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S. Sudan dep. speaker backs calls for leaner government

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February 26, 2013 (JUBA) - The deputy speaker of South Sudan’s parliament has backed calls for the young nation to adopt a leaner more efficient government that is better able to provide the services needed by the population.

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Daniel Awet Akot, who is both the deputy speaker of South Sudan’s parliament and the Lakes state’s SPLM chairperson (ST)

In an interview with Sudan Tribune on Tuesday, Daniel Awet Akot said South Sudan had one of the largest governments in the world, compared to the size of its population, and needed to adjust due to austerity measures enforced by the year-long oil shutdown caused by disputes with neighbouring Sudan.

Akot’s comments appear to endorse a proposal drafted in August last year by a committee tasked by South Sudan’s president, Salva Kiir, to suggest how South Sudan’s large and often ineffective bureaucracy can be streamlined to produce better results.

The report, which calls for the formation of a lean and technocratic cabinet in order to save financial resources for development projects, has not been met with approval from those who stand to lose their jobs in the anticipated reshuffle.

LACK OF JOBS

According to a series of interviews conducted by Sudan Tribune in the country’s capital Juba, the main issues currently facing the young nation include lack of jobs, insecurity and how to promote peaceful coexistence among diverse ethnic groups, so as to strengthen social ties and harmony.

In order to better address these issues, Akot said he supported the findings of the report and called for a “drastic change” in the way the government manages the affairs of the new nation in order to provide basic services to the rural poor majority, as well as promote peace and stability.

The deputy speaker said he agreed with the findings from Sudan Tribune’s interviews with Juba residents and acknowledged that the lack of jobs available to young people partly accounted for the high levels of crime in many areas of South Sudan.

“They [local residents] are correct, and this is what we in the parliament have been saying that we need to change our strategies. We need to put more focus and design strategic plans based on the needs of our people. We therefore need you people in the media to be out there and [to] conduct formal surveys and bring them forward for public debates”, he said.

Akot said that “huge government means huge spending” and this meant there were less funds available for investment in development projects and other capital spending.

“We have the largest government in the whole of [the] East African region. The parliament is huge. The cabinet is huge. Yet we are the new nation with resources being oil. Our budget depended largely on oil revenues but now that it is no longer there, [this] means that we must change the way we used to do things. The austerity measures which the government introduced last year must remain enforced,” he added.

South Sudan’s “parliament will continue to support it and any other similar economic policies with an ambition aiming at improving the lives of our people and the general economy of this country”.

Referring to reservations by some members of the government who stand to lose their position, he added that “there should no fear and panic to reduce government.”

Juba resident Laku Peter said his own home area of Tali, located in the Terekeka county of Central Equatoria State near the border with Lakes State, had not seen even the slightest change since the civil war ended in 2005 or after South gained independence in 2011.

“We see changes here in Juba and other places because in Juba here, I can get a transport to visit a friend, relatives, colleagues and even go to Kenya or Uganda the same day if I can afford but in [Tali], especially where I was born and grew up, it takes one to two days to reach where you can get transport which are very expensive”, he explained.

Peter said citizens in his home area continue to run away from their villages because of fears of being attacked by members of rival communities, just like it used to be during the war era.

“Our people until now continue to run away from attacks. They live in constant fear. They do not enjoy complete sleep. They sleep with conscious minds because they believe that some people will come and launch [an] attack on the village to kill and take away their belongings, especially cows which are the only sources of living. Security there is never stable. It is always very bad”, he said

MORE STRATEGIES NEEDED

James Kuol, a native of Abyei currently working in the private sector in Juba, told Sudan Tribune that there is a need for the government to encourage self-employment, tradesman and entrepreneurs by opening more technical schools in the major urban towns.

“It is true most of our young people are not employed. They are out on the streets looking for jobs but what these people want now is for the government to develop strategies which should be looking at how it should encourage people to create jobs for themselves instead of being created some jobs. I mean there is a need for our government to open more technical schools. There is a need to open plumbing, electrical, mansion, catering and hotel management institutes”, he said.

Kuol observed that job creation initiatives and projects demanded a prudent monetary policy. However, he expressed doubts about whether the government was in a strong enough financial position to support such efforts since the government’s debts are rising alarmingly.

When oil production was stopped in January last year, South Sudan’s government lost 98% of its revenue.

“We need to think out of the box to see where we can raise more money without constraining economic activity. One of the options is to reduce the size of the government and propose introducing capital gains tax on land and property. This will also enable a future government to target and help fund the training of the skills we will need”, he said.

Kuol said that reducing the size of the government was necessary.

INCREASING DEMAND

“I have been around and what I have observed are two things: One, the formal sector job market is growing at a snail’s pace and secondly, many of those in informal job opportunities are not necessarily full-time or remunerative. If not addressed, these unemployed youth will create a big problem to the existence of this government. Designing projects to create jobs on a sustainable basis will be the real test for the next government. Many promises put forward are no more than vague proposals to throw money at this or that with the hope that jobs will follow”, he said.

He further added that a lot of the projects which the government introduced in the past to create jobs and employ youth were started but not completed or are no longer viable. Other projects were shelved due to lack of funds and this is one of the strictures likely to face the government after the expected restructuring of the government.

