality seeds is the key to attaining good crop production. “The seeds I used here are improved seeds though some were not drought-resistant. This is why we lost the beans. Next time we want to research on and plant drought-resistant seeds so that our farmers do not keep losing their crops due to the unpredictable climatic conditions’, she said.

The caretaker minister also emphasized that another area for potential investment in agriculture is water harvesting. She called on the people not to helplessly watch their crops being ravaged by floods at one time and then drought shortly thereafter. “The issue of climatic changes seem not to go away; it calls for seriousness in managing it either by growing drought-resistant crops or harvesting rainwater”, she said. Dr Itto also called on the farmers living along the River Nile to engage in irrigation. She expressed the readiness of the government to help in purchasing water pumps.


Dr Itto harvesting maize at the farm.
[Photo: Matata Safi]

Dr Itto also underscored the role of research in leveraging agricultural production through innovation and modern technology.


Succulent kales (sukuma wiki) growing at the farm.
[Photo: Matata Safi]


Reported by Matata Safi

Presidential decree establishing national ministries of the RSS

JUBA, 21 August 2011 - The President of the Republic of South Sudan H.E. Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit yesterday issued Presidential Decree No. 26/2011 for the Establishment of the National Ministries of the Republic of South Sudan.


The Decree shall be cited as the Presidential Decree No. 26/2011 for the Establishment of the National Ministries of the Republic of South Sudan, 2011 and shall come into force upon its signature.

The following National Ministries shall be established in the Republic of South Sudan; and they are:

1 Ministry of Cabinet Affairs
2 Ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs
3 Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation
4 Minister, Office of the President
5 Minister for National Security, Office of the President
6 Ministry of Justice
7 Ministry of Interior
8 Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs
9 Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning
10 Ministry of Labour, Public Service and Human Resource Development
11 Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment
12 Ministry of Information and Broadcasting
13 Ministry of Health
14 Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry
15 Ministry of Roads and Bridges
16 Ministry of Transport
17 Ministry of General Education and Instruction
18 Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology
19 Ministry of Environment
20 Ministry of Housing and Physical Planning
21 Ministry of Telecommunication and Postal Services
22 Ministry of Petroleum and Mining
23 Ministry of Electricity and Dams
24 Ministry of Gender, Child and Social Welfare
25 Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management
26 Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation
27 Ministry of Wildlife Conservation and Tourism
28 Ministry of Animal Resources and Fisheries
29 Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports


Reported by Thomas Kenneth

AU hands over health centre in Eastern Equatoria

JUBA, 19 August 2011 – The African Union Liaison Office in Juba, the Republic of South Sudan, in partnership with the South Sudan Reconstruction and Development Fund (SSRDF), handed over a health centre to the Haforiere village, Torit County, Eastern Equatoria State, on Wednesday this week.

The AU Liaison Office in South Sudan and the SSRDF were represented respectively by Ambassador Nakaha Stanislas, Head of AU Liaison Office in South Sudan, and Engineer Alikaya Aligo Samson, Chairperson of SSRDF.


[L-R] SSRDF Chairperson Alikaya Aligo Samson, AU Liaison Office South Sudan Amb Nakaha Stanislas, Gender and Human Rights Advisor to the Governor Hon Zeinab Yassin

The Health Center will facilitate easy access to health services, health education and training in hygiene promotion in Haforiere and the surrounding communities of Kiyalla, Tirrangore and Mara. This is the 6th project out of a total of “Eight Quick Impact Projects” funded by the African Union, to be completed and handed over in the Republic of South Sudan.

Reminding all in attendance that the Government of the Republic of South Sudan emphasized healthcare as a high priority for the new nation, Ambassador Nakaha stated that “…the AU is happy to have been working to respond to the priorities of the Government of South Sudan”, adding that the AU shall continue to do so.


Also in attendance were Hon Zeinab Yassin, Advisor to the Governor on Gender and Human Rights; Hon Felix Siro, Commissioner of Torit County; King Vitale Aburi Lowiluk of Hujang Kingdom; Lt. Gen. Jadalla, the SPLA Division Commander; and other dignitaries from Eastern Equatoria.

Mrs Aminata Mansaray, Senior Officer of AU-PCRD and Mr Eric Ngandu, AUHIP Communication Officer, were also in attendance.

