Speech delivered by Hon Dr Marial during the KCA University graduation

Posted: December 4, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël in Speeches

SPEECH BY KEYNOTE SPEAKER: H.E. DR BARNABA MARIAL BENJAMIN (M.P), MINISTER FOR INFORMATION AND BROADCASTING (MOIB), REPUBLIC OF SOUTH SUDAN (RSS)

OCASSION: THE 3RD GRADUATION CEREMONY OF KCA UNIVERSITY

DATE: THURSDAY, 1ST DECEMBER 2011

VENUE: KCA UNIVERSITY GROUNDS – NAIROBI.

  • Chancellor, KCA University  – Prof. Arthur Eshiwani
  • Chief Guest Dr. Bitange Ndemo – Ministry of Information and Communication, Government of Kenya
  • Chairman and Members of the Board of Trustees present
  • Chairman and members of the KCA University Governing Council present
  • Representatives from the Commission for Higher Education
  • Vice Chancellor, KCA University -  Prof. Noah O. Midamba, PhD
  • Members of academic and non-academic staff, KCA University
  • Distinguished guests, Parents and Students
  • Our Student Graduating today,
  • Ladies and Gentlemen

Good morning,

On behalf of my President General Salva Kiir Mayardit, the Government and People of the Republic of South Sudan, I extend and bring to you all, distinguished guests including the whole wonderful family of KCA University, their sincere greetings and congratulations for this great day of joy and celebration for this important occasion of KCA University’s 3rd Graduation Ceremony.

With your permission, Ladies and Gentlemen, I am greatly honoured, with appreciation, humility and equally extremely delighted to be given this opportunity to participate as a keynote speaker on such an important and historical Graduation ceremony. Indeed, I would like to thank the Chancellor and Vice Chancellor of KCA for the generous gesture.

Incidentally, we are all aware that this day is the peak and culmination of decades sacrifice and struggles made by the parents, guardians and students and for that we say to you in all sincerity, a thousand congratulations for a job well done. It is therefore fitting and without any hesitation that we pay tribute to all who made it possible for these grandaunts to now find their place not only in Kenya but also among the rest of the nations of the world. I also commend the university fraternity in its pivotal role that they have played in successfully shaping the graduates future.

Ladies and gentlemen, I thought it was of great importance to briefly mention about my association with KCA University. KCA University was the first educational institution that ventured in South Sudan long before we attained our independence. Over the years,

Our partnership has tremendously grown and I consider this place like home for me. Over the last two years we (Government Ministers and Senior Civil Servants) have participated in the KCA University Annual Ethics conferences held in Nairobi. I must say, that we have indeed benefitted professionally and academically from these conferences.

At this juncture, I am happy to mention that plans are underway for KCA University to come to South Sudan and train our on ethical practices as we start our journey towards a better South Sudan. We genuinely expect to have a country that people value proper ethical and moral standards, thus becoming a corrupt free nation. To put it in President Salva Kiir Maryardit famous phrase of “zero tolerance to corruption”.

Ladies and Gentlemen, for any nation to survive and thrive, it is absolutely important that its activities are conducted in a transparent and accountable manner. No one thrives without friends and allies, and we are not an exception.  Six years ago in January 9th 2005, a Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) was signed here in Nairobi between the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) and the Government of Sudan. This was the beginning of the birth of our new nation, the Republic of South Sudan (RSS).

The peace agreement necessitated South Sudan to conduct an internationally supervised referendum on its future.  As a result on January 9th 2011 our people voted in a free, fair and transparent referendum by an over whelming vote of 98.85% for independence, which was a true reflection of the people’s voice and will. Therefore, on behalf of all South Sudanese and the leadership of the Republic of South Sudan, please allow me to seize this opportunity to thank you and the people of Kenya for the continued support and cooperation that made this possible.

Ladies and gentlemen, our experience in South Sudan following the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), although “starting from scratch”, we have been able to as an interim government to succeeding developing ministries and basic infrastructure of government.

