South Sudan to make it easier to do business

JUBA, 8 November 2011 - The Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, Republic of South Sudan (RSS), will tomorrow convene a meeting with the finance ministers of all the ten states of South Sudan in Juba to review an agreement to simplify and harmonize revenue collection across South Sudan.


Besides harmonizing collections and ensuring fair allocation of resources, the agreement aims to eliminate the current system of multiple roadblocks, checkpoints and fee collection along the roads and transport corridors of South Sudan. The new approach aims to make it easier and more affordable to get food, goods and services to the people of South Sudan.


“Many checkpoints and roadblocks are unofficial,” Hon. Kosti Manibe Ngai, the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, said adding that the money collected does not go into the government’s account and the people are not benefiting.


“By ending unofficial collections, it will be easier and less expensive to do business in South Sudan. That should mean lower prices at the market, more jobs and better choices of goods to buy. It also means that the revenue that is collected legally will go to the government account where it belongs. This is an urgent priority”, emphasized the minister.


The Vice President of the Republic of South Sudan, Hon. Dr. Riek Machar Teny is scheduled to open the Wednesday session.


Formed in November 2010 and comprising the finance ministers of all ten states, the Task Force has analyzed in depth the economic effects of multiple, unregulated fees on businesses and has made urgent recommendations to fully implement the Tax Act of 2009. The discussions will conclude on Thursday, November 10, at the Nile Beach Hotel in Juba.


Reported by Abraham Akoi


Consumer Protection Bill sails through third reading

JUBA, 8 November 2011 – The South Sudan Legislative Assembly today passed the Consumer Protection Bill, 2011 in its third reading.


Hon. Parmena Awerial Aluong presented a report of the Legislation and Legal Affairs Committee on the Consumer Protection Bill, 2011 in its third reading to the August House. The report was a result of sitting No. 23/2011 dated 19th October, 2011, in which the Right Hon. Speaker referred the Bill for third reading to the Committee for further scrutiny and incorporation of the observations and recommendations of the honorable members.


In the report Hon. Aluong who is the Deputy Chairperson of the Committee explained that the Bill is in accordance with the provisions of Article 55 (2) (3) (b) and Article 85. Hon. Aluong explained that the word an individual was deleted and a natural or legal person inserted; the word investment was also inserted since the Ministry of Commerce and Industry is now called Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment; word national was also inserted to government; among other changes.


After the presentation, the acting Madam Speaker Hon. Fatima Nyawang asked the August House to deliberate and discusse the Bill in its third reading. After long discussions and deliberations the bill was passed to the third reading with amendments and recommendations.


The sitting was attended by the minister for Parliamentary Affairs and the Auditor General. The quorum was 205.


Reported by Clement Aturjong Kuot


President Kiir meets UN peacekeeping undersecretary

GOGRIAL, 4 November 2011 – The President of the Republic H.E. Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit today Friday November 4th, 2011 in his residence at his home village called Akon in Gogrial West County met the Undersecretary General of the United Nations peacekeeping force Mr. Herve Ladsous who was accompanied by the deputy representative of the UN/SG in South Sudan Ms. Lise Grande and other UN officials.

 


President Kiir welcoming Mr Ladsous.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]


The meeting exchanged views on the general political and security situation in the new state of South Sudan. Shortly after the meeting the Mr. Ladsous told the press that he came to South Sudan to confirm that the United Natiosn is always ready to help the new state in developing its human rights situation and to help the young state establish a good relationship with the Republic of Sudan.


Mr. Lasous said the new state is now building itself rapidly and that the UN will provide assistance for these efforts in good faith. He also announced that the UN forces in Abyei area are working. He also reported that as a consequence of the presence of the UN peacekeepers, the displaced citizens of Abyei are now migrating back to their homes. He also pledged that the UN will continue asking the SAF to withdraw from Abyei.

 


President Kiir meeting the delegation.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]


Meanwhile, the governor of Warrap state Hon. Nyandeng Malek has refuted rumours which are circulating and alleging that she has problems with the citizens in the state. She said that some few discontented MPs in Warrap state who lobbied for ministerial posts but failed are the ones trying to cause political chaos in the state.


Hon. Malek said this in an interview with the SSTV and Radio from Akon. She urged the MPs and executive institutions in Warrap state to concentrate on carrying out their duties of delivering basic services to the people of the state instead of confusing the political situation of the state.

 


Hon Malek during the interview.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]


The governor affirmed that security situation in Warrap state is relatively calm but acknowledged that some militias at the border with Unity state especially at Tonj East and Tonj North sometimes attack the civilians. She reported that the State authorities are now doubling their efforts in providing more police in those hotspots to protect the civilians.


Reported by Thomas Kenneth from Akon, Gogrial West


South Sudan offers economic package to Khartoum

JUBA, 4 November 2011 – The Secretary General of South Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement (SPLM) Hon. Pagan Amum today announced that the Government of the Republic of South Sudan has offered a comprehensive package to the Khartoum government to create a relationship which will establish an environment which is conducive for addressing the outstanding issues between the two countries.


While speaking at New Sudan Palace in Juba today attending a workshop organized by the SPLM in its efforts to strengthen the party leadership, Hon. Pagan said the Government of the Republic of South Sudan is committed to establish a new relationship with the North which he said will be based on assistance and cooperation in all fields. He added that in line with this the SPLM government has accepted to provide an economic assistance to the Republic of the Sudan in order for the latter to manage the economic crisis it is experiencing as a result of the loss of oil revenues produced in South Sudan.

 


Hon Amum addressing the media.
[Photo: Matata Safi]


Hon. Amum further stressed that in return South Sudan expects the Republic of the Sudan to respect the territorial integrity and dignity of the people of South Sudan, for instance by recognizing that Abyei is part of the Republic of South Susan.


“We believe this package will provide the basis for peace and mutual cooperation between the Republic of Sudan and the Republic of South Sudan”, he said. He added that if accepted by Khartoum, the package would ensure a better future for the people of the Republic of the Sudan and the people of the Republic of South Sudan. He said this would give both countries an opportunity to redirect their energies to peace, create wealth and change the lives of the people of the two countries.


He said South Sudan’s delegation is waiting for communication for the next round of talks from the African Union High-level Implementation Panel (AU-HIP), the body that is leading the negotiations between Khartoum and Juba in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.


Reported by Matata Safi


South Sudan welcomes genuine investors

JUBA, 4 November 2011 (NASS) – The Government of the Republic of South Sudan welcomes and encourages only genuine investors to come and invest in the country, Hon Dr Barnaba Marial Benjamin the minister for Information and Broadcasting has said.


The minister made these remarks during a meeting with investors from Middle East in his office today. Dr Marial said South Sudan is a virgin territory that needs a lot of investors but cautioned that it will only allow genuine investors who are willing and able to operate under the established procedures and regulations for the benefit of the country.

 


Dr Marial meeting the investors.
[Photo: Ajang Monychol]


He also clarified that contrary to popular belief petroleum is not the economic backbone of the country. He revealed that the true mainstay of the economy is agriculture. He encouraged the investors to prioritize the sector so as to boost food production in the country.


“South Sudan is an organic farm that does not even need fertilizers; it also receives adequate rainfall over a period of eight months”, he said. The minister also encouraged potential investors to consider the wildlife and tourism sector.


The Middle East investors demonstrated interest in helping South Sudan especially in the energy, roads and cement production sectors. They explained that the cement produced in Kapoeta, Eastern Equatoria, is one of the best given the high presence of gypsum (equivalent to 88.6%) in it.


Reported by Martin Jada Gabriel, News Agency of South Sudan (NASS)


South Sudan to join the Commonwealth

JUBA, 4 November 2011 – The Republic of South Sudan is working on joining the Commonwealth, Hon Nhial Deng Nhial, the minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, has announced. He said that the country stands to gain a lot from Commonwealth membership.


