By Ring Mayar – Canberra, Australia
August 12, 2016 (SSB) — Today South Sudan’s Foreign Minister Deng Alor revealed that he lobbied for $1.9 billion dollar from China to develop war affected key oil fields in the country war and other developmental projects in the country. This billion dollar stimulus package is the latest attempt by the government to breathe life an economy suffering from hard currency shortages and high inflation.
On Monday, the newly appointed South Sudan Minster of Finance, Stephen Dhiew, has instructed all commercial banks to close all the US business accounts of the oil companies and the various NGOs in the country. The oil companies and the NGOs were instead instructed to open the US dollar bank accounts with the Central Bank of South Sudan.
The new policy announced by Minster of Finance would modestly reduce economic hardship and ease the rate of the US dollar exchange-traded commodities but it would keep inflation on hold.
Today’s South Sudan Foreign Minster 1.9 billion dollar request from China be debated by the parliament for the financial package approval. Specific details of the spending plan have been scarce, and it is unclear how of the $1.9 billion will consist of the oil field upgrading.
As A South Sudan citizen, I solemnly express concerns about the size of the monies put forward for oil field upgrade – which ignores agricultural investment and economic divarication away from oil income dependency. Current South Sudan government is embroiled in Oil Companies debt – which likely to buy South Sudan resources by several bonds issued for the last few years.
This may worsen the country’s financial outlook in the long term. Compounding these issues and underlying the South Sudan’s lack of infrastructure is the country’s unfavourable food shortages: with ever increasingly hungry population, low food production and high unemployment, there are muted prospects for natural resources growth in the country revenues – that if the government embark on agricultural investment.
The day after the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGONU) reshuffled Ministers, President Kiir and two Vice President are expected to steer the country out of the political and economic hardship. General Taban Deng Gai leadership move to replace those who lose the confidence of their comrades in SPLA-IO in early July in the IO Minister of Council.
General Gai has indicated the reshuffling was “greater than midscale” and seek to give a boost to peace with a “strong new line –up”.
Ring Mayar is the National Security Policy Student at Australian National University. His studies include Policing, Criminal Justice, Policy Development, National and global Security. He published; Academic and Journalists Can Change The Country and A Critical Balancing Act For Kiir and Macahr. He can reached via the following email: email@example.com
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