The needs of South Sudan are still enormous, and there is much still to be done.  The challenges of freedom and independence ahead are daunting and a great deal of work remains to be done.

I would like to share with you some verses from the Holy Bible particularly in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. Jesus had this to say to the multitudes of His Followers, “Blessed are the Peace-Makers; for they shall be called the Children of God” Matt 5:9 Indeed, peace is a gift of life in the human family of our present world.

Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to make some brief remarks about the opportunities and challenges facing my country, the world’s newest nation the Republic of South Sudan.

The Republic of South Sudan is a vast country of 644,000 sq. km bigger than the size of Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi put together. It is surrounded by Kenya, Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Central African Republic (CAR), Uganda and Sudan. The combined population of this region is 268 million people and their combined economic output stands at 300 billion dollars and their combined economic growth is 7%.

The links of South Sudan to these countries are crucial for them and us not forgetting the River Nile link is both symbolic and strategically important for all of us.

The war in old Sudan was fought to a large extend in the territory of South Sudan  resulting into complete destruction of infrastructure and nearly two and a half million people killed through war, disease and famine. Another 3 million internally displaced persons (IDPS); while another million were refugees in the neighbouring countries and internationally. Today, South Sudan streets are thronged with people from the diaspora. With these new arrivals they bring innovations and ideas. There is a measure of confidence that things heading in the right direction.

South Sudan also has potential to provide food security for both local and regional markets. Our Late Leader Dr. John Garang described the rich agricultural land as “the largest organic farm on earth”.

There is also a large herd of livestock of nearly 14 million heads of cattle and 11 million sheep and goat.

Beneath the soils are untapped reserves of natural resources.

There are enough water resources of river water, rainfall and underground water. We have 8 months of rainfall except during natural disasters of drought or floods. You can grow crops twice a year.

South Sudan has the biggest wildlife migration in the world today. This is a resource for successful tourism and challenge to the Maasai Mara of Kenya and Serengeti of Tanzania.

The White Nile and lakes in South Sudan can provide over 300,000 metric tons of fish especially tilapia and Nile perch. Our brothers and sisters the luos, are quite knowledgeable in this area.

In addition to accessing these resources and building diversified non-oil dependent economy is crucial as we emerge from years of conflict and face the challenge of building a land fit for the next generations, the majority of whom are young people of our population both in South Sudan and the East African Region including Kenya.

Other challenges include; roads which have to be constructed and rehabilitated to connect our countries in the region including railways and air transport. Navigable waterways of 1500km in South Sudan require ports and docks to be built. There is need to build hydro-power stations, dams, water supply and treatment plants and cities to be renovated and built.

There is need to deliver services to the people by building schools, universities, hospitals, health centers including building infrastructure for the 10 states.

All these need skills and well trained individuals for example, capacity building in teachers, engineers, doctors including small scale.

Above all, the private sector needs to be developed out of all these resources in order to create jobs for thousands of young people who are now not getting enough vacancies within the government. The agricultural sector is most appropriate since 90% of population is rural in South Sudan.

As spokesperson and mouthpiece of this young government, we need to communicate to domestic, regional and international audiences effectively and coherently. This is no mean feat in a place of so many ethnic groups and languages spoken and high illiteracy. People must be well informed in order to get their answers to their high expectations.

Private businesses and proper investment policies need to be in place. Private companies like telecommunications should expand their operations to cover all over the country. A lot of new businesses have now taken off in the new Republic. Five airports are being extended and rehabilitated and Juba receives many flights in a day, five of which are daily flights from Nairobi.

Any government must speak with one voice and communicate to its citizens for their needs and concerns. This is necessary for stability to sustain peace and avoid having ground fertile for the propagation of false rumors a good example is what happened in Pakistan recently over the killing of Osama Bin Laden.

This is a confusing scenario that we would like to avoid in South Sudan. Our people are fueled with post-independence expectations and can be left disheartened and disillusioned wondering if things have really changed at all.

