National, News

Gov’t approves money for federalism

By William Madouk

South Sudan council of ministers has approved $657,106 US dollars equivalent to SSP 657,106,000 for a national federalism conference.

The approval came up after the Federal Affairs Minister, Losuba Wongo, presented the plan to kick off with a nationwide conference. However, he highlighted the need for the budget to begin the conference.

National information minister, Michael Makuei Lueth stated that the cabinet chaired by President Salva Kiir accepted the resolution that would allocate more funding for the projects.

“The amount which he had asked for is 657,106 US dollars or equivalent in SSP; this presentation was passed, and the requested sum was passed,” he noted.

The cabinet further resolved for the minister of finance and economic planning to release the approved ‘peace fund’ entailed in the current fiscal year 2023-2024 budget.

“After the amount is availed, he [the Minister of Federal Affairs] will fix the date for this conference,” Makuei continued.

Mr. Makuei further revealed parties to the agreement have reached an agreement to switch from a decentralized to a federal system of governance.

“In the agreement, we agreed that South Sudan shall have a federal system, but we did not agree as to which type of federalism it will be,” he said.

“So, the minister is authorized to search for all possible available federal systems so that he can recommend to the people of South Sudan the best federal system,” he told reporters.

According to Losuba, the ministry has a compact vision to adopt a two-level system of governance, the national and state levels.

This means that the central government shares powers with states or provinces that are autonomous through their independent legislative assemblies.

On May 1, the Reconstituted Transitional National Legislative