OPINION: The way forward for South Sudan
Posted by African Press International on July 12, 2012
Happy first anniversary! One of the hardest questions I have had to endure while writing this piece is that of “what do you think needs to happen so that South Sudan can prosper as a nation?”
First thing first, like a one year old baby trying to prove that it is independent and can try to walk, that is what the youngest potential state in Africa is trying to do.
I don’t know about you, but I feel like the rest of African nations and the world too as a whole corporates are these close friends to the already birthed mother-Kenya .
Kenya, here is like the closest thing to a mother to South Sudan, since Kenya played a critical role in peace negotiations that led to the signing of the CPA (
Comprehensive Peace Agreement ) in 2005. This effectively put an end to the
civil war between the two “Siamese twins”- the north Sudan
and the South Sudan .
The most important asset to a country is the citizens. The plea and cry have gone out loud and clear from South Sudanese people and the government. An appeal to fellow compatriots in the Diaspora to go back home and help rebuild their country. But even with this call, the South Sudanese government will need to provide a convincing open book on how serious it is in implementing reforms, fight corruption and reverse the legacy of political and social exclusion perpetuated earlier by Khartoum .
Trade and economic development needs to be championed. Trade cannot be divorced from peace, so to maintain internal peace, there is even more need to resolve the demarcation of borders between the half-brother republic of Sudan . Enjoying border shares with Northern Sudan, Ethiopia , Kenya , Uganda , DRC and Central African Republic , cross border trade should be a channel of exploration.
With an oil crisis being experienced now, and the long-term measure of linking the Lamu port in Kenya to South Sudan via pipeline not in place, the short-term option remains in re-negotiating a new equitable, functional and just oil wealth sharing agreement with the North. This is one space the larger international community is monitoring. The issues largely being commercial investment and energy cum trade investment.
With security termed as the determinant for canvassing foreign investment, there is still one thing going for Juba . The south is blessed with arable land, water and natural resources that the north can only dream of. All these are awaiting exploitation.
Despite the challenges, there is still hope in this long journey. Nation building requires strong institutions, and even though many may criticize South Sudan as a ‘failed state’, I believe just like a baby who marks any birthday anniversary, it is a hope for growth and development. So this one year anniversary is that same bright hope for Southern Sudan .
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