By Joseph Akim Gordon
Signing peace agreement without total commitment in its implementation and followed by socio-economic development package is counterproductive. In many situations our effort fails because of empty promises and lack of development commitment on the ground. Development in socio-economic growth as individuals are engaged in the process of production and productivity to ensure living standard and can create peaceful atmosphere; therefore, development will make peace prevail, also the presence of peace will ensure development activities to take place. IF peace prevails all can travel to rural area to engage in agriculture thus creating employment opportunities as such many will use the benefits of production for sustaining livelihood. Production and productivity will ensure that peace is maintained. If political leadership is committed to peace that means it is equally committed to development because the citizens want to realize peace dividend.
It is certain that the Government must come out with policies and strategies for development and also create conducive working atmosphere where the Government takes ownership of the development programs, and it is true that Government alone cannot develop the country, but others like development partners NGO’s and others to complement Government’s effort. The individuals’ efforts is also commendable for instance the vice president Hon. Taban Deng Gai has established agricultural scheme in Luri area where he has created employment opportunities for the local population and supplies Juba market with fresh rice at affordable prices, cheaper than the market prices in Juba town and Dr. Wani Igga the vice president is also engaged in farming in Lobonok producing cereal vegetable root crops like cassava and aquaculture (Fisheries) also creating employment opportunities in the area as of now his agricultural products has not reached Juba market as yet , and many other individuals have also invested in Agriculture and livestock farming .There are also agricultural projects in Rajaf , jebel Lado and other areas around Juba. It is only issues of insecurity where farmers are scared to get engaged in rural areas.
The current market prices of food commodities are so high that salary earners cannot afford to live on this salary, the current salary/wages have no meaning because it is not enough to keep the family even for a week, for this reason every family must seek or engage in small business just to meet minimum requirement of basic supplies in the house.
Before independence of South Sudan all the business in the country controlled by traders from Sudan , by then if you want to prove this point on Fridays all the trading centers and market closed because these centers were controlled by Sudanese traders , then after independent we believed that we the citizens now will monopolize the markets , this was a dream that was not realized , the market is now managed and controlled by foreigners namely the Somali , Ethiopian , Ugandan Kenyan and Sudanese , including the sales of water all owned by foreigners but what went wrong that we the citizens are marginalized in our country ? Is it a lack of capital or we have no experience in business? The fear is that these foreigners are becoming powerful economically, it seems it is almost difficult or impossible to reverse this trend, because of economic power they are able to manipulate the situation for their interests. It is not too late it is now noted that some of small businesses selling newspapers and others that used to be controlled by foreigners now the national have taken over. Surely with determination one day the country will gain in economic terms and be able to compete in the market.
As noted, earlier development can create peaceful atmosphere, when youth or any citizens engage in development projects, they are keen to see that they succeed in their development effort he or she has no time to think about rebellion, criminality or any other undesirable agenda because each person works hard to succeed, has no time to create tension or problems that will work against his/her progress that is why we all must work for peace through development effort. Keeping peaceful atmosphere is for our advantage. let us work for peace because development is peace and peace is development.
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