Upto, now ladies and gentlemen, independence presents new opportunities for the people of South Sudan to build a new nation that embodies their values and aspirations. It also presents an opportunity for the people of South Sudan to redefine their relationship with the international community and pursue a more prosperous future. South Sudan is number 193 member of the United Nations and number 54 state of the African Union.

As the new nation gets built amidst the background of war, there are many governance institutions, structures, systems, policies, strategies and positions that will need to be developed. Few existing ones will need to be improved in various ways. Within the protocol of East African Community (EAC), today’s grandaunts can be part of helping to assist in building this new nation. Those aggressive enough can set up business ventures in South Sudan. I welcome you to join us in developing our new country.

The need for advisory, supportive, technical assistance, mentoring and coaching positions as part of capacity building and enhancement in South Sudan should be foreseen by enterprising minds such as the ones I see here today. For institutions such as this university and individual graduates who are willing and able to tap such opportunities. It is important to act at an appropriate time.

In Juba for example, entrepreneurship opportunities including hospitality, ICT, Infrastructure among others are dominated by entrepreneurs from Kenya and other neighboring countries like Uganda.

Banks from Kenya such as Kenya Commercial Bank and Equity Bank have already been on the ground in Juba long before independence of South Sudan. Services like insurance, microfinance, consultancies and many others are still short of supply in relation to demand for the same.

Indeed, it is only through courage and aggressiveness, boldness, perseverance and confidence to resolve the challenges and benefit from the unfolding.

On our part, I would like to assure you that we will create an enabling environment for you to pursue economic development activities that will benefit both nations.

In conclusion;

Ladies and gentlemen, I can say at this podium with all the confidence both countries, South Sudan and Kenya will continue to enhance the engagement of both public and private sector in peace building and post-conflict reconstruction. We also welcome the contribution of Kenyan troops to be a part of 7,000 United Nations Peace Keeping and Peace enforcement contingents (UNMISS) under chapter VII that are being deployed in the Republic of South Sudan.

I am aware as we all are that challenges remain immense as we seek to change the mind-set of the people from being in a constant state of conflict to one of peaceful co-existence with neighbors. Therefore it is important that we professionalize our army from being guerrilla fighters to a normal defense force together with a friendly police force that contributes to rule of law. As we establish embassies as well as find the teachers, health workers, accountants, road builders and farmers who are all prepared to work together and forge a path of the future.

Yes, the public’s expectations are high, our donors and supporters expectations are equally high- but all our will and determination is strong and with further support and encouragement from beyond our shore, I am sure we will and can win.

May I once again quote , Pliny the Elder (AD 23-79) EX Africa Semper a liquid novi “There is always something new out of Africa” Historian Naturalist

Ladies and gentlemen, “South Sudan is something new out of Africa”

Finally, allow me to wish you a Merry Christmas 2011 and a prosperous New Year 2012.

I thank you and God Bless You All.

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Hon Dr Marial’s speech delivered in Tokyo, Japan

Guest Speaker    :-  Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin (MP)

Minister of Information and Broadcasting (MOIB)

Republic of South Sudan (RSS)

Juba.

Subject :-         JICA Symposium on Peace Building and Reconstruction

Venue :-         Tokyo – Japan

(Conference Hall, United Nations University Headquarters).

v Your Excellency, Ms Sadako Ogata, President, of JICA.

v Invited Guests,

v Our Partners in this symposium, moderator and the panelists.

v I recognize the presence of leading Journalists as well as the Representatives of NGOs, JICA, Govt of Japan etc.

v Fellow Japanese citizens attending this great symposium.

v Ladies and Gentlemen.

Good Evening !

v On behalf of my President, General Salva Kiir Mayardit, the Government and People of the Republic of South Sudan; I extend  my sincere gratitude and thanks to H.E Sadako Ogata and the whole family of JICA for inviting me as the “Guest Speaker” at this august JICA Symposium on Peace Building and Reconstruction.