Hon Nhial who was speaking to journalists yesterday and the Juba International Airport upon his arrival from a weeklong visit to Australia said the Commonwealth has programmes formulated to benefit its member countries. Particularly, he said, South Sudan would benefit from of capacity building programmes by becoming a member country.


He said that South Sudan is in the process of establishing links with the Commonwealth secretariat to facilitate the membership application process. However, he stressed that this is a gradual process that will take time before South Sudan is fully accepted as a member.


The minister said he went to Australia on the invitation of the Foreign Affairs minister of Australia to strengthen bilateral relations and again to participate in the deliberations of the Commonwealth Business Council Forum that brought together many Australian companies. He said the forum was also attended by ministers from the other African countries. He said in this meeting, he was able to interact with many Australian companies and said they expressed willingness and readiness to explore the investment opportunities in South Sudan especially in mining and farming which he described as the areas where Australia excels.


Hon Nhial added that while in Australia he was privileged to be invited to participate in the opening session of the Commonwealth heads of government meeting that was officially opened by Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth of England. The Commonwealth comprises of countries that share a common history and legacy.


Reported by Matata Safi


“We welcome critics to our government”, Dr Marial

JUBA, 3 November 2011 (NASS) – Hon Dr Barnaba Marial Benjamin, the minister for Information and Broadcasting who is also the Official Government Spokesman yesterday said that the government welcomes constructive and informed criticism.


He underscored the value of constructive criticism in the development of better governance structures for service delivery and development. He cautioned, however, that any individual or organization criticizing the government should first get credible information on the relevant issues of interest.


Dr Marial made these remarks in his office when he met Dr Jerald Green, the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Pacific Council on International Policy.

 


Dr Marial (second left) welcoming the delegation to his office.
[Photo: Ajang Monychol]


The minister condemned recent media reports on the conflicts in Jonglei state. He explained that the issue in Jonglei concerns cattle rustling among the communities there. He said that the members of the Lou Nuer and Murle have not had ethnic conflicts but cattle rustling incidents. He explained that the journalists who reported the matter as being ethnic conflict missed the point and did not report accurately.


He emphasized that South Sudan is not as insecure as it is being portrayed to be in the media. He said that the country cannot be compared with Iraq or Afghanistan where insecurity incidents lead to high death tolls almost on a daily basis. Conversely, he said that South Sudan is a peaceful country.


Dr Green, on his part, said that he was impressed by the briefing by the minister. He acknowledged that some media reports on South Sudan have been intriguing as he followed them from California but expressed confidence that he now understands the situation better. He said that his organization is keen on South Sudan and appreciated the briefing by the minister.


“We are extremely delighted to have received the informative overview of the South Sudan and we are hoping to help in any way we can”, he said.


Reported by Martin Jada, News Agency of South Sudan (NASS)


South Sudan is UNESCO’s 194th member

JUBA, 3 November 2011 – The nearly four month old Republic of South Sudan, Africa’s youngest country, has now been officially admitted into the family of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as the 194th member country.


This was announced today by the minister for Youth, Culture and Sports Hon. Cirino Hiteng Ofuho at the Juba International Airport upon his arrival from France. Hon. Hiteng said he had been invited to attend the Annual General Assembly organized by UNESCO in France.

 


Dr Hiteng addressing the press on his arrival.
[Photo: Matata Safi]


The minister said that South Sudan will benefit a lot from the UNESCO membership. He said UNESCO is an organization that has a proven record of documentation and archives management and will help to document the long and rich history of South Sudan. He further stressed that much as the organization does not have a very big budget, by becoming its member country, the organization will help South Sudan to build its cultural centers that he said can be used to attract tourists seeking to learn more about the rich culture of the South Sudanese.


He said he was able conduct several meetings with key officials of the organization, among them being the Director General of UNESCO Ms Irina Bokova as well as ministers from member countries in the world. He said the world accepts South Sudan with open hearts. “There is a lot of goodwill out there for South Sudan and we need to harness it when the honeymoon is still on”, said Hon. Hiteng.


He said South Sudan will be making follow-up meetings with the organization to map out a framework of partnership.


Reported by Matata Safi


SOS to manage children’s village in Malakal

JUBA, 3 November 2011 (NASS) – The SOS Kinderdorf International, the umbrella organization for the SOS Children’s Villages taking care of orphaned and other needy children is expected to take over the administration of the Children’s Village in Malakal town in Upper Nile State this week.


This was revealed today during a meeting between representatives of the organization and the minister for Gender, Child and Social Welfare Hon Agnes Lasuba in the latter’s office in Juba. During the meeting, the head of the SOS delegation Mr George Nyakura who is the organization’s Human Resource and Organizational Development Advisor reported that the delegation was heading to Malakal to meet the Governor and the state minister for Social Development and attend the handover ceremony of the children’s village there to the SOS East African Regional Office based in Kenya.

 


Hon Lasuba (right) scans a document with Mr Nyakura.


The delegation also discussed how to facilitate the rehabilitation and accommodation of the South Sudanese street children who are expected to be repatriated from the North back to their motherland next month. They also underscored the value of parental guidance to children and appealed to all families to give the children the support they need to grow to become responsible and productive members of the society.


The minister commended the SOS for its work for the children and expressed confidence that the organization will partner with the ministry in addressing the challenges facing the children and the youth in South Sudan. She said that an appropriate memorandum of understanding will be signed to underpin this partnership.


Reported by Simon Matiop Akol, News Agency of South Sudan (NASS)


Polio vaccination kicks off next Tuesday

JUBA, 3 November 2011 (NASS) – A vigorous polio vaccination campaign in South Sudan will kick off next Tuesday 8 November 2011, the minister for Health Hon Dr Michael Milli Hussein has announced.


Addressing the press at the Kimu Hospital in Gudele in Juba, the minister said that the programme is aimed at kicking polio out the Republic of South Sudan. He announced that more than twenty thousand health workers will be dispatched to all the states of South Sudan to conduct this vaccination campaign which is targeting 3.2 million children.


Dr Hussein appealed to the Ministry of Labour, Public Service and Human Resource Development to declare a holiday on the day to enable the mothers and other stakeholders to participate effectively in the exercise.


The deputy minister for Health Hon Dr Yata Lori emphasized the importance of the vaccination in ensuring better health and productivity of South Sudanese children.


Reported by Francis Oliver, News Agency of South Sudan (NASS)


H.E Kiir to visit NBGS tomorrow

JUBA, 2 November 2011 – The President of the Republic H.E. Salva Kiir Mayardit and the accompanying delegation will conclude a three-day visit to his home village in Akon at Gogrial West County today, and is expected to visit Northern Bahr El-Ghazal state tomorrow on Thursday November 3rd, 2011.

 


President Kiir with Hons Malek and Rizig.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]


President Kiir is expected to hold talks with the leaders of Northern Bahr El-Ghazal state under the chairmanship of the state’s Governor, Hon. Paul Malong Awan. The President will thereafter address a huge rally in Aweil, the capital of the state.


Reported by Thomas Kenneth


Region needs support to thrash LRA

JUBA, 2 November 2011 – The countries that are worst affected by the terror of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) such as Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, the Republic of South Sudan and Central African Republic urgently need the support of a strong military power to root out the rebels from the region.


This view was expressed by Col. Philip Aguer, the Official Spokesperson of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLA) yesterday during the weekly media forum hosted by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in Juba. He said that the intervention of the United States of America in fighting the LRA leader Joseph Kony and his group who have been accused of murder, rape, and abductions of children would be a welcome gesture.


Col. Aguer said the LRA remains a regional threat and ending it calls for the support of the international community. “I believe winning the war against terrorism needs the collective security coordination from across the world”, he said. He added that the Great Lakes region and East Africa have seemingly not been successful in eliminating the LRA. He explained this is perhaps because of the region’s lack of adequate military surveillance equipment to locate and unravel the rebel group.

 


Col. Aguer speaks during the media forum.
[Photo: Matata Safi]


He further explained that after refusing to sign the final peace documents with the government of Uganda, the LRA should be eliminated. He also warned that without eliminating Mr Kony, the LRA insurgency will persist.


