The Newsite Global Network:  New Partner in the Nation Building

Posted: January 8, 2016 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Columnists, Commentary, Contributing Writers, Opinion Articles, Opinion Writers

Concept Note to be publish Newsite Global Network New partner in Nation Building

By Manon Aleu Jok Aleu, New York, USA

January 8, 2016 (SSB)  —  There are many ways we can make South Sudan a better place for all. Nation building, to say the least, is a process that calls for full participation of all stakeholders. While each us of us has a distinc stakehold in the building a nation, the leader in this process is the government with its various institutions. The result or product at the end of such a process is to empower people of one nation.

Stated differently, nation building is achievable when citizen of a given nation work together for the common cause. The   ultimate aim is improvie the welfare of countrymen and women.

It is with the above perspective in mind that a number of us came together and established this platform that has the potential to unite South Sudanese people across the board. For brevity and connectivity purpose, we created “The Newsite Global Network (NGN).  The latter considers itself as a new partner in this business of a nation building. It is an agency founded purposely and launched for the mission of nation building project for South Sudan. A few these rationales are in order.

First and foremost, NGN intends to connect South Sudanese professionals and intellectuals globally. It is a common knowledge that people of South Sudan have been scattered across the globe, mostly western countries. Thus, the NGN first goal is to identify skilled professionals, identify issues of common concerns and then work to bridge information gap, actively engage in positive and productive dialogues on ways to sensitize the 64 ethnic groups of South Sudan in order to forge a nation building. We believe it is through dialogue, listening to different views of South Sudanese people and exploring good ideas that we will build a peaceful and prosperous nation.

The NGN mission and goal is to assist in promoting national identity in order to build national cohesion as one people and one nation of the Republic of South Sudan. Basically, the NGN project mission, goals, and objectives for the nation building agenda is derived from the ideals of our liberation struggles. So far, the long journey of liberation struggles was foremost in achieving peaceful and prosperous South Sudan which belongs to all her citizens.  .

 We believe that our search for freedom, equality, and justice for all of our people is not over until we learn and embrace varied yet splendid ways of interacting peacefully with love, helping one another, and working together as brothers and sisters. This is doable as long as what we do is for the love of our people, nation and most of all, our sovereign, and integrity of our land. Moreover, to be thankful and grateful for our Almighty God who has granted us our freedom, blessed us with a nation of hope, a nation of dreams, a nation of green land, a nation of milk, a nation of honey, a nation of Eden, and the last free nation on earth. That we know well and we acknowledge it in our National Anthem: Oh God Bless South Sudan!

As The NGN, we believe that nation building is proactive project. In other words, it must be made to happen by various stakeholders that include the government of the day, international organizations, local organizations, civil society organizations and most importantly, people’s participation. Programs have to be developed and created for such purpose. However, first thing first: recognizing and acknowledging the realities that often derail sustainable peace and cause instability.

Nation building and conflict experts firmly believe that nations, which just emerged out of conflicts, are more likely to be dysfunctional or unstable if certain essential developmental infrastructures or system of state building are not put in place. It is a school of thought and a received theory. Indeed, this seems to be a living reality in our case. So, the question becomes, how do we change course or get it right this time round?

We believe prioritizing our developmental agendas is the key to get us start well and stay on track. We make the following priorities list not necessarily to be followed and achieved in the order in which they are in; instead there could be overlap; he list is not by any means exhaustive.

 First, we start with the delivery of basic services; namely, improving agriculture, security, health care, safer drinking water, education, shelters, roads network, energy, and communication networks across the nation, among others.

Second priorities should focus on developing strong civil society organizations to take a lead in social responsibilities by providing assistance to our vulnerable populations such as the orphans, widows, elderly, and veterans of war, street children, and disables.

Third, we must establish mechanisms for peace and reconciliations, peace building, conflict mitigations, border dispute resolutions, social justice system, civic education/engagement (citizens sensitizations), and environmental protection

Fourth tier priority is institutional building that ranges from constitutional reviews, financial management system, security reforms, and any other things that encompass in these terms: good governance, accountability and transparency.