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v In Jesus Sermon on the mount, He had this to say to teach the multitudes, saying,

Blessed are the peace-makers: for they shall be called the

          Children of God” Matt: 5 v 9.  Indeed, Peace is a gift of live in the

Human family of our world.

v Your Excellency, I am greatly honored and with appreciation and humility, extremely delighted to be given this opportunity to participate in the debate on deliberations at this symposium about Peace and Reconstruction in a post-conflict situation.

v Indeed, we are all aware that since the revision of the Japanese Official Development Assistance Charter (the ODA Charter) constituted in 2003, it became abundantly clear that, the contribution to “Peace and development of the international community” has become one of the priority objectives of Japan’s ODA”.

v Our experience in South Sudan following the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), JICA as an autonomous public agency has been implementing Japanese ODA by realigning its aid strategy to South Sudan in line with the revised ODA Charter.    From that time up to now 2011, JICA has allocated an increasing amount of its resources for the “reconstruction” of our post-conflict war devastated South Sudan.

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We have also come to notice the presence of Japanese NGOs representing civil society working side by side with our endogenous NGOs and many other International Organizations like the UN agencies.  JICA has also been playing significant role in the Peace building process, addressing vital needs of humanitarian and relief assistance.

v Ladies and Gentlemen, with your permission, I would like to express our sympathies and condolences to the Government and People of Japan for the recent devastating earth quake resulting into a terrible Tsunami followed by a nuclear meltdown and with all the severe consequences of both material and human life destruction.

v The Leadership, government and people of the Republic of South Sudan do express their condolences to the people of Japan at this time of the unfortunate disaster.  I am sure, Japan with the disasters of 2nd World war reflected in Horishima and Nagasaki, have managed with their great reselience to overcome the destruction of the atomic bomb.  We wish them well in their recovery and for us in South Sudan; we thank them for continuing with their aid in reconstruction, peace-building process and full commitment in addressing some of the vital needs of humanitarian and relief assistance.

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v Your Excellencies, I am rather assuming that most people present here this evening will never have been to my country, the Republic of south Sudan, and I thought it might be of interest if we reflect by informing ourselves about the potential and challenges we face in the world’s youngest country.

v The Republic of South Sudan is a huge piece of land, a vast country of 644,000 sq. Km- roughly the same size as France or Texas but with a population of only 12 million people.  It is surrounded by six countries of Kenya, Uganda Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to the south, and Central Africa Republic (CAR) to the west, Ethiopia to the east and the Republic of the Sudan to the North.

v Infact, we are at the very heart of Africa, the world’s second fastest growing region and surrounded by six of the largest and strongest economies on the continent – Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the Central African Republic.  Their combined population amounts to some 268 million, their combined economic output stands at some 300 billion, and their combined economic growth of 7%.

v Our links to these countries are crucial – for them and for us – and the Nile Bridge that is planned to be build by Japan across the Nile is both symbolic and strategically important.

We are indebted to the government and people of Japan for the

work they have agreed to undertake on upgrading this essential

piece of our economic social and political infrastructure.

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v Incidentally, both Sudan and South Sudan have been at war for over 39 years out of 49 years of independence, and this when Sudan was one country, North Sudan and South Sudan. This war was fought solely in South Sudan, resulting in complete destruction of infrastructure and nearly 2.5 million killed by war, disease and famine.  Another 3 million people were displaced internally as IDPs and another million as refugees in the neighbouring countries and internationally.

v Your Excellencies, South Sudan has suffered an enormous post-conflict destruction and a huge humanitarian disaster.  It is a severely war affected country that calls for international assistance in terms of Peace-building and Reconstruction Process.   There is need to address vital needs of humanitarian and relief assistance.  The Republic of South Sudan needs to be rehabilitated in order to become a member in the family of the civilized nations of the world.

v In fact, commentators frequently refer to the Republic of South Sudan as “starting from scratch” or sometimes beginning from “ground zero”, since the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement on 9th January 2005.  Strictly speaking, under the provisions of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) with the government of Khartoum in 2005, a government of Southern Sudan (GOSS) under a degree of autonomy was conferred on Southern Sudan then and which allowed us to start to develop Ministries and the basic infrastructure of government.

