South Sudan’s Socio-Economic Path Out of Fragility

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Science Technology and Innovation

The country could follow the path of knowledge-intensification within the agriculture and energy sectors. It will involve building science and technology infrastructure to advance oil and gas exploration, extraction, and refining. The country could develop the scope of the science and engineering required in an array of disciplines (see footnote ).
Depending on the context, the national oil company (Nilepet) could ensure some vital capacity of knowledge absorption to be able to establish collaborative activities and business partnerships and linkages in the oil sector. Instead critics say the national oil company whose mandate is to oversee oil exploration, production and marketing has become milking cow of the regime . The investigative Indian Ocean Newsletter reported that the national oil company’s crude which is one of the government’s few remaining sources of income for its discreet emergency fund has been tapped so much it has gone into the red (Indian Ocean 2016) . while the general public know the corporation by its revolving door of Managing Directors.
Agriculture and renewable energy strategy can provide the country with new industries to build production platforms that power national development. For example, Mozambique has shown how it is possible to invest revenues from its fossil fuel resources in creating a platform that finances entry into green sectors, which promotes long-term economic and energy sustainability.
The primary trigger of the country’s stunning economic collapse is because the country’s nascent state structures and embryonic private sectors are ill-prepared to serve as launching pads for a liberalising agenda as enormous institutional gaps remain (Bartel 2014) despite having access to unprecedented resources compared to the resources available to the 1972 autonomous government of South Sudan.
Unfortunately, things will not improve unless there is some degree of proactive armed intervention to create space for a South Sudanese government that can put in place the necessary public policy measures. Without which the people of South Sudan will remain hostage to the ethnic politics and parochial army chiefs and rebels, dignified by peace mediators with business interests in South Sudan, supported by rivals in the neighborhood who make South Sudan a battlefield for their conflict and the humanitarian aid industry which operates on a budget that is six times the country’s national budget but with no sustainable structural outcomes.
The next democratic vote might not take place in a national election, but people could be voting with their feet, a widespread exodus of talented and creative young men and women who are now campaigning under the slogan “Ana Taban” meaning “I am tired”. Losing these talented youth would drive the next episode of South Sudan’s fragility.
Observers have warned that a failed South Sudan could face the same fate as Somalia. But it could also turn out that failure to stabilise South Sudan could encourage some states or entire regions to pursue something that could resemble the unrecognised territory of Somaliland. A home-grown, adaptive, governance structure that is appropriate for its uniqueness. The question is will it do this a state or separate ethnic entities.

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