The Forgotten Economist and a Technocrat: My Fascinating Visit to Hon. Kuol Athian’s Home Library in Nairobi, Kenya

Posted: April 24, 2017 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Books, Commentary, Contributing Writers, Opinion Articles, Opinion Writers, Tito Awen Bol

By Tito Awen Bol, Nairobi, Kenya

April 24, 2017 (SSB) —-Good Leaders are good readers.” As the English wise words have put it above, I was quite fascinated at such a spree when I visited Hon. Kuol Athian’s Home Library in Nairobi. Since I love reading economics and statistics books away from my dual professions; I felt that that library can make one of the best specialized economic library in South Sudan if it can be turned into an investment and a slight improvement made

It was quite much magnificent, well equipped with all the sorts of economic, statistical, financial, business management books and economic journals. It was marvelous to say the least, absolutely; it is deeply still beckoning my brain longing for development through knowledge!

As I always encourage the young people of my age to revive the reading culture (and the literature in general) which is at the verge of ‘death’ since our leaders hardly read. I was held on “twerp” and disapprovement when I learned that there exists a politician who is a serious reader beyond my imagination.

He disapproves my analogy and this made me to write this piece to encourage him, encourage young people to read and make the nation know that it is important to make use of such prominent professionals and technocrats who have read and absorbed a lot of knowledge and experience like Hon. Kuol Athian.

Something that our “system” does not understand, government Worldwide is made up of politicians and technocrats. For the government in Juba to extricate from the current economic scum; and for it to distinctively prosper off this pool majestically, technocrats of Kuol Athian’s caliber must be made use of.

Hon. Kuol Athian Mawien was the former Minster for Finance and Economic Planning during the autonomous government of Southern Sudan from 2007-2008. When he was relieved in 2008, he never complained but he went to empower his brain in his home library, something I learned recently. He is the only minister that had introduced a viable project which has the few business people that are currently still operating in the markets across South Sudan.

It was the most successful government project that has no other project to be compared with since 2005 to present because it has the beneficiaries across South Sudan. It was the only non-tribalized and non-regionalized government project.

Though the main aim of the project was thwarted by the forces of darkness which marred the project with a weakness in term of accountability, and that could still not be equated as an issue of the minister but the whole government which lacks accountability system up to date. Fantastically, the project still remained the most significant and vibrant project in the autonomous government history.

I never knew how Hon. Kuol Athian came up with such a project until I went through all sorts of Economic books in his home library. I noted my head with contention and I said “yes, this is the power point.” It gave me the feeling that it is not necessarily the ministry that this economist can work in but any other capacity, be it advisory job to the ministry of finance or any other corporate can make this technocrat to deliver to the Country indirectly or directly and his contribution can still weigh heavily in term of development.

Human resource is the most vital resource that needs to be mobilized before thinking of anything to do with physical development in any Country though it sounds trivial when it comes to our Country. At this level of economic retardant and melt-down is the most important time to make use of the likes of Hon. Kuol Athian and forget any other ‘perception’ set by the enemies of progress toward such prominent figures.

I never wanted to blame anybody against anything but I feel I should extrapolate and blame the elders and politicians from Aweil Region, specifically. These people (elders and politicians) are never proud of their great figures and they turn to politicize everything with not even a single thought of meritocracy for development.

In my personal believe, Hon. Kuol Athian is not a politician but a staunch, formidable and great technocrat that can work with any government that need progress and development. And such initiative must start at home and then sale the idea to the top authorities of our Country. But they happened to elbow off those that are suppose to help them in term of development than the way a Country being held in the current state of retrogression

It is high time to think about this collectively! Let’s kick off the “fear of unknown” out of us in order to go forward. I ever learned how the BYDA (Bahr el Ghazal Youth Development Agenda) became successful under the management of Hon. Kuol Athian during the war to extent it became a one big source of money for “development.”

How come we are forgetting quickly that it is the same technocracy in him that he applied in the ministry of finance during his time in the ministry, make such figures known than applying the game for the “survival of the fittest!”

I got no personal interest in Hon. Kuol Athian Mawien since I don’t come from the same state with him but my advocacy is that of the nation which is conserved in his technocratic skills and knowledge.

It is the same interest I have in technocrats like Hon. Lual Achuek, Hon. Stephen Wundu, Hon. Cherino Hiteng, Hon. Stephen Dhieu, Dr. Miamingi (a South Sudanese in S. Africa), the young economist-Garang Atem Ayiik and more other technocrats across the Country. Shielding the system now and tomorrow with only the politicians will never help without technocrats.

Author is a dual student on his final year from University of Eldoret, taking Bachelor of Science in General Agriculture and finalizing an Associate Degree in Development Studies from University of Eastern Africa-Baraton. He can be reached on:

The opinion expressed here is solely the view of the writer. The veracity of any claim made is 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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