Uganda’s Ambassador to South Sudan, Brigadier General Ronnie Balya, presented a comprehensive nine-point plan on behalf of the Ugandan government. The objective of this plan is to assist South Sudan in rejuvenating its struggling economy.
This came during the National Economic Conference that concluded in Juba on Friday.
Ambassador Balya highlighted the urgency of addressing critical issues facing South Sudan’s economic recovery. He emphasized that the proposed resolutions aimed to steer South Sudan toward a path of sustainable economic growth.
“First, on household income, every family should have a budget indicating incomes and expenditures. Have a calculation of what you are good at producing and what you will get as input and output. Every able-bodied person must participate in the market economy,” he said.
Ambassador Balya stressed the importance of healthcare and immunization, stating, “South Sudan must engage in immunization and healthcare. You need a healthy population for a country to be productive.”
He also emphasized the significance of education, saying, “Universal Primary and Secondary Education must be emphasized to defeat ignorance.”
To address the scarcity of raw materials needed for industrialization, Ambassador Balya advised South Sudan to establish national parks in each of its ten states equipped with infrastructure, electricity, water supply, and a road network to attract potential investors.
Additionally, Ambassador Balya urged South Sudan to explore regional and global markets, saying, “Work on conducting market surveys. Look beyond domestic markets and focus on regional and global markets where your products can fetch much-needed foreign exchange.”
Infrastructure development was another key aspect of the plan: “Work on countrywide infrastructure development, including water transport, roads, and railways. Acquire cheap and clean energy, such as hydroelectricity, for industries and services.”
The Ugandan diplomat also emphasized the importance of South Sudan supporting its citizens in “production and service delivery” with an emphasis on “transparency and accountability.” Ambassador Balya recommended that South Sudan organize its people into functional cooperatives to enhance job and wealth creation.
In his concluding remarks, Ambassador Balya highlighted South Sudan’s need to diversify its revenue sources away from heavy reliance on oil.
“South Sudan is a landlocked country with no access to the sea to conduct trade activities overseas. East Africa’s youngest nation must adopt new approaches to recover its economy by moving away from depending on oil, which currently funds 98% of its national budget, and instead develop agriculture and its macroeconomic sectors,” he said.
In 1986, following a triumphant guerrilla war in Uganda, the National Resistance Movement, led by President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, initiated a ten-point program with the aim of charting a new and brighter future for Uganda’s citizens, who had endured prolonged suffering.