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v As a young country, South Sudan has been blessed with the endowment of oil, an estimated 4 billion barrels of it. But this is not a resource to be squandered or for those out for corruption, but rather an essential means of supporting the work we are planning to do to develop the roads, schools, health clinics, shelter, clean drinking water, food security, democratic institutions, most of which are badly needed after decades of warfare and neglect.

v The people of South Sudan are vulnerable to extremes of weather i.e. drought or flooding, this combined with our woefully inadequate infrastructure, means they are also vulnerable to the ravages of disease, famine and poor health.  Too many mothers die during child birth, the rate of infant mortality are simply far too high, life expectancy is low.  We need to work with our international partners to introduce measures that will support the old, the weak and the young.

v All these issues we are seeking to tackle and we are very grateful to our friends and supporters from Japan and abroad internationally in helping us do so.

v Indeed, we need to be reminded of our geography, history and passage of time, of how we are part of wider community of nations that has shared and utilized this resource, this life-force, over time.  The river Nile that connects us in South Sudan with the very heart of Africa and the shores of the Mediterranean ocean – and to think of this and the possibilities, is humbling. For examples:- an hydro-power of about 2000 Megawatts on the

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           falls along river Nile at Nimule a few km from the capital city of

Juba. (Baden, Lucky, Shukola Falls)

v South Sudan has a vast and rich landscape of fertile Agricultural land, green and lush at most time of the year of eight months of adequate rainfall, quite rich with promise.  There are enough water resources i.e. rivers, underground water and rainfall.  The fertile lands of the Republic of South Sudan have been described as the “largest organic farm in the world”, especially by our Late Chairman of our Liberation Struggle, SPLM/SPLA, Dr. John Garang de Mabior.    These  fertile lands of the black soils, green and lush described, as the “Garden of Eden” have potential to provide staple foods for local and regional markets: grains and pulses, oil seeds, sugar; high value crops for export: fruits and vegetables, coffee, tea and tobacco, gum acacia, sesame, spices, nuts, livestock, animal products for emerging local market:  Livestock, dairy, poultry and eggs, commercial fisheries for local and global markets, forestry plantations, seeds and fertilizer production – all in a clean non-polluted environment.  All these mentioned are resources to be developed and available for both local and foreign investment.      South Sudan is endowed with a huge wildlife migration ready for investment in tourism.  My Government is inviting Japanese companies and Business Community to come and invest in South Sudan.  We have very attractive investment laws and ready for Public Private Partnership (PPP) including committed entrepreneurs.

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v The fertile agricultural land is the future backbone resource of economic development for the Republic.  These are lands which have never been cultivated with heavy machinery or despoiled with chemical fertilizers, lands which are currently farmed – where it happens at all – by subsistence farmers.

v Infact, beneath the rich soil of South Sudan are the prospect of untapped reserves of gold, iron uranium, copper, chromium, zinc limestone, marble and gemstones.

v Therefore, accessing these resources and building a diversified non-oil-dependent economy is crucial as we emerge from years of conflict and face the challenges of building a country fit for the next generation, the young people who form 50% of our population.

v But this we are striving to do with the help of our International friends and partners.  Already more than 5000 km of roads have been constructed or rehabilitated, with another 3500 km targeted for completion in the near future.

v Five regional airports currently being rehabilitated.  Two ports along the Nile are under construction, giving access to 1500 km off Navigable water.  Five International telecommunication companies have established operations, bringing mobile coverage to 70% of the country.

v There is evidence of change and the difference we are making with our International partners is apparent – new businesses have risen and Juba International airport receives over 60 flights a day, majority being foreign airlines.