Hon Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin, the minister of Information and Broadcasting who is also the Official Spokesperson of the Government of the Republic of South Sudan, said the position of the government is that it accepts fully the role of the government of United States of America to assist in eliminating the LRA from the region. He said the United States of America will have a major role in terms of logistical support and in terms of locating the rebels who are hiding in one of the thickest forests in the DRC and the Central African Republic.


He said what is very central here is that the LRA is a terrorist organization that has tormented the whole region. He stressed that the government has the duty to protect the lives of its citizens. “It’s our duty to protect our civilians in Western Equatoria in particular and also in Western Bahr el Ghazal but at the same time get into an alliance with any country that we believe can help”, he said.


He added that the government will cooperate on this matter with the American government so that the people of South Sudan who have been affected, and continues to be affected, by the barbaric acts of this terrorist group can have peace and engage in nation building.


Reported by Matata Safi


President Kiir orders the release of captured chopper

JUBA, 2 November 2011 – The President of the Republic of South Sudan H.E Salva Kiir Mayardit has issued an order to release the Russian made Sudan Airways cargo helicopter that was intercepted on the 08th August 2010 in Upper Nile State carrying rebels loyal to the renegade General George Athor.


This was announced yesterday by the Official Government Spokesman Hon. Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin who is also the minister for Information and Broadcasting.


Addressing the media during the weekly media forum while hosting the spokesperson of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and the deputy director of military intelligence, Dr. Marial said the decision to release the chopper by the President of the Republic was to demonstrate a good gesture to the government in Khartoum that since South Sudan is now an independent Republic, the past has to be forgiven. He said the helicopter which is white in colour and bearing Sudan Airways logo and markings was used for transporting arms and militia to George Author’s centres.

 


Dr Marial (right) addressing the press.
[Photo: Matata Safi]


Dr. Marial regretted that in spite of so many such good gestures by the President of the Republic of South Sudan, Khartoum still continues to fight proxy wars against the Republic of South Sudan.


According to Col. Phillip Aguer, the Official Spokesman of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) on the 27th October 2011 militia trained by the Khartoum government left South Kordufan and attacked Mayom County in Unity State on the 28th killing eleven civilians. He explained that the casualties included the only medical doctor in the county hospital and the wife of the SPLA Deputy Commander-in-Chief Gen. Paulino Matip. Col Aguer also estimated the number of the wounded at sixty. He also reported that the SPLA forces killed 32 militia men. He said that ten SPLA soldiers and four police officers were also killed.


Dr. Marial said there lots of media reports were giving exaggerated figures without verifying them with the government authorities who are on the ground. He said there is evidence to prove that the Khartoum government is training these militias and infiltrating them into South Sudan territory despite their rebuttal of these facts. “Today there are people who were part of the militia groups and have taken the amnesty given by the President of the Republic with us here; they can testify to you that they were trained by Khartoum”, said Dr. Marial.

 


Col. Aguer stressing a point during the media forum.
[Photo: Matata Safi]


The minister called on the international community to be on the lookout for these advances of the Khartoum government whose intensions, he said, are not good. He also called on the UNMISS to stand up and stick to their mandate to protect lives.


On Abyei, the minister reiterated the position of the government that the SPLA soldiers withdrew completely from Abyei as per the agreement signed with the African Unoin (AU) and witnessed by the UN Security Council. He said as per this agreement both the SAF and SPLA were supposed to withdraw from Abyei paving way for the deployment of the African Union forces (Ethiopian Forces). He explained that in spite of the agreement, the SAF still occupies Abyei while the Khartoum government is delaying the deployment of the African Union peace keepers. He described this is a war mongering attitude by the Khartoum government and called on the International community to intervene to resolve the impasse in good time so that the peace process may continue in Abyei and alleviate the human suffering of the people of Abyei.


Reported by Matata Safi


Public Finance Management and Accountability Bill sails to third reading

JUBA, 2 November 2011 – The South Sudan Legislative Assembly today in its sitting No. 25/2011 continued to discuss the report of the Committee of Economy, Finance and Development on the Public Financial Management and Accountability Bill, 2011. The report was presented early last month to the August House in its first reading in which it was referred to specialized committees of Legislation and Legal Affairs; and Economy, Finance and Development for scrutiny.


During today’s debate, the minister for Finance and Economic Planning Hon Kosti Manibe Ngai commented on the observations and recommendations of the members of August House. He said that the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning is working to establish Revenue Authorities. He also cautioned that the Revenue Authorities, once formed, will need some time to develop regulations and policies. Hon Manibe also explained that the Bill has been drafted in accordance with the international standards. He also explained the roles of the national and state governments.


The Auditor General also explained that it has requested the Office of the President to establish a special court for cases related to economic crimes which will be under the South Sudan Judiciary mentioned in Judiciary Act.


The minister for Parliamentary Affairs Hon Michael Makuei moved a motion to end the debate. The Bill was then passed to its third reading with the amendments, observations and recommendations of the members. The sitting was chaired by Acting Speaker Hon. Daniel Awet Akot and attended by 242 members.


Reported by Clement Aturjong Kuot


President Kiir visits his home village

JUBA, 1 November 2011 – The President of the Republic H.E. Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit yesterday night arrived at his home village called Akon in Gogrial West County, Warrap State.

 


President being received in Wau.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]

 

President Kiir is accompanied by two presidential advisors – Hon. Tilar Ring, the advisor on Legal Affairs and Hon. Tor Deng, the advisor on Decentralization – and the deputy minister for Interior Gen. Salva Mathok.

 


President Kiir being briefed of the situation in Western Bahr el Ghazal.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]

 

On his way to Akon, President Kiir was warmly received in Wau where he held a closed security meeting with the authorities. During the meeting, the President was briefed on the security situation in the state.

 


President Kiir in front of the Governor's office in Wau.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]

 

After the meeting, President Kiir appreciated the efforts of the state leaders in facilitating development. He also appreciated the citizens of the state for electing him as president in the last general elections. President Kiir is expected to address the citizens of Western Bahr el Ghazal in two days’ time after returning from Akon.


Reported by Thomas Kenneth


President Kiir urges Warrap state authorities to deliver services

JUBA, 1 November 2011 – The President of the Republic H.E. Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit urged the executives and legislatures of Warrap state to discard tribalism, unite and double efforts in delivering basic services to the people of the state and the IDPs of Abyei.


H.E Kiir said this during a meeting he held yesterday on Monday October 31st 2011 evening with high authorities of Warrap state under the leadership of the Governor Nyandeng Malek. President Kiir congratulated people of the state for voting wisely for the freedom and independence of South Sudan.

 


President Kiir being briefed of the situation in Warrap state.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]


Hon. Nyandeng Malek during the meeting, briefed the President on the general situation of the state. She reported that the first phase of the disarmament action in Warrap state proceeded peacefully and that so far the total number of guns handed over voluntarily to the government is 5,750. She also reported that the total number of IDPs who have returned from Khartoum to the state is 21,886 while 4,192 IDPs are from Abyei.


Reported by Thomas Kenneth


Audit Chamber presents reports to parliament

JUBA, 1 November 2011 – The South Sudan Audit Chamber today presented the audited reports of the fiscal years 2005 and 2006 to the South Sudan National Legislative Assembly in its sitting number 25/2011.


Presenting the audit reports, the Auditor General Steven Wondu explained that the audit was conducted according to the provisions of the Section 195 Articles 4 and 5 of the Interim Constitution of Southern Sudan. He said that the section gives the Audit Chamber the power to audit the accounts of the Executive, Legislature and the Judiciary as well as the accounts of the states, local governments, independent commissions, public institutions and corporations, and any other institutions as may be determined by the law.


The Auditor General also explained that the chamber audited oil revenue, non-oil revenue, payroll expenditure, operating expenditure, capital expenditure and bank and cash accounts. The two reports were then passed on to the Public Accounts Committee and the Finance, Economy, Planning and Development Committee for scrutiny before being tabled back in the House for debate.


