Home | News    Sunday 3 July 2011

South Sudan’s VP and US diplomat discuss foreign investment after independence

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July 2, 2011 (JUBA) — The Vice President of the soon-to-be independent state of
South Sudan, Riek Machar, and the US top diplomat in the region, Ambassador
Barrie Walkley, on Friday discussed the need to attract direct foreign investment in the would be Republic of South Sudan in order to realise the high expectations of the region’s people after independence.

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GoSS VP Riek Machar meeting US Consul General, Barrie Walkley, Juba, 1-7-2011 (ST)

South Sudan is one of the poorest countries in the world but potentially rich with promising resources such as agriculture and oil, among others. Currently its average yearly overall budget is less than 1.5 billion dollars of which 98 percent comes from its share of 50 percent from oil revenues - the other half is shared with the North as per a 2005 peace that granted South Sudan the right to self determination.

Even if the oil revenues would increase by about another 40 percent after independence - a fee will have to be paid to North Sudan to use its pipelines and refinaries after separation - and raise the current budget to about three billion dollars, officials say that it can still take many decades using the government budget to realise standard infrastructure across the region. In many areas of South Sudan this means starting from scratch as the region has remained underdeveloped due to marginalisation and civil war.

Machar said it would be difficult to realise the people’s high expectations in terms of infrastructure development and service delivery after independence without foreign direct investment. This would rapidly “change the whole set up” of the region the Vice President said.

He told the American diplomat that the new nation would decide to privatise building of infrastructure such as standard airports in the ten states and counties, tarmac roads network connecting the region, railways, real estates for decent housing, hospitals electricity, clean water supply, pipelines and refineries, among many others.

He further explained that some of the facilities would then be handed over to the government within an agreed period of time, while the government would play the role of regulating the activities of the investors.

He reiterated his previous projection that South Sudan would mobilise up to 500
billion dollars worth of investment
over the next five years to bring the new nation up to international standards in terms of infrastructure.

The Vice President expressed optimism that South Sudan would become the "hub" of
Africa, adding the nation is also geographically the center of the continent.

"70 kilometers away from Juba [South Sudan’s capital] in Tali, Central Equatoria, this is where the center of Africa is. We will build an airport in South Sudan where South Sudan can be the hub of the African countries and the world just like Dubai and Singapore."

"We will raise 500 billion dollars from private investments in the next five years to build this nation to catch up with the rest of the world in infrastructure development. There is no reason why we should not be the best of the best in the region and the world. We have resources and we will utilise the resources to benefit our nation," he stated in a press briefing on Wednesday upon arrival from the US.

Officials suggest that direct foreign investment would also reduce the impact of corruption by government officials who directly handle projects. They also argue that the huge direct foreign investment would create massive employment for the people in the region.

South Sudan is currently availing investment laws in order to make the environment conducive for potential investors.

In the Council of Ministers meeting conducted on Friday, which was chaired by Vice President Machar, the cabinet passed both the Investment Promotion Act Bill 2011 and the Taxation Act Bill 2011, as presented by the minister of Legal Affairs and Constitutional Development, John Luk Jok.

However, ongoing insecurity in the emerging independent state is a major issue that need to be tackled in order to make South Sudan more conducive to large investments.

The US diplomat, Walkley, praised the idea to privatise infrastructure development in South Sudan, saying it was possible to achieve the projected rate of 500 billion dollars in the next five years if foreign direct investments are successfully attracted to the region.

South Sudan will formerly declare its independence in July 9.

(ST)

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  • 3 July 2011 07:14, by Marco A. Wek

    You are doing good Dr. Riek, it is high time to work for the good of south Sudanese people and by doing so, you will deserve high recognitions.

    repondre message

    • 3 July 2011 08:30, by Aleu

      Marco A. Wek.

      Don’t listen to these leaders in Southern Sudan, they can only mentions everything in their mouths, but when it come to the end to check their works then, there is no follow up plan. There is just too much talks on all the issue according to vp and none of their planing have been achieved so far.

      There is no good roads for Southern Sudanese citizens to have a smoothly transporting their goods from different nations to the State if they want to do business. They can only ccount single road which is Nimule-Juba road and the nation need million roads network in order to meet with the demanding on its people. I thought Six years were more than any president term office which can make accomplished for what the leaders have made promised to people unfortunately, these leadership in Southern Sudan GOSS are not interesting to make development for those things Riek Macher mention which is a shame on them.

      Take this example, I challenge one of the Warrap MP to show me his plan for that, being elected from the county as a MP and he had offer none clearly, he was very much same like their Top leaders in GOSS who have not been able to stop violent in Southern Sudan. The polices in Southern Sudan, they are very corrupts as well as the GOSS Ministers who bought houses oversee. You can see Paulino Matip bought a car for 100,000 dollars and there are citizens never get a dollar per/day. Our women are still suffering in all Southern Sudan communities because there is no single hospital built in the community just too much talks in Juba and nothing done please my friend don’t trust such a arrogant leader.

      repondre message

      • 3 July 2011 09:09, by Marco A. Wek

        Well, you are right brother Aleu but let us hope the soil and lost souls of southern Sudanese will transform them so that they will be doing what they are saying instead of saying what they will not be doing.

        God helps south Sudanese just like it did by uniting them during the voting. They need to work for the good of their people whom they claimed to have been fighting to liberate from the north otherwise what the use of letting our people die in vain?

        repondre message

  • 3 July 2011 07:38, by George Bol

    This is a work of Minister Oyai Deng Ajak but the reporter is promoting someone we all know. Oyai is the minister of investment dear. We read this article long time ago. Please, you need to spend time writing valuable one instead of promoting someone we all know. Let see what kind of investment he is talking about.

    repondre message

  • 3 July 2011 10:30, by Nhomlawda

    South Sudan is being run by fools – I have now come to conclude that and this is dangerous to the nation’s current generation and the future generations.
    These are the indications that support my assertion
    1. Expected investment of 500 billion in five years is impossible – currently Sudan GDP is 98 billion US$. If Sudan with 40 million people or more can produce only 98 billion dollars worth of goods and services including oil annually, how much will 12 million people whose 70 to 85 percent of them are estimated to be illiterate can produce and consume annually? Those huge investment ventures expected are supposed to produce huge returns in shortest time possible in order for those ventures to be viable in the eyes of money owners (investors). How many people in South Sudan need modern apartments with swimming fools and other ultra modern facilities? How many are able to consume western imported stylist goods? How many people among that 10% literates needs massive loans of 5 million and above dollars in their life time? How many people in South Sudan are able to build modern railways and ultra modern highways and buildings without basic skills training required first or you want our cities given to Indians, Indonesians, and Philippines as is currently the case in Dubai and Abu Dhabi – your cities of reference for South Sudan urban development? How many people in South Sudan have satisfied their basic needs and are now planning to begin luxury lifestyle? We must understand our country’s situation first before we begin to talk like people who came somewhere else which is not part of South Sudan or Sudan in that matter.
    2. IMF and World Bank debts are something South Sudan need to be careful about, it is better we use the little we have wisely then trying to jump up development ladder through massive debts commitment. South Sudan will virtually be enslaved to creditors and may even lose that hard won pride of independence to being owned and controlled by creditors in the near future.
    3. If South Sudan foolishly embroiled itself into massive debts in the name of reaching other countries in development within five years, creditors most of the time western countries will not accept future request for debt write off because the country is considered resource rich and South Sudan may be sold off to foreigners as currently is happening in Greece.
    4. Another thing that affirmed this country is being run by fools is the revision of acts of parliament annually. Every year, we hear of the same bills being returned to parliament after president’s signature the year before, what is wrong with South Sudan parliament? Why are acts of parliament revised on yearly basis? Are these bills drafted and debated when honorable members are drunk or what is failing them to produce quality bills that can serve the interest of at least two generations.
    Those engineers and soldiers in the center of power should slow down with their foolish rhetoric on issues they have little understanding about.
    Riek Machar is a fool and his boss is innocent and being misled into bad deals on behalf of our beloved country and he may commit future generations into serious problems unknowingly.

    repondre message

    • 3 July 2011 10:43, by Fearless man

      The worst lies are the lies we tell ourselves. We live in denial of what we do, how can a vice president lie about 500 bilion doller like foolish person? even what we think. he do this because he is afraid. he fear he will not find power, and when he find it he fear he’ll lose it. he fear that if he do not have power he will be unhappy
      is this Gov being run by foolish people or what? what kind of leaderhip is this?

      repondre message

    • 3 July 2011 10:47, by Marco A. Wek

      Could you say instead his boss is ignorant; for innocent is a humble word for anyone in south Sudan government now Mr. Nhomlada.

      repondre message

  • 3 July 2011 21:14, by Nguetbuny de Luelpiny

    Plan after July and forward is serious business Now on.
    Southern Sudanese Citizen is serious after this July and forward on.

    Serious Earmarks Development for is needed south Sudan. Any leaders going to lied this time is not be allowed. We did not fight to misinformed and disadvantage the Country.

    Earmarking is important for the any Government to take accountability. Well plan is good when the job is given to the professional person that will do the job well. Thing can get improvement quickly, without accountability; things will not improvement quickly.

    This time Southern citizen will lose out of patient against any corruption leaders and dictators figurehead that wanted rule for ever.

    There will be no longer stay in power long than the Term that is amended by Constitution of the state.

    Son of the Nile

    Nguetbuny

    repondre message

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