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v Your Excellencies, so far I have shared with you the potentialities and the resources for the Republic of South Sudan.

v At this juncture, on deliberating on the role of Japan’s ODA and civil society in Peace building and Reconstruction process in the Republic of South Sudan; one must admit that the path to sustainable peace and reconstruction is full of challenges, as well as opportunities.

v Indeed, peace building and reconstruction in a post-conflict environment is a process that invariably involves military and political engagement from both the nation and international stakeholders.  There is no doubt that development assistant is crucial, important and strategic in such situations.

v Infact, JICA; has been very successful in its development assistance in the Republic of South Sudan.

v For example, in the following areas of both multilateral and bilateral basis, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has successfully implemented Japanese Official Development Assistance in the Republic of South Sudan.

v Infact, JICA as an official agency of the Japanese Government has carried out its mandate to implement Development Assistance within the context of JICA programme of the framework of Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) 2005 and South Sudan Development Programme (SSDP) 2011 – 2013.

v This effort has helped the RSS to consolidate peace and promote socio-economic development.

v With full agreement between the Japanese Government and the Republic of South Sudan and on bilateral basis to be in partnership and working together so that JICA programme enhances long-term social and economic development.  This falls in line with our government policy for immediate delivery of services as a dividend of peace.  This development aid is mostly grant assistance.            

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v This falls in with our President’s 100 Days Initiatives which is a national vision that focuses on Public Interest and the delivery of services in education, health, physical infrastructure rule of law and security, zero tolerance to corruption and transparency.  This sends a message to our people that the presidency and Government are listening and responding to public concerns and expectations.

 

v  We as a government has benefited through technical cooperation

in the area of capacity development.  For example:-

v  Capacity building for government personnel.

v Institutions capacity as in technical cooperation projects.

v Assignment of advisors and skills training.

v Training and exposure of South Sudanese personnel in Japan and third countries.

 

v An on-going eight technical cooperation projects in social, economic and governance sectors.  The grant assistance in 2011 amount to USD 20 million.

 

v Your Excellencies, as we speak, there are both on line and on-going including pipeline programmes by JICA and with full concurrence from the government of the Republic of South Sudan.  These current and pipeline projects fall into the priorities identified in South Sudan Development projects that is supported by the Government of the Republic of South Sudan.

v These projects are categorized as advised by the Government of the RSS.  To enumerate these programmes are as follows:-

v Economic Development Programmes:

This is in fact the infrastructure sector.  It includes basic

               services for the people.  Peace means the delivery time.

v JICA is supporting to build and rehabilitate strategic infrastructure in many areas of developing a permanent jetty (35m in width) at Juba River port (JRP).  This improves our river transport system.  This will be extended further:

v Capacity building for Juba River Port Authority (JRPA);

v Preparation of city master plan and feasibility study on urban road Network in Juba, including rehabilitation of bridges and culverts in Juba.

v Improvement of water system in Juba after the feasibility study conducted on the expansion of water supply system.  There is also capacity building support to South Sudan Urban Water Corporation.

v However, with regards to pipeline   projects, these will include:

  • Expansion of Juba River Port (205m wide).
  • Construction of a new bridge on the River Nile i.e. (560m long).

v Construction of new water treatment and supply system for Juba.

v Capacity for roads maintenance departments.

v Capacity for solid waste management authority in the capital city of Juba.

v JICA will do similar assistance in Malakal town of Upper Nile State.

v A lot is also being done in the economic sector.

v Up grading and strengthening of Multiple Training Centre (MTC) – in Juba, Wau and Malakal towns.  This will provide relevant skill for economic development and helps in creating jobs for Youth who are unemployed in most of our urban areas.  In fact, 50% of South Sudan population is of youth age.  This programme has enhanced skilled development to thousands of youth, returnees and ex-combatants.  They have been trained in different trades and physically rehabilitated and adequately re-integrated into their communities.

v Japan supports Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Programme (SSDDR) for South Sudan i.e. 160,000 soldiers to be demobilized, rehabilitated and reintegrated for the  next few years.