During the same sitting the August House continued to discuss the urgent and important matter of food shortage in the Republic of South Sudan. The minister for Commerce, Industry and Investment Hon Garang Diing briefed the House on the food security situation. He said that South Sudan is facing food shortage due to global economic crisis which is affecting developed and developing countries in the world. He explained that the situation has been exacerbated by the fact that South Sudan is importing food supplies from East African countries such as Kenya and Uganda which are themselves facing low production of food. He also explained that the fact that the UN also buys food supplies from the same markets further makes the already bad situation worse.


The minister also explained that the increase in the price of fuel worldwide is another factor leading to the skyrocketing of food prices. He reported that high quality of fuel is sold at $ 100 per barrel while the average quality is sold at $80 per barrel. The minister also explained that the Somali piracy menace further complicates the situation since it contributes to the increment of food prices due to high costs of transit insurance. Hon Diing explained that the government is planning to establish food reserves but is cautious due to the experiences of the dura scandal.


The minister for Finance and Economic Planning also explained the inflation situation in the country as well as the mechanisms in place to contain it. The sitting was attended by 171 members and was chaired by the Acting Speaker Hon. Daniel Awet Akot.


Reported by Clement Aturjong Kuot


RSS to manage oil revenue efficiently

JUBA, 1 November 2011 – The Republic of South Sudan has taken steps towards efficient management of its oil revenues. This was announced yesterday during a conference on Oil Revenue Management organized by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning of the Government of the Republic of South Sudan and held at Home and Away in Juba. The event brought together the governors and finance ministers of the oil producing states, government officials, international experts, and representatives from the civil society. The conference was part of the ongoing deliberation on how to manage oil revenue wisely to promote economic growth and diversification of the economy.

 

In his opening remarks, H.E. Dr. Riek Machar, the Vice President of Republic of South Sudan stressed “We all know that natural resources do not last forever, and we need to prepare for the time when the petroleum production declines and eventually ceases altogether.”

 

The Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning has taken the lead working together with the Ministry of Petroleum and Mining, Ministry of Justice, and the Bank of South Sudan to draft the Petroleum Revenue Management Bill, which was circulated prior to the conference. The Petroleum Revenue Management Bill establishes the Oil Revenue Stabilization Account to act as a buffer against volatility in oil prices and the Future Generation Fund to enable the Government to set aside some funds for future generations. The Bill is in line with the Transitional Constitution of South Sudan which clearly states that the ownership of petroleum and gas shall be vested in the people of South Sudan and shall be developed and managed by the National Government on behalf of, and for the benefit of, the people.

 

H.E. Kosti Manibe Ngai, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, knowing oil revenue finances 98% of the Government’s budget, noted that South Sudan is highly exposed to volatility in oil prices. He indicated that a significant share of future oil revenue must be saved to ensure South Sudan has a buffer to cushion future volatility in oil prices and the expected decline in production. The oil production from current blocks is expected to decline by more than 40% over the next five years.

 

Representatives from the Ministry of Finance of Norway and Ministry of Finance of Ghana shared their experiences as the conference provided an opportunity to review models in these other countries. Hon. Pagan Amum, the Secretary General of the SPLM pointed out that oil can only be a curse if not managed well. The oil revenue management will be based on best international practice and principles for good governance, transparency, and accountability.

 

Hon. Simon Kun Pouch, the Governor of Upper Nile State lauded the Central Government for working closely with all stakeholders to find the best way for South Sudan to manage its petroleum revenue. South Sudan is committed to park some of the oil revenue in a fund for the benefit of future generations and to avoid more serious negative consequences for economic growth, poverty, and social unrest.

 

Reported by Abraham Diing Akoi


Students Union in Uganda receives token from President Kiir

JUBA, 1 November 2011 – The South Sudan Students Union in Uganda has received the 50,000USD token which had been pledged to it by President Salva Kiir Mayardit.


Confirming receipt of the token, the Vice Chairperson of the Union Mr Peter Gai Manyuon said that the money was received last week from the Office the President. He expressed the gratitude of the students to the Head of State for this kind gesture which has demonstrated his commitment to support the youth in their pursuit of education.


Mr Manyuon also acknowledged the support the union has received from the government since its inception in 2007. He said that the union will continue to work hand in hand with the government in nation building. He asserted that the students will never forget their motherland even during their brief sojourn in the Diaspora.


The student leader also commended the efforts of the Executive Director in the Office of the President Comrade Yel Lual Khor for his continued support for the students. He commended the President for appointing such committed officers to serve their motherland and take care of the interests of the youth.


Meanwhile, the students union held a meeting on Sunday with all the chairpersons of its constituent institutions to deliberate on how to share out the money. The meeting, held at the Pacific Hotel in Kampala, agreed that the money will be distributed equitably among the South Sudanese student association all over Uganda.


Reported by Peter Gai Manyuon from Kampala


Government urged to disseminate information widely

JUBA, 31 October 2011 (NASS) – The governor of Jonglei State, Hon Kuol Manyang Juuk has urged the central government to establish systems that would facilitate effective dissemination of information in all the states so as to educate the masses of its policies, plans and programmes and reduce cases of misinformation and ignorance.


Hon Manyang this appeal today when he made a courtesy call on Hon Dr Barnaba Marial Benjamin, the minister for Information and Broadcasting and Official Government Spokesman, to brief him on the general situation in Jonglei State.


The governor urged the national government not to concentrate only at the central government level but also to use all channels and media of communication, including radio, to promote the use of information at the grassroots.

 


Dr Marial (right) meeting Hon Manyang (left).
[Photo: Ajang Monychol]


“We also ask the government to train information professionals to translate its programmes to local languages to ensure that information such as the Presidential speeches is communicated effectively to the people at the grassroots who do not understand English or Arabic and ensure seamless implementation of the directives”, he said.


He explained that the media can be used as a rallying channel for the people of the states such as Jonglei which are cut off from the rest of the country due to poor road networks. He said this would ensure exchange of ideas, trade and uphold harmony in the society. It would, he said, also encourage the communities to discard retrogressive habits and embrace progress.


The governor also appealed for enhanced training and equipping of the security agents in the states to enable them to maintain security in their areas of duty.


Dr Marial pledged that the government will improve information systems in the states. He explained that apart from the South Sudan Radio which broadcasts all over the country in 17 languages, the government is working on establishing an FM station which will ensure a wider reach to all the states.


Reported by Martin Jada and Taghrid George, News Agency of South Sudan (NASS)


South Sudan reviving stalled factories

JUBA, 30 October 2011 (NASS) – The Republic of South Sudan has embarked on reviving stalled factories at Mangala, Anzara, Malut and Aweil in its efforts to harness more revenue streams to complement petroleum, Hon Garang Diing, the minister for Commerce, Industry and Investment has said.


Addressing the weekly media forum hosted by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting last week, Hon Diing emphasized that petroleum alone will not catapult South Sudan to the economic pedestal it is capable of achieving.

 


Hon Diing addressing the media forum.
[Photo: Ajang Monychol]


The minister also announced that a feasibility study on cement production in Kapoeta is ongoing. He said that establishing cement manufacturing factories in the country will not only create employment opportunities and more revenue streams but will also make building materials readily available and cut the cost of construction. He said that local production of building materials is critical at this time in light of the impending relocation of the capital from Juba to Ramciel.


Hon Diing also announced that his ministry has worked on a number of bills relating to microfinance and insurance which are currently being processed. He said these bills will be enacted as part of the priority activities under the 100-day action plan announced by President Salva Kiir Mayardit a few months ago.

 


Some of the top officers of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment follow the proceedings of the media forum.
[Photo: Ajang Monychol]


He also explained that the ministry is working with the other government institutions to reduce unnecessary taxation of commodities especially at the border points in an effort to reign in the rising inflation and cost of living.