Public Service releases second edition of its magazine

JUBA, 18 August 2011 – The Ministry of Labour and Public Service, Government of the Republic of South Sudan has published the second edition of its magazine “Public Service Mirror”. Please, click here to read the edition.

The cover page of the current edition of the Public Service Mirror.

South Sudan school teams preparing for East African games

JUBA, 18 August 2011 – Several secondary school teams in the Republic of South Sudan have been selected and are preparing to participate in the forthcoming East African Secondary Schools tournament to be held in Mbarara, Western Uganda between the 28th August and 4th September 2011.

According to Mr. Wudu David Moses, a senior inspector of Co-Curricular Activities in the Ministry of Education, nine schools will participate in basketball (boys and girls), football (boys and girls), handball (boys and girls), volleyball (boys and girls), and netball (girls). He explained that the athletics track and field teams will be selected from all the schools in South Sudan.


Mr. Wudu David Moses.
[Photo: Matata Safi]

The education officer said that Bentiu Boys, Malakal Boys and Rumbek Girls will participate in basketball; Wau Day Secondary School and Yambio Girls’ Secondary School will participate in football; Juba Day Secondary School (boys) and Wau Comboni Girls’ Secondary School will present teams for handball; Bor Secondary School and Mbili Girls’ Secondary School will participate in volleyball; while Kajo Keji Girls’ Secondary School will present a netball team.

The officer said that all the teams are expected in Juba by next week to prepare for the tournament. He said that the country has high expectations on the team to win medals in the games.

Reported by Matata Safi

CNN features South Sudan wrestling

JUBA, 17 August 2011 – The CNN has published a feature on traditional wrestling in the Republic of South Sudan and how it can be used to unite the people.

"To bring peace among the tribes in South Sudan will take a lot of things but wrestling is an integral part of that process," Peter Ajak, an organizer of the wrestling matches, says. "It reminds people of their commonalities - what do they share in common - and through that they see that they are the same people and there is nothing else that can do that."

Please, click here to read the full feature.


Latest Presidential Decrees

President Kiir's message during the raising of RSS flag at the AU Hq

JUBA, 16 August 2011 - Please, click here to read the speech the President of the Republic of South Sudan H.E. Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit delivered yesterday during the official raising of the flag of the Republic of South Sudan at the headquarters of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Flag of the Republic of South Sudan officially raised by the AU

ADDIS ABABA, 15 August 2011 - The Republic of South Sudan was officially admitted today Monday August 15th, 2011 as a member of the African Union Commission.

That was in a very special sitting of the AU Commission held at the AU Commission conference hall in Addis Ababa, under the chairmanship of the AU/C Chairperson Mr. Jean Ping. During the sitting, the seat of the Republic of South Sudan was placed in the AU/C and was taken up by Ambassador Arop Deng. Members of the AU Commission in the sitting warmly welcomed South Sudan Representative to the Commission.


President Kiir addressing the AU Commission in Addis Ababa.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]

Mr. Ping welcomed the membership of the Republic of South Sudan into the AU and described the welcoming ceremony as historic to the people of South Sudan and AU in general. He said the birth of the new nation of South Sudan came as a result of a peaceful referendum led by the two parties, the SPLM and NCP. Mr Ping said the AU voted overwhelmingly to admit South Sudan. He officially declared that South Sudan has now become an African Union member number 54.

In his key remarks when addressing the AU Commission meeting President of the Republic H.E Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit said the independence of South Sudan has given hope to the people of South Sudan and the whole region. H.E Kiir commended the AU administration for admitting the Republic of South Sudan as country number fifty four in Africa.


The Flag of South Sudan is being raised among the AU flags.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]

President Kiir reiterated that South Sudan will maintain a peaceful neighborliness with the North because the future generations of the two countries need peace and stability. He paid tribute to all African countries for their solidarity with the people of South Sudan since the time of struggle.

After the sitting, the flag of the Republic of South Sudan was hoisted among the African Union Commission flags in a very special ceremony organized by the AU Commission at the African Union commission Headquarters in Addis Ababa. The flag hoisting was conducted in the presence of the President Kiir, the Deputy Prime Minister of Ethiopia H.E Haile Marian Dastaly, and Chairperson of African Union Commission Mr. Jean Ping, besides other members of the AU/C.