Yes, this is a mere list of things that we wish should be accomplished in order to realize real development. But we know that can be an uphill battle because some things are easy said than done. Yet we believe that rapid development could be done if our government set her priorities right and partner with agencies like the Newsite Global Network in this journey. Instead of leaving everything up to the government, we are inspired by the words of the former United States American President, John F. Kennedy, who said, “Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country.” President Kennedy did more than just inspiring the young people of America by announcing executive order establishing Peace Corps meant “for the training and service abroad of men and women of the United States in new programs of assistance to nations of the world…” Former President, William J. Clinton, also launched AmeriCorps, a government funded non-profit civil society organization to support communities in areas of education, health care, public safety and environmental protection.

We brought up these two examples among many civil society organizations, which are still operating and helping hundreds of communities in the United States and globally for a reason. The point we want to emphasize here is that, civil society organizations are a necessity in a nation building. They are partners in a nation building. And the government should proactively support, fund and promote them. This is because civil society serves as bridge between government and the people. Most importantly, civil society organizations are the eyes and ears of the government.

  The two years crisis as well as crop failures in most part of the country has crippled livelihoods and resulted into heavy reliance on humanitarians’ assistance by South Sudanese  people. However, reliance on aid assistance from the outside world is one of the challenges that should be taken seriously by sensitizing communities to farm both for subsistence and commercial purposes. This is because majority of our people have gotten used to humanitarian aid assistance going back to the civil war of 21 years.

Notwithstanding such habit, we should change gradually after we became a free people on July 9, 2011. There should be no reason to continue inviting humanitarian assistance indefinitely. Such dependency is injurious to our sovereignty as a free state. We believe freedom is not fully achieved when a nation continues to rely on handouts. Basically, freedom from hunger and provision of other basic services for our people is the next war. Part of that campaign includes President Kiir Mayaardit’s Agriculture Initiative for which he has purchased over ten thousand tractors to increase farming. Producing our food locally should be the nation priority. Needlessly to say, its success requires partnership and collective efforts.

The two years of conflict we have gone through should be a great awakening. It is our “Black Swan” which we should capitalize on to turn things around. So, it is an opportunity to size the signing of Compromise Peace Agreement and Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) period by envisioning our nation-building project to ensure that people of South Sudan in all walks of life enjoy peace dividends. This could be accomplished by designing a national vision with appropriate time frame to be followed by all stakeholders in development.

For instance, nation building agenda and vision should have a theme that emphasize collective national identity that promotes diversity in unity of all the indigenous people of South Sudan. And the theme ought to incorporate in the development agenda to instill in our people the rich and diverse culture, languages, land, which we must enrich more by our hard work through development of good leadership, socio-political- economic transformations, industrial revolutions, technology and many more.

It is a government role and responsibility in supporting civil society organizations like Newsite Global Network in order to campaign, promote and sensitize the people about the importance of living in harmony as one people, one nation. The idea of sharing common national identity while still holding on to our diverse ethnics and cultural values is of utmost importance. For instance, it is easy for people to project negativity in hearing so and so is a Dinka, Nuer, Cholo, Bari, Azande, Madi, or Taposa.

Rather, it should make us rich culturally and unique as a country. In order to turn things around, government should fund and support civic engagement activities through which NGN will develop innovative training tools. We envision the project in which we will reconstruct the label of tribal groupings as positive instead of being a zero sum game. Our nation, our diversity, our diversity, one nation, one people and only one flag, one symbol should be our catchwords.

In conclusion, the nation-building project of South Sudan is a challenging task that needs many skillful hands and multi-various gifted minds. As such, skills transfer is one of the components in our project program. Moreover, the Newsite Global Network is founded by dedicated, patriotic, passionate and professional South Sudanese.

The Newsite Global vision and mission is to be a partner and participant ensuring South Sudan become a secure, stable, peaceful and prosperous country in which all communities live side by side in harmony. This can be done when we champion UN Sustainable Development goals and use the guidepost of “taking the town to the villages” through provision of basic services to the people. And the road map guided by principles of building democratic nation that will work for prosperity, justice, liberty and equality for all its citizens.

The opinion expressed here is solely the view of the writer. The veracity of any claim made are the responsibility of the author, not PaanLuel Wël: South Sudanese Bloggers (SSB) website. If you want to submit an opinion article or news analysis, please email it to SSB do reserve the right to edit material before publication. Please include your full name, email address and the country you are writing from.

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