The minister also announced that thousands of bags of maize have been imported from Malawi and will reach the country in due course. He said these imports will help the country to seal the existing food deficit caused by the closing of borders with the North. He explained that South Sudan used to get the bulk of its foodstuff from the North but said that the situation changed with the closure of the borders after South Sudan’s independence. He explained that Khartoum closed the borders under the pretext that South Sudan was supporting dissidents in Blue Nile and South Kordufan. This allegation, he said, is baseless and untrue.

 


Dr Marial (right) explains a point as Hon Diing (left) looks on.
[Photo: Ajang Monychol]


Hon Dr Barnaba Marial Benjamin, the minister for Information and Broadcasting who is also the Official Government Spokesman also reinforced Hon Diing’s position. He also called on South Sudanese to embark on food production to bolster food security of the new country.


Reported by Martin Jada, News Agency of South Sudan (NASS)


South Sudan to join African football body

JUBA, 29 October 2011 (NASS) – The Republic of South Sudan will join the Confederation of African Football (CAF), the association governing football on the continent, permanently by February 2012, Captain Duop Pouch Joak, the deputy chairperson of the South Sudan Football Association has announced.


Captain Joak made this announcement when he met Hon Dr Barnaba Marial Benjamin, the minister for Information and Broadcasting and Official Government Spokesman late last week. He urged the government to take sports seriously as a possible source of revenue.


“The government should not only consider petroleum as a source of income but also consider football as well because it can generate immense income besides uniting the nation in the fight against tribalism and negative ethnicity”, he said.


He also urged the government to develop sporting facilities such as stadia to enable the country to participate in international sporting events organized by international bodies such as FIFA. He expressed confidence that the Republic of South Sudan has the potential and experience to participate effectively in regional and international football. He also called on the government officers to support the development of sports in the country.


On his part, Dr Marial underscored the role of sports in promoting the image of nations worldwide. He cited the case of Kenya whose image has been enhanced by its athletes. He also expressed confidence that South Sudan has what it takes to curve a niche for itself in sports, including football.


“I know that in Europe the budget for sports is bigger than it is in Africa but I want to assure you that the government will support sports and the youth unreservedly”, he said.


Reported by Martin Jada, News Agency of South Sudan (NASS)


New Presidential Advisors sworn in

JUBA, 28 October 2011 – The two newly appointed Presidential Advisors Hon. Aggrey Tisa Sabuni, the advisor on Economic Affairs and Hon Fr. Mark Lotede, the advisor on Religious Affairs sworn in today before the President of the Republic H.E. Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit.

 


The advisors being sworn in as President Kiir watches.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]


After the swearing in ceremony President Kiir said that he is ready to cooperate with the advisors in building the new nation of the Republic of South Sudan.


The Advisor on Economic Affairs Hon Sabuni said through a press statement that they are ready to join hands with the President in developing the new nation. He appreciated H.E Kiir for having confidence in them.

 

Reported by Thomas Kenneth


President Kiir meets AU/HIP team

JUBA, 28 October 2011 – The President of the Republic H.E. Gen. Salva Kiir Myardit yesterday evening in his office met a delegation of the AU/HIP led by the former President of South Africa Mr. Thabo Mbeki.

 

Mr. Mbeki told the press after the meeting that he came to Juba to meet the President and other leaders of the government to review the various outstanding issues regarding the negotiations with Khartoum on matters such as security, border demarcation, Abyei, financial and arrangements on economic matters.

 


President Kiir meeting the AU/HIP team.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]

 

Mr. Mbeki added that he also consulted the President on how to set up a roadmap on the issues to enable the panel to move towards resolving the matters between Juba and Khartoum.

 

He also said he held separate meetings with various ministers in the government of the Republic and reported that he has clearly understood the position of the government. He said that he now understands that the whole government is committed to resoling the issues and that this understanding will help the panel to plan its work better.

 

Reported by Thomas Kenneth


AECF launches funding competition in South Sudan

JUBA, 28 October 2011 – The Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF), which provides investment support to businesses which wish to implement innovative, commercially viable investment ideas has launched a competition for funding in South Sudan.


The AECF is a US$ 150 million fund backed by leading development finance institutions and hosted by the Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) supporting the private sector. It also supports businesses working in agriculture, rural financial services, renewable energy and technology to assist small farmers to adopt climate change. It also supports initiatives in the media and information services relating to these sectors.


Through an open and transparent “competition” for investment support in the form of grant and interest free loans, the AECF seeks to promote risk taking and innovation amongst established businesses and encourage new ones and create opportunities for the rural poor.


The AECF provides grants and interest free loans from a minimum of US$100,000 to a maximum of US$1.5 million per project. The applicants must provide matching funds of at least the equal amount to that requested from the AECF.


The competition will be amongst South Sudanese, African and international companies .To qualify for funding a project should be commercially viable and have a positive impact on the rural poor in South Sudan to increase incomes and employment for poor people through reduced costs and improved productivity.


The UKAid is the sole funder of the AECF South Sudan Window. Other funders are the Australian Government Aid Programme, Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP), the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA), the UK Department for International Development( IFAD/ and UKAid ), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs (NMFA).


Reported by Nargis Alphonse Lotira


Government to build a new bridge on the Nile

JUBA, 28 October 2011 – Plans are underway to build a new and modern bridge on the Rive Nile at about 1.75 kilometers upstream of the present bridge in Juba. This comes at a time when the traffic in and out of Juba is growing steadily while the present bridge, constructed about 1976, is deteriorating and unable to accommodate the big traffic.


While signing a preparatory and final draft report on the feasibility study with the key stakeholders that includes the Ministry of Roads and Bridges, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Ministry of Environment, and the Central Equatoria State Ministry of Physical Infrastructure, the Resident Representative of JICA in South Sudan Mr. Hanatana Atsushi said a technical committee from JICA has spent the past several months in carrying out the study on the project and its social environmental impacts on the communities living within the area.


The planned bridge which will be 650 meters long across the Nile is estimated to cost about 90 million USD is expected to be funded by the government of Japan. He added that the signed final draft report on the feasibility study on the project will be presented to the government of Japan for discussion and upon approval a final diplomatic agreement through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation will be signed by the two governments.


The JICA Resident Representative said the next phase is to conduct a detailed engineering design that will take about six months and once the work starts it will take three years for the bridge to be in full use. He added that the current bridge will remain and will be renovated even after the new one has been constructed. He said this will help in reducing traffic jams and facilitate quick passage of goods and services.

 


Graphical representation of the proposed bridge.


Mr. Atsushi said this project is one among the many projects that the government of Japan is undertaking in South Sudan. He said the others are the Juba Port upgrading that was done during the interim period and said JICA is planning to upgrade it further, plan to construct a pipeline and to construct new water supply system for Juba town.


He further added that the government of Japan has undertaken similar projects before in different partg of the world. He mentioned Bangaledesh, Cambodia and Thailand. In Africa, he said, the government of Japan was able to built Madadi Bridge in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1997. He also said plans are underway to build a bridge on the same River Nile at Jinja in Uganda at the source of the Nile.


Speaking to the press after the signing ceremony, the Deputy Ministry of Roads and Bridges Hon. Simon Majok Majak who was also a signatory to the documents signed welcomed the project. He said South Sudan is divided into two by Africa’s longest river and is only linked by one bridge that is already old.


He said this project will affect over eighty households which will be relocated to a new place to give way for the project. He assured that the affected people will be compensated and relocated in a way that their lives continue normally as before. He said this is the reason the Central Equatorial State Ministry of Physical Infrastructure is part of the project.


Reported by Matata Safi


Government urged to commit 2% of GDP to higher education

JUBA, 28 October 2011 – The Government of the Republic of South Sudan should spend at least two percent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on higher education, Hon Dr Peter Adwok Nyaba, the minister for Higher Education, Science and Technology has recommended.