v To rationalize customs collection thus improving  revenue sources for the country.  This has reduced the prices of goods and commodities and cut down transport cost.  This has helped the consumers in terms of affordable prices for the imported goods and items which are the basic needs for the general public.

v JICA has helped trained South Sudan Customs (SSC) Officers

in collaboration with Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA).  This has

improved customs collection in the RSS.

v  Incidentally, in my Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, we have worked together with JICA to increase access to public media by improving its broadcasting quality.   Excellencies, one of the most important tasks of a government is the provision of clear, truthful and factual information – information about government policies, activities and services and especially in a post-conflict situation that involves peace process and delivery of services to the public and credible Reconstruction.

v  Already, leading Japanese Journalists and government officials have visited us in Juba and have observed how both our TV and Radio prorammes can be produced and programme, this as a result of exchanged views between the RSS and Japanese Journalists.  The importance of media operating as a “Watch-dog” of the government authority.

v We have already agreed for JICA to enhance capacity development of the mass media which is crucial in the period of the new Republic’s democratic nation – building.  This requires support for T.V , Radio and print media both government and independent media i.e.(Freedom of the press

v However, upon JICA HQs approval for this project design, then the process can successfully be launched.

v We must get it right for the government to speak in one voice and communicate to its citizens for their needs and concerns.

v  This is necessary for stability.  Without proactive communications the ground is fertile for the propagation of false rumours.

v Your Excellencies, do you remember what happened on television when it was reported Usama Bin Laden had been killed :-

v  The first Pakistani Minister proudly proclaimed that his country’s security services had been working with the Americans on this operation;

v The next minister declared that America had been working on its own and Pakistan had nothing to do with it;

v The third minister didn’t know what had happened.

v It is this kind of confusing scenario is the one we want to avoid in South Sudan, as is the one where our people fueled with post-independence expectations can be left disheartened and disillusioned wondering if things have rally changed at all since 9th July 2011.

They must hear of all these good things which are happening and about the positive contribution by JICA and the government of Japan.   We must also be able to tell them why things may b e bad or difficult.

v The Minister of Information is mandated as the “Mouth Piece” of government and as such has specific government – wide responsibilities.

v The other important JICA’s role is in the area of Natural Resources sector.

v  In order to diversify South Sudan’s dependent on oil-dependent economy; JICA is supporting the RSS in its Agricultural sector.

v The new Republic needs an alternative source of revenue in order to have a robust economy which is diversified and robust.  JICA is now to focus around rice production and land and water resource development.

v In the area of social and Human development; the Japanese government through the UN-system organizations including World Food Programme; there is already a substantial amount of humanitarian assistance provided by Japanese Government.

v On the 27th Oct. 2011 in Rome, Japan through World Food Programme has provided food assistance to the value of 2.2 million dollars for the people of South Sudan.

v JICA is now focusing on capacity development of public service providers which will gradually replace NGO –engaged private sector service providers.  Emphasis and priority has been given to science, maths education, nursing, teacher and midwifery training.

v In education sector, already there is strengthening of science and math teacher training.

v With  health sector; JICA is helping in the following :-

  • Improvement of equipment maintenance capacity at Juba University Teaching Hospital.
  • Rehabilitation and construction of college of Nursing and Midwifery school in Juba Teaching Hospital (JTH).
  • Capacity building support to health sector human resource development planning.
  • Capacity building support to community development services in Juba County.

Conclusion:-

 

Your Excellencies, so far I have shared with you on issues in all

areas where our partnership with government of Japan through

JICA has been amicably symbiotic and harmonious.

v Earlier this month, the Secretary General of the United Nations

welcomed the decision of the Government of Japan to

 

    contribute an engineering company to the United Nation

    Mission (UNMISS) in South Sudan.  The government of South

Sudan is greatly pleased and appreciative for the government of

Japan to deploy engineering troops in our newly born country

of 4 months and 19 days.   These engineering troops are due to

begin deploying in January 2012 and will provide a crucial

capacity for  the missions mandate to assist the government of

South Sudan to build its basic infrastructure and extend state

authority.

v     These troops will be  part of 7000 United Nations Peace Keeping and peace-enforcement contingents (UNMISS) under chapter VII  that are being deployed in South Sudan.  My government has already agreed with the UN-system on this important issue.

