South Sudan Launches Inaugural National Economic Conference

In a historic move aimed at diversifying the country’s economy, South Sudan’s Ministry of Finance officially kicked off the nation’s first-ever National Economic Conference on Monday.

The conference, scheduled to conclude on 8 September intends to chart a new economic course with a focus on bolstering agricultural productivity as a means to reduce dependence on oil revenues.

During the opening ceremony held in Juba, Vice President for Economic Clusters, Gen. James Wani Igga, emphasized the government’s commitment to fostering growth in non-oil sectors.

“Success in fixing these alternative sources will require an extended period of sustained growth in the non-oil economy that is led by domestic and international private investment,” he said. “Creating the conditions for such investment and growth is one of the bottlenecks for our government in a decade ahead.”

For his part, Finance Minister Dr. Bak Barnaba Chol emphasized the significance of the five-day event in addressing the nation’s economic challenges.

“This is a historic event that seeks to chart a new course for our national economic foundation and social development,” he stressed.  “Today, we gather under the theme ‘Towards a Diversified, Inclusive, and Sustainable Economy,’ with the goal of developing a roadmap for South Sudan’s economic prosperity.”

Meanwhile, the conference also had international participation with Dr. Mohammed Ahmed Mohammed Maait, the Minister of Finance of the Arab Republic of Egypt, highlighting the mutual cooperation between Egypt and South Sudan.

He highlighted the importance of sharing expertise and fostering economic ties.

“The economic aspects of the relationship between Egypt and South Sudan are bringing opportunities that range from hosting mutual investments to increasing bilateral trade, as well as sharing expertise to face current economic and financial challenges,” he said. “In Egypt, we are encouraging our private sector to establish new partnerships in South Sudan and we hope that the results of this pivotal economic conference will serve as a catalyst to enhance our joint investment endeavors.”

The National Economic Conference provides a vital platform to address economic reforms urgently needed for the nation’s progress. It also aims to address economic challenges, open untapped opportunities and promote Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to participate in South Sudan’s growth trajectory.

The conference brings together high-level government officials, economists, business leaders, and other stakeholders to collectively outline a comprehensive economic reform strategy.

Chol Mawel