Addressing the members of the National Legislative Assembly during the Sitting No. 24/2011 yesterday when he presented a 27-page statement on Higher Education, Science and Technology, the minister elucidated the strategic objective of the ministry as well as the philosophy and policies of higher education. He also stressed the importance of adequate funding for higher education and recommended that South Sudan should apply the UNESCO proposal that each member state should spend at least two percent of its GDP on higher education.


Dr Nyaba also elaborated the details of higher education system and its administration as well as the role of educational authorities such as the National Council of Higher Education which he said would approve the academic programmes offered within the international system of accreditation, authentication, evaluation and quality control based on the UNESCO guidelines. He said the council can play these roles through specialized committees.


He also unveiled the ministry’s plan for the next ten years which includes building of higher education systems, university campuses, streamlining of university calendar, scientific research and technology transfer, private and foreign higher education.


Specifically, the minister tabled the following recommendations:

 

  1. Immediate promulgation of the Higher Education Act to serve as the legal framework for the ministry;
  2. Government to continue funding public universities;
  3. Guarantee the injection of two billion dollars within the next five years through direct funding or loans; the construction of world class university campuses in Billinyang, Rumbek, Agok, Wau, Malakal and Bor;
  4. Immediate implementation of a new salary structure for academic and non-academic staff;
  5. Solicit the support of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning in purchasing new cars for the university academic staff;
  6. 6. Request the state governments to provide land resources for use by the public and approved private providers of higher education for establishing academic, research and business facilities;
  7.  Promote and encourage close and mutually beneficial cooperation and collaboration between the universities and government as well as industries and mining;
  8. Launch a pilot project for the higher education loan scheme to test its feasibility and applicability under the present socio-economic conditions; and
  9. Close down the private universities which don’t satisfy the conditions for university education.

 

Reported by Clement Aturjong Kuot


“Some criminals hide in police uniform”, President Kiir

JUBA, 27 October 2011 – At least sixteen senior officers of customs re-instated into active services and 119 Rabat University Police officers from batches 60, 61 and 62 re-commissioned into the South Sudan Police Service by the Presidential Decrees No. 41/2011, 44/2011, 45/2011, 46/2011 were sworn in today before the President of the Republic H.E. Gen. Salva Kiir Myardit in a special ceremony organized by the Ministry of Interior at Police Headquarters in Buluk, Juba.

 


President Kiir addressing the officers.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]


These re-instated and re-commissioned officers were serving under the Republic of Sudan authorities but are now reorganized into the South Sudan Police services.


After the swearing in ceremony President of the Republic and Commander-in-Chief of the South Sudan Police forces addressed the newly sworn in officers and congratulated them for the qualifications and experiences they have. President Kiir directed the re-commissioned police officers to use the knowledge they have politely with their colleagues in implanting the law on the ground and to double efforts in ensuring that police build cordial working relationship with the citizens.

 


Hon Magaya addressing the officers.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]


President of the Republic warned that some criminals are hiding themselves in police uniforms and destabilizing the citizens. He directed the police forces to take citizens’ protection as their top priority. H.E. Kiir also directed the police to be empowered and carry out their duties in protecting the borders.


On his part, the minister for Interior Hon. Alison Mani Magaya explained that when he joined the ministry he found no clear guidelines for the reformation of the police forces. He said the ministry with the support of the partners will reshape the image of the police and restore peace and stability in South Sudan through intensive training. Hon Magaya revealed that the re-instated batches will be deployed in all the ten states.

 


Some of the re-commissioned officers.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]


The Deputy Minister for Interior Gen. Salva Mathok said that new units in South Sudan Police will be established soon; among them are border protection and oil protection units. Gen Mathok called on the President to support the establishment of these units by adding them into the 2012 budget.

 


Some of the re-instated officers.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]


Reported by Thomas Kenneth


South Sudan has great basketball potential

JUBA, 27 October 2011 – South Sudan has everything it takes to become Africa’s powerhouse for one of the world’s fastest growing and well paying sports of basketball, the NBA’s Global Ambassador Dikembe Mutombo has said.


Mr Mutombo who was speaking to the media at the end of a week-long tour to South Sudan said he was overwhelmed by the zeal and love for the game by many young South Sudanese, both boys and girls. He said his first impression seeing the young people play at the basketball courts in South Sudan is that the love of basketball is so high in the country. He said that such passion is what it takes to become a star and a leading country in basketball.


He said that South Sudan is on the right path and added that it is just a matter of time before the country excels in the game. “I have seen you guys play and I’m very convinced that given chance, you can surprise many countries in Africa”, he said.


He further stressed the need to build the sport through talent development, building of basketball courts throughout the ten states, acquisition of equipment and support to the coaches who have volunteered to develop the game in South Sudan. He also stressed the need for well trained coaches.

 


Mr Mutombo speaking to the media.
[Photo: Matata Safi]


He said it is important to engage the young in sports like football, basketball and athletics because sports have become a source of employment all over the world and unifies societies. He stressed that the NBA is ready to support the talent of basketball in South Sudan. “NBA helps when the people are involved need change and we have seen that involvement to bring change in basketball in South Sudan”, he said.


He commended the UN for pledging its support to build more basketball courts. He also reported that his entourage was informed that China is extending similar assistance to develop basketball in South Sudan. He called on all development partners and agencies to come forth and support this game.


Mr Mutombo called on all the young to value education. He said education is the backbone of development. He added that one may be good in basketball but without education, he or she may not prosper. He said the youth should emulate the late hero and legend of basketball Mr. Manut Bol who was a South Sudanese. He said Mr Bol besides being a good basketballer had to seek further education in the United States of America.

 


Mr Peter Baptist, the Undersecretary for Sports addressing the media.
[Photo: Matata Safi]


He announced that in their next visit to South Sudan, they will go to the village of Mr Bol to pay respect to him and to go all around the country encouraging the youth to be actively involved in sports.


Mr. Sam Parkins, an NBA legend who was part of the delegation, expressed hope that great opportunities lie ahead of the newly born state. “Independence is very important because it allows you to do many things, including taking part in any sports, without being restricted”, he said. He added that the NBA will be a part of the positive change in South Sudan.


Meanwhile the Undersecretary in the Ministry of Youth, Culture, Sports and Recreation, Mr. Peter Baptist welcomed the courtesy call and said the government, and the Ministry in particular, is ready to cooperate with the NBA in developing basketball in South Sudan.


Reported by Matata Safi and Martin Jada


Upper Nile Governor addresses youth in Nairobi

JUBA, 27 October 2011 – The Upper Nile Youth Association in Kenya was yesterday briefed by the Upper Nile Governor Simon Kun Puoch. The governor addressed the youth about the ongoing rapid development activities and competitiveness with the rest of the world. He said that H.E the President of the Republic is very serious about the development in all the ten states in the shortest time possible so that the citizens can enjoy the fruits of peace which they have struggled for.


The governor also briefed the youth about the security situation in the country and particularly in Upper Nile State. He said the situation is calm and that government security forces are in charge.


Responding to a question from Mr. Dau Mathew, the chairman of Upper Nile Youth Association, the governor explained that even though there is high inflation resulting from the depreciation of the South Sudan Pound, the situation is being dealt with seriously by institutions such as the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning as well as the Bank of South Sudan.


The governor also explained that the government has also taken measures to contain the situation by regulating food prices as well as reducing taxes on goods and commodities so as to reduce the burden on the citizens. He reported that the price of staple food such as sorghum has come down in most of the states.


He also encouraged the youth to work hard in education and pledged the support of the government in these efforts. He also reiterated the commitment of the government to address issues affecting the youth.


Reported by Jack Kuon


Ministry of Agriculture reviews food security

JUBA, 27 October 2011 – The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry in the Government of the Republic of South Sudan yesterday organized a meeting to review issues of agriculture, food security situation in South Sudan, inputs and services delivery and Annual Reports. The meeting was attended by UN agencies such as UNWPF UN, FOA, US AID, JICA, and IFAD.