President Kiir and other dignitaries witnessing the raising of South Sudan’s flag at the AU headquarters.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]

Reported by Thomas Kenneth, P.P.U, from Addis Ababa-Ethiopia

Baseline survey on agriculture, forestry, animal resources and fisheries released

JUBA, 15 August 2011 – The ministries of Agriculture and Forestry, and Animal Resources and Fisheries have released a baseline survey on agricultural and animal resources in the Republic of South Sudan.

The survey provides a reliable, comprehensive and accurate source of baseline information about the current state of agriculture, forestry, livestock, and fisheries along with the food security situations. It also covers the available technical and advisory services from which indicators can be drawn and validated to guide the project implementation and to measure future project impact. It is envisioned that the survey results will inform and ensure whether the ongoing project interventions were appropriately designed as well as it attenuates a benchmark in which progress and impact measures of these and similar future projects will be assessed.

The report also provides illustration, real life examples and research methodologies which would assist the policy makers and planners to design strategic interventions and effective roadmaps for implementation of the food security and livelihoods programmes in South Sudan. Established investors, private sector, programme managers and planners may also use this survey report as a reference for policy development, effective planning, programme design, monitoring and evaluation.

The survey primarily targeted the rural farming households, state and county technical staff, and non-state actors involved in agriculture, forestry, livestock and fisheries development programmes, which are currently being implemented in the 10 states of South Sudan.

Please, click here to download the full the report. Kindly be patient as it downloads; it is about 2 MB.

Government to stop brain drain

JUBA, 13 August 2011 – The President of the Republic of South Sudan, H.E. Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit today announced that the government will work tirelessly to attract and retain qualified citizens in the country and stop brain drain.

The President explained that South Sudan has lost its best educated people to other countries over the past several decades. He said that even though many of the people had fled the war they were able to learn and earn higher education degrees in the Diaspora. He said that it is now time that they returned home to rebuild their motherland.

“We will put our minds together and address the major challenges facing higher education in our country such as funding, accreditation of universities, physical infrastructure development, staffing, establishment of Research Councils, scholarships among others”, he said.


President Kiir addressing independence celebrations organized by the University of Juba.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]

President Kiir underscored the role of universities in nation building. He said that universities and other institutions throughout the country will be the torchlight in rebuilding the independent country.

“As we have leaped into this new era, we must now mobilize our material and intellectual resources to develop. There are no other institutions more important than our universities that must become the basis of our strategy to build this country”, he said.

The President also said that his government will encourage the establishment and expansion of private institutions to expand the reach of education adding that the most important asset a nation should strive for is to have an educated population. President Kiir also announced that the government will form “Think Tanks” and professional institutions to critique and guide the government development agenda and policies.


Teaching staff of the University of Juba listening to the speech of the President.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]

“We cannot develop if we do not invest in the development of the human resource in order to meet the challenges of modernization, particularly the implementation of the program of rural transformation”, he said.

President Kiir acknowledged that the universities are in a sorry state and pledged that the government will expeditiously embark on construction of modern campuses to match international standards thus becoming destinations for both academics and practitioners worldwide. “This is very critical especially if we want to retain all students to acquire their basic degrees locally; this can and shall be done”, he asserted.

The President challenged the academia to conduct rigorous research focusing on the development of agricultural sector, physical infrastructure and the establishment of basic industries to meet the basic needs of the South Sudanese. He encouraged them to learn from their counterparts elsewhere in the world but admonished them not to be “copycats”.


President Kiir being honoured by the University of Juba's VC Prof Abate.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]

He also said that there is need to control the proliferation of private universities by setting standards that will determine the sustenance and quality of their establishment. He said that the Government of the Republic of South Sudan will assume its sovereign responsibility of providing the necessary support and guidance for the institutions of higher education.

Once again the President called on the people to embrace the culture of hard work. “I will continue to insist on you to work harder; I am already at work myself”, he said.

President Kiir made these remarks today when he addressed the students and staff of the University of Juba during a special occasion to celebrate the independence of South Sudan at the Main Campus in the city of Juba.