By Agoku Christine Taban (Guest writer)
South Sudan’s Heritages sites, with innumerable economic values that have been destroyed in the protracted civil war and others occupied for different purposes or neglected need restoration.
Stabilizing the sites and also establishing new ones that can create employment opportunities for the communities, rather than monopolistic dependence on oil could top up on revenue diversity.
South Sudan is a land of abundance, blessed with natural resources and intangible and tangible cultural heritage, an African country gifted with 64 tribes of rich diversity.
Cultural items and regalia, artifacts, dances, way of life, dresses and rituals, ceremonies and documentation of ethnic history, could all trickle into income generating venture.
Under proper setting, the diversity of South Sudan’s rich heritage diversity could turn study interest points and tourist attraction centres. Documentation and collection of these items would eventually contribute to development of urban centres.
One outstanding feature under threat of vanishing if not soon, as a result of globalization and external influences is the cultural identity makes and beauty tattoos. Of cause, there are other negative ones that could only remain in the archives but not in practice.
The Ministry of Culture, youth and sports should put more effort to ensure that these historical sites are restored and stabilized in modified traditional architecture.
Collections of traditional items speak millions of words about South Sudanese ways of mediation, reconciliation, communications and traditional defense mechanism.
The celebrations after harvest, portrayal of traditional storage of farm produce are worthy encouraging and showcasing of people to less considered creative in the outside world.
Other cultural things of economic significance, when well-planned and implemented, contribute to the nation building.
South Sudanese leaders together with the citizens should not only focus on one political aspect of the country, let’s make rightful use of the natural resources like the forests, should not be misused. The wildlife needs to be conserved for income generation, not for hosting rebels.
These resources should be productively in a meaningful way to benefit the entire nation not a minority group of people occupying for their selfish interests.
Some countries are making use of their national parks for study purposes, where some South Sudanese send their children in the name of better education system instead of improving their own. They pay huge amount of money for student’s trips generating income for those countries, something that would be positively adopted here at home.
Other countries are getting huge monetary income through well-established heritages sites, archives and museum, yet we could easily do the same here for research purposes.
South Sudanese problem is waiting for donations from international organizations. Let’s renovate our cultural sites with nice decorations and designs so that other countries visit and value our country.