The meeting was officially opened by the Undersecretary Jahen Tongun Emilio. During the meeting he said that the first rapid assessment was presented to the Council of Ministers regarding food deficit. He also indicated that UNWFP, FAA as well as NGOs operating in South Sudan will assist the vulnerable communities affected by floods and drought.

 


The undersecretary stressed that the national banks such as Ivory Bank and Agriculture Bank of South Sudan should give loans to the farmers in order to boost food security situation in South Sudan.


The Director General for Agriculture in the Ministry of Agriculture in Eastern Equatoria State said that the state has a vision for boosting food for production in the state. He reported that Eastern Equatoria is experiencing food deficit but explained that if each household cultivated five acres (fadans) then they would be assured for a meal every day. The DG reported that they are working with partners to improve the feeder roads to facilitate the transportation of food from higher food production to the low food production areas in the state. She also reported that the ministry is currently focusing on encouraging the registration of cooperative societies, training farmers and marketing agricultural produce so as to improve food security in the state.


Reported by Nargis Alphonse Lotira and Modong Mary Napoleon


Japan inaugurates Primary School in Central Equatoria

JUBA, 26 October 2011 - A handover ceremony was held yesterday in Central Equatoria State to inaugurate a human development project funded by the Government of Japan, through Grant Assistance for Grass-Roots and Human Security Projects (GGHSP).

 

The ceremony was held in Bungu village, to inaugurate a newly reconstructed primary school. H.E Akinori Wada, the Ambassador of Japan to Sudan and Mr. Manase Lomule, Deputy of Governor of Central Equatoria State and Minister of the State’s Ministry of Education and Instruction, Mr. Michael Tongun, Minister of the State’s Ministry of Cooperatives and Rural Development, Mr. Tomas Peter Gore, Commissioner of Juba County attended to celebrate the launching of the new primary school in the presence of the school teaching staff and students with their families.

 

The Bungu Village School, Established in 1932, is one of the oldest schools in the history of education in South Sudan, thus the school carries special meaning and responsibilities towards the education of future generations and development in South Sudan.

 

One of the goals of the Japanese socio-economic development assistance in South Sudan is to secure the basic human needs including providing the proper educational environment and facilities.



The Government of Japan extended US$ 189,086 grant for the construction of the school in Bungu village. This grant was used to construct four classrooms, one hall and pit latrines with more than 250 students expected to study at the school.

 

The Government of Japan hopes that this project helps to reconstruct society, and to contribute to achieve consolidation of peace in Central Equatoria State, South Sudan.


Hon Awut Deng meets Hilde Johnson, discuss DDR

JUBA, 26 October 2011 – The minister for Labour, Public Service and Human Resource Development Hon. Awut Deng Acuil yesterday met Hilde Johnson, the Special Representative of the Secretary General of the UNMISS in the Republic of South Sudan and discussed issues concerning Disarmament Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR), Diaspora and returnees from the North.

 

Hon. Awut urged the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) to work closely with the government to address these issues. She also asserted that vocational training is one way of dealing with these issues.

 


Hon Awut (right) holding discussions with Ms Johnson.

 

She pointed out that there are many challenges relating to the returnees and Diaspora in terms of employment, especially among the youth, since the government cannot absorb all of them. “Our nation is only three months old and has limited private sector that would have absorbed many”, she acknowledged. She reported that there is a committee collecting information on how some of the civil servants working in the north can be recruited into the government system.

 

“The challenge of youth unemployment is very critical in the Republic of South Sudan and needs joint efforts between the government and UNMISS”, she said.

 

In a press statement shortly after the meeting Ms Johnson lauded the role the ministry played in the last years of the CPA. She expressed confidence that the ministry will continue to address public issues and ensure the delivery of services to the people. She assured Hon. Awut that the UNMISS will support the government in its DDR programme and other areas of concern.

 

Reported by Justin Jada Joseph


Health minister concludes visit to Western Bahr el Ghazal

JUBA, 26 October 2011 – The minister for Health, Hon Dr Michael Milli Hussein has concluded his working tour of Western Bahr el Ghazal State where he inspected healthcare facilities and held meetings the governor Hon Rizik Zachariah, state Ministry of Health officers and development partners in the health sector.


Dr Hussein said that as the world’s youngest nation, the Republic of South Sudan is facing myriad health challenges. For instance, he reported that the 2010 household survey showed that from 100,000 life births, the maternal mortality rate is 2054. He also explained that South Sudan has one of the highest infant mortality rates in the world.


During his visit to the Wau Teaching Hospital in the company of the state minister for Health Hon Dr Isaac Cleto Hassan, the Director General of the hospital Dr James Okello Morgan briefed the minister of the challenges and the achievements of the health facility.

 


Dr Hussein is welcomed to the CTI.


The minister also met the Population Services International (PSI) South Sudan (PSI) team led by Mr. Amin Joseph, the PSI Field Officer in Wau and discussed the various projects the organization is implementing on behalf of the national Ministry of Health. They also discussed strategies to prevent diseases such as malaria and HIV/AIDS in the state and the country at large. During the meeting, the minister encouraged the PSI to work closely with the state Ministry of Health to provide quality services to the people.


The minister also officiated at the inaugural ceremony of the newly established Catholic Training Institute (CTI) in the state. He lauded the efforts of the church in establishing the centre and explained that it will help to train a good number of nurses to support healthcare provision. For instance, he explained that some of the nurses trained at the centre will help reduce the number of women dying during pregnancy and delivery. The ceremony was attended by bishops from the Catholic Church, priests, government representatives and members of the public. The institute is currently training sixty (60) students drawn from all over South Sudan.


After the inauguration Dr Hussein visited the St Daniel Comboni Hospital in Wau to inspect the facilities and acquaint himself with the services the hospital offers.

 


Dr Hussein poses with the bishops.


In another event Dr Hussein visited Gogrial East County in Warap State and met the Commissioner Mr. Victor Atem Atem in his office. The commissioner briefed the minister on the challenges facing healthcare provision and malaria outbreak in the county. The commissioner also decried poor transport which makes it difficult for sick people to reach the health facilities.


After the meeting Dr Hussein and the team also visited health centres in the County. He announced that the government is committed to construct 100 new health facilities across the country. He also said that the ministry will train 1,000 midwives to control the high birth-death of infants and mothers.


Reported by Lindri Godfrey Alex


India to support agriculture and capacity development

JUBA, 25 October 2011 – India has expressed its readiness to support agricultural, rural development and capacity building projects in the Republic of South Sudan.

 

This was announced by the Indian Ambassador to the Republic of South Sudan Mr. Parimal Kar today when he met Hon. Awut Deng Acuil, the minister for Labour, Public Service and Human Resource Development (MoLPS & HRD) to discuss issues pertaining to human resource capacity building for a better service delivery in the new nation.

 

Hon. Awut briefed the diplomat on the current trend of mushrooming of vocational training centres across the country. She explained that these vocational training centres have various challenges which need urgent support so as to enrol and graduate youth and women to meet the needs of the labour market in the country.

 


Hon Awut (left) holding discussions with Mr. Kar (right).

 

Mr. Kar underscored the need to train local instructors to manage the courses offered by the existing vocational training centres. He urged the minister to prioritize these training needs in collaboration with the line ministries.

 

Meanwhile in another development, the Director General for Labour and Industrial Relations Ms Helen Achiro has called for tax exemption for Japan International System, a company which is bringing equipment to be installed at the Multipurpose Training Centre (MTC) in Juba.

 

Ms Achiro made the call yesterday when she met the representatives of the company. She assured the company that the Ministry of Labour Public Service and Human Resource Development will work hand in hand with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning to ensure to facilitate the tax exemption so that the equipment can be brought in and installed in time. She commended the Japanese government for its continued support to the Republic of South Sudan.