On behalf of my government we express our sincere gratitude for the strong commitment shown by Japan to peacekeeping and particularly acknowledge this contribution at a time when Japan is still recovering from the aftermath of the earthquake in March 2011.  I can assure this audience this evening that the Republic of South Sudan in terms of security is not like Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia or the countries of spring uprising of North Africa.  We as a new nation are appalled by such ugly and brutal scenes of violence.

So far, we have seen the great contribution through the role of Japan’s ODA and civil society in Peace building and Reconstruction Process in my country, the Republic of South Sudan.  I have also elaborated on lessons learnt and way forward for further Japan’s engagement in the post-conflict context with the Republic of south Sudan as a success story to be emulated in other areas with similar post-conflict situations.

Incidentally, we have seen the achievements made and challenges encountered and adequately resolved with a major of success – a win-win position for both Japan and the Republic of South Sudan (RSS).  We have avenues for future improvement and reform.

Ladies and gentlemen, I can say at this podium with all the confidence and equally appeal to the Japanese general public of the necessity of continuous and enhanced engagement of Japanese public and private sector in peace building and post-conflict situations particularly in the Republic of South Sudan and across the world.

I am aware as we all are, that challenges remain immense as we seek to change the mind-set of a people from being in a constant state of conflict to one of peaceful co-existence with their neighbors, as we professionalize our army from being bush-fighters to a national defense force, as we change our network of overseas offices to fully fledge and functioning embassies.    To us, it is amazing and exciting as a team player.

As we find the teachers, health workers, road-builders and farmers who are all prepared to work-together and forge a path for the future.

The public’s expectations are high, our donors and supporters expectation are high – but our will and determination is strong and with further support and encouragement from beyond our shores, I am sure we will and can win.                17

On behalf of the young people of South Sudan, the generations blessed to be born free, we thank you for constant support – at this time when your own national need is so great.

We thank you and urge you to come and visit the Republic of South Sudan, the world’s newest and proudest country.

I am sure that the Japanese government through ODA and JICA involvement in post-conflict situations has learnt a lot from their decades of past experiences.  They are aware of successes and lessons learnt and will always be able to make suggestions to the International community of improved approaches to any challenges.  This knowledge will be of great use to the International donors and in the best interest of those seeking peace and reconstruction in post-conflict circumstances.

(No doubt you find Toyota four-wheeled vehicles cruising along the rough and difficult challenging roads of the Republic of South Sudan.

This great symposium is in fact, an opportunity to review and deliberate on the roles and future ways of a successful engagement of international donors in the post-conflict environment, like the case of my country, the Republic of South Sudan (RSS).  The Japanese experience in the Republic of South Sudan of supporting such processes can be emulated in any other post-conflict scenario.

18

Finally, ladies and gentlemen, by associating my President, General Salva Kiir Mayardit, Government and People of South Sudan, in offering our enormous thanks and appreciation to the people of Japan for all

their work in South Sudan over many years now, not least during the past nine months following the devastating Tsunami of March of this year, 2011.

Madam Ogata, your wonderful country has set a courageous and generous example to the whole world of reaching out to others in the face of adversity, and for that we are extremely grateful.

I thank you also for the generous invitation to speak to you today at this symposium on “Peace – building and Reconstruction”.

Your Excellencies, may I once again quote, Pliny the Elder (AD 23 – 79); Ex-Africa semper aliquid novi.   “There is always something new out of Africa”.  (i.e. Historia Naturalist).

Your Excellencies, “South Sudan is something new out of Africa”.

I thank you and God bless you all.

H.E Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin (MP)

Minister of Information and Broadcasting (MOIB)

Republic of South Sudan (RSS)

Juba.

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