“What needs to be addressed is how and what must be done to create an overall environment that will increase demand for more jobs. We have the supply of raw labour. We need to address increasing demand for it and facilitating of that labour into skills needed by the market. A number of related basics have to be working well in order for the economic and commercial environment to prosper, which in turn will result in demand for more jobs”, he said.

“How do we get economic growth? That means looking at the job demand side in specific areas in a multi-pronged approach but in a holistic framework. Several agricultural sectors that could literally employ millions of people are still drawing no attention of the government. They are not even priorities of the government. The current priorities of the government appear to be oil pipeline construction. They do not think that oil can finish. It is important the government pay attention to other sectors. They should use oil revenues to support income generating projects”, he added.

(ST)

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  • 27 February 2013 10:06, by master

    Awet
    your only job is to print what kiir saying

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  • 27 February 2013 10:07, by Tong dut

    Corruption is the fisrt aim of GOSS, from the president upto the cleaner.

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  • 27 February 2013 10:07, by Tong dut

    Corruption is the fisrt aim of GOSS, from the president upto the cleaner.

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  • 27 February 2013 10:42, by Joseph Canada

    The robbers running the nation. When you give the hungry man to run the kitchen what will happen? he have to look for something to eat first before cooking.

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  • 27 February 2013 10:42, by Joseph Canada

    The robbers running the nation. When you give the hungry man to run the kitchen what will happen? he have to look for something to eat first before cooking.

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  • 27 February 2013 11:00, by Peter Mading

    I do not think whether the SPLM does implement her plans. It is a "religious sayings of love"

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    • 27 February 2013 11:31, by Pinyin Gatkuoth

      Awat Akot please ur face is not good to stand for speak in this nation b/c u don’t like south Sudan to be a country.
      remember ur 13 article againts other tibes to be marginalized in South Sudan.

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      • 27 February 2013 13:16, by Gatwiituor

        pple look hw illiterate dep,speaker talks,these youth will cause problem to the nation ,u always talks nonsense about unemployed youth with no implementation,ur sons/daughter are in abroad enjoying our suffering doing prostitution and drinking alcohol,but one day u will pay our benefits,ur boss kiir is now enjoying drinking n sex with the widows ,whose husband wre sacrifice their lives 4this natio

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      • 27 February 2013 14:21, by Nuer Empire

        Look at this uggly and carnival man.He looks fat,lol.There is nothing good in your mind mr tribalist.Do you remember your 39 laws you drafted against Nuer in 2004? You will not be forgiven since your action is a visible action towards other tribes! You will remain uggly eventhough you have been looting in the name of being a Chair man of SPLM in your State.
        The Nuer Empire

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      • 27 February 2013 14:24, by Nuer Empire

        Look at this uggly and carnival man.He looks fat,lol.There is nothing good in your mind mr tribalist.Do you remember your 39 laws you drafted against Nuer in 2004? You will not be forgiven since your action is a visible action towards other tribes! You will remain uggly eventhough you have been looting in the name of being a Chair man of SPLM in your State.
        The Nuer Empire

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      • 27 February 2013 14:25, by Nuer Empire

        Look at this uggly and carnival man.He looks fat,lol.There is nothing good in your mind mr tribalist.Do you remember your 39 laws you drafted against Nuer in 2004? You will not be forgiven since your action is a visible action towards other tribes! You will remain uggly eventhough you have been looting in the name of being a Chair man of SPLM in your State.
        The Nuer Empire

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        • 27 February 2013 17:23, by Nuer Empire

          This guy is doing a copy cat,but he can’t cheat any one.

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  • 27 February 2013 14:29, by Biggy

    The South Sudan Cabinet in deed is the biggest in the world whereby big timers think these offices are for their families and comunities thats why when someone is removed from the office makes alot of noise we need the govenment to be made a leaner one as soon as possible and when our brothers will be relieved they should not start making alot of noise they should just the system.

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  • 27 February 2013 14:31, by hamil

    What we have in the current National Government are not politicians, those are fighters and "wanna be Politicians" full of SELF GREED, EXCESSIVE AMBITIONS, TRIBALIC MENTALITY, BACKWARDNESS, LACK OF VISION FOR THE NATION AND SELF CENTEREDNESS. the Government is full of uneducated Dinkas, Nuer and even Equatorians who lack a vision for a common good for the whole Nation of south Sudan.

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  • 27 February 2013 15:37, by 4Justice

    Hamil,
    You hit the nail right on the head, God bless.

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  • 27 February 2013 17:28, by Panthou

    Awet, did you folks that oil will last forever?

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  • 27 February 2013 17:32, by Costa

    90% of those inexperience politicians misunderstood it all from the start. Instead of extending their efforts to fit in with their salaries, they were extending their families (New wives, dependents etc.)Downsizing the government would simply mean, unnecessary divorce, unfinished education of children + relative abroad. I really doubt if this will happen in the current government.

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  • 27 February 2013 19:00, by Newman

    Foolish, idiotic and too ugly to be chairperson.