 

Reported by Justin Jada Joseph and Alnour Ango


China donates 200 million RMB to South Sudan

JUBA, 24 October 2011 (NASS) – The government of the Peoples’ Republic of China today donated 200 million Renminbi (the official Chinese currency abbreviated as RMB) to support agriculture, education, health and water supply projects in the Republic of South Sudan.


The donation was announced this morning by the Chinese ambassador in Juba Hon Li Zhiguo during a meeting he held with the minister for Information and Broadcasting Hon Dr Barnaba Marial Benjamin. The ambassador said that China will continue to support development in the new country now and into the future.

 


Dr Marial receiving the Chinese delegation.


The ambassador also announced that the Chinese government will soon send Chinese international radio stations to South Sudan to help develop the sector and share experiences and skills with the South Sudanese media fraternity. He also announced that the Chinese peacekeepers in South Sudan will remain in the country until the nascent peace is stabilized.


He expressed hope that the bilateral relations between the two countries will be strengthened for the mutual benefit of their peoples. He explained that his government is in constant touch with their South Sudanese counterparts so as to identify the areas and frameworks of partnership. He said Chinese companies will come to South Sudan as soon as these modalities are worked out.


On his part, Dr Marial expressed South Sudan’s gratitude for the support of China and explained that the government is keen to strengthen its bilateral links with the Asian country. “We want you to look comprehensively in the areas of investment as well as education, especially university education, which is constantly facing infrastructural and personnel challenges”, he said.

 


Dr Marial chatting with Mr Nascimento.


Meanwhile in another event Dr Marial also hosted the former Prime Minister of Angola Mr. Lopo do Nascimento. Mr Nascimento announced that SONANGO, the Angolan national oil company will soon invest in South Sudan.


Dr Marial welcomed the announcement and said that South Sudan stands to benefit greatly from the experience of such renowned companies.


Reported by Martina Jada and Taghrid George, News Agency of South Sudan (NASS)


Hon. LoWilla urges OP staff to serve humbly

JUBA, 21 October 2011 – The minister in the Office of the President Hon. Emmanuel LoWilla today Friday October 21st 2011 urged all the staff working in the Office of the President to be dedicated and serve the country humbly.


The minister made these remarks when he officially opened the new offices for the staff in the Office of the President. The new offices are located at the western side of the executive office of the President, and constructed under the supervision of the Ministry of Housing and Physical Planning.

 


A view of the new offices.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]


Hon. LoWilla who was accompanied by the Deputy Chief of Staff in the Office of the President Mr. Martinson Otoromoi and the Executive Director of the President’s Office Mr. Yek Loul Koor, inspected different directorates and departments located in the new offices after the opening.


He commended the Ministry of Housing and Physical Planning and the top administration officers in the Office of the President for joining hands together in constructing office premise. Hon. LoWilla directed all the staff in the President’s Office to be punctual and to double their efforts in their service since a conducive work environment has now been created for them.

 


Another view of the office premise.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]


Hon. LoWilla explained that the expectation of the performance in the Office of the President is very high and appealed to the workers to improve their behaviour and be humble servants.


On his part, the Deputy Chief of Staff Mr. Martinson Otoromoi appreciated the Government of Central Equatoria State for being kind enough by giving a large portion of land for the staff in the Office of the President.


Reported by Thomas Kenneth


President Kiir appoints new Presidential Advisors

JUBA, 20 October 2011 – The President of the Republic of South Sudan H.E Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit yesterday appointed two new Presidential Advisors.


Through Presidential Decree RSS/PD/J/49/2011, President Kiir said that in the exercise of the powers bestowed upon him under Article 101(i) of the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan he has appointed Mr Aggrey Tisa Sabuni the Presidential Advisor on Economic Affairs; and Mr Mark Lotende Lochapi the Presidential Advisor on Religious Affairs.


Both appointments took effect immediately. The President had earlier relieved Mr Aggrey Tisa Sabuni of his former position of Undersecretary for Economic Planning in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning through Presidential Decree RSS/PD/J/48/2011 dated 19 October 2011.


Cuba affirms support to the Republic of South Sudan

JUBA, 20 October 2011 – The Cuban Special Envoy to South Sudan Clara Pulido Esoandoll has said the people of Cuba are fully behind the people of the newly born Republic of South Sudan and will support them to realize the dreams of their new country.


Speaking to the press at the SPLM Secretariat headquarters in Juba yesterday, Ms Esoandoll said her government will cooperate with the government of the Republic of South Sudan in any fields of development. She said South Sudan has a long history of cooperation with Cuba dating to the period before its recently attained independence that came as a result of the 2005 peace agreement that brought the two decades of war to an end.

 


Ms Esoandol addressing the press.
[Photo: Matata Safi]


She said during the long civil war, many young South Sudanese took refuge in Cuba and were able to acquire education there. She added that today many of them have come back home and are serving the country in different fields and positions. She said that these people are working positively towards the development of this new country which she said is a country of new spirit and a new culture. She further asserted that this is the kind of relationship that needs continuity from a common past to a common future for the people of the two countries.


Ms Esoandoll reported that Cuba has a long history of working with many African countries in North and Southern Africa in areas of health, education, road and bridge construction, engineering, and agriculture to mention but a few. She further explained that these same areas of development may apply to the new country of South Sudan as the country is beginning from scratch. She, however, clarified that the government of the Republic of South Sudan will have to set the priorities for cooperation between the two countries.


“We want to come here and cooperate together as comrades, as representatives of the people that want to share with us our experience. We will not tell South Sudanese what to do but rather will ask where we can help”, she explained.


Reported by Matata Safi


South Sudan committed to maintain cordial relations with the North

JUBA, 20 October 2011 (NASS) – The Republic of South Sudan is still committed to maintaining cordial relations with the North due to their interdependence, Hon Dr Barnaba Marial Benjamin the minister for Information and Broadcasting who is also the Official Government Spokesperson has said.


In an interview with the Al-Shorouq TV yesterday Dr Marial said that South Sudan and the Sudan shares a lot in common and explained that it is only natural for them to strengthen their ties. He explained that the two countries share the longest borderline, markets and natural resources such as petroleum as well as a common history.


The minister asserted that the Republic of South Sudan is still committed to the spirit and letter of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) signed in 2005 and will continue to live in peace with its neighbour in the North and the world at large.


Dr Marial also supported the efforts of the African Union panel led by the former South African President Thabo Mbeki. He said that Mr Mbeki’s team is playing an important role that will lead to the realization of lasting peace in the region including Southern Kordufan and Blue Nile.


The minister also called on the government in the North to expand the democratic space in the country to allow political parties to operate freely in the country so as to facilitate democratic transformation and building of a stronger state.


Reported by Martin Jada, News Agency of South Sudan (NASS)


Information ministry reviewing media bills

JUBA, 20 October 2011 (NASS) – The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in the Government of the Republic of South Sudan is currently consulting the stakeholders and reviewing the media bills before they can be forwarded to the relevant institutions and ultimately to the South Sudan National Legislative Assembly for enactment.


Last week, the ministry organized a meeting for the stakeholders at its headquarters to review the three bills – the Media Council Bill, 2011; South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation Bill, 2011; and the Right of Access to Information Bill, 2011. The meeting was chaired by the deputy minister Hon Atem Yaak Atem.


Speaking at the meeting, Hon Atem, who is also a veteran journalist, underscored the role of the appropriate media legislations in regulating the sector. He said that the bills, when enacted, will fill the current vacuum and streamline media operations so as to avoid potential anarchy. He cautioned, however, that these freedoms will have to be exercised with responsibility. “There is no absolute freedom in this world; even our creator gave us the Ten Commandments to guide us”, he emphasized.


Most of the participants at the meeting were happy with the bills and suggested that they should be presented to parliament as they are. However, the Director of the News Agency of South Sudan (NASS) Mr Moyiga Nduru expressed his reservations on the title of the Media Council Bill and suggested that it should be renamed the Media Authority Bill so as to harmonize it with similar legislation in the region.


Reported by Martin Jada and Taghrid George, News Agency of South Sudan (NASS)