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    • 27 February 2013 21:55, by julia

      yes u re right hon.Daniel Awet Akot.but i disagreed with with James Kuol.the problem in s.sudan is course by Abyei Boys.if they resort to seek their problem like Nuba&Blue Nile,the donor country would have lended us with enough money to finance our uphold projects which mighty creat jobs for the youth across s.sudan.but their problem have over shaded s.sudan border demarcation,making it leaders...

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      • 27 February 2013 22:04, by julia

        making our leaders liars especially Gen.Salva kiir Kuethpiny Mayirdit in the face of the black American president Obama&mr.small eyes Ban-ki-Moon in New york.Abyei boys won,t let that leaner government go through,becozs if u talk of leaner government,which mean,that cabinet won,t contain a corrupt&misleading figure like Deng Aloor.and if he is not there,automatically there will be a problem......

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        • 27 February 2013 22:12, by julia

          in Abyei since there is power struggle between pan Aloor kuol Chol where Deng Alo
          or held from &pan Deng Manyjong where Luka Biong &Pieng Deng held from like what is going on in s.sudan,since there is no educated person in pan Aloo

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          • 27 February 2013 22:21, by julia

            con...r kuol chol,let be realistic,like what corrupt,womaniser,thief,semi- illiterat Justice Deng Biong air out some two week back,as he was against the propose national reconciliation of s.sudanese tribe,he pretended as he was opposing Riek Machar but he didn,t put in mind that what he did is against s.sudan in general including kiir who is working day/night to bring Abyei back from the poor....

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            • 27 February 2013 22:36, by julia

              desert that they were lost to of northern sudan,Abyei of course is out out of 1956 boundery of s.sudan,if there is a need for them to join s.sudan,then they should do it in the way Nuba&Blue N re doing it,and they should respect our citizens like Dr.Riek Machar,Ruweng in Biemnom,Panaruu in Parieng,Kauc madut Ring in Ajak-kuac&Adang chier Rihan in Wunrok.

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              • 28 February 2013 06:21, by Monydit

                To Miss or Mrs Julia
                I do not know whether you are living in this world!, you always talks hate toward Abyei and Panaruu Community and in reality at least Abyei has Deng Alor,Pieng and many countless number of fighters in Panaruu while in Aloor/Biemnom no even a single fighter during war time. Please be a good neighbour and do not ignite what will burn you.

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                • 28 February 2013 06:29, by Monydit

                  This man called Awet Akot is better to seek the way to go to Australia because he is old enough to hold any government position. He has nowhere to fitt unless age care community centre to spend the rest of his life.

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                • 28 February 2013 08:41, by julia

                  no manyjongdit,
                  u took it wrong,i never misplaced a ward against mighty panaruu community.u claime we don,t have fighters in Biemnom who particpated in war,what of James kur Nyok?u also said if am really living in world,where would u expect me to be,u mean am living in Heaven as an angle.don,t accuse that inocent community,to hell with u.

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                  • 28 February 2013 08:46, by Turism

                    Julia, what is funny about fighters? is there anywhere people go for fight? you all have few fighteres as you mentioned one person in your comment but let me assure you that everyone is a fighter.

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                    • 28 February 2013 09:25, by julia

                      tuism i mention that person becozs he was fighting around Abyei area,he married 17 ladies from Abyei.they know him like salt/sleep.not that we have one fighter.there re many of them like former mp Bol Deng kot,former commissioner col.Anthony Gal Deng. and so forth.but ur question, u should ask manyjogdit.

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  • 28 February 2013 08:36, by bolingo

    Awet you and your fellow thieves headed by kirr are good at talking and telling lies.
    Kirr is still sacking the strong and educated men in the army who are threat to his regime and will soon turn on you and your fellows leaving his 75 uncles who stole billions.

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    • 28 February 2013 08:58, by Madingthith

      @Awet Akot,
      Since you had been serving in this HUGE gov,t for long from 2005 todate. What is your 1st achievements in all the positions you held including being a Dep Speaker in National Assembly in Juba? If I were you I would have keep quite in my position and see how this country moves a head without right strategies as you said the gov,t need to change its strategies for how look and when and

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  • 28 February 2013 15:05, by Ngomtoda

    Uhuhuh,hahahahaha@ guys leave Mr.39 laws of 2004,he draFted against Nuer ,he is trying to get some fresh air for his big mouth designed for looting and corruption.He is just a position attendant, not the real person to fit it,look at him properly,he doesn’t much with the position he is attending to.

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  • 1 March 2013 12:35, by Patrice Lumumba

    It is true that South Sudan needs a leaner government, taking into account the devolved nature of the nation. If the states and counties can be strengthened, the national government will be left with dealing with critical responsibilities of defense and national security, foreign affairs, fiscal policy and management of national resources.

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  • 1 March 2013 12:41, by Patrice Lumumba

    James Kuol, I like your idea of the government promoting self-employment. South Sudan has two critical resources that need to be harnessed for the benefit of the youngest nation on the earth - its youth and its agricultural potential. Please get in touch with me to share ideas on how this can be achieved. My email address is shaka.lumumba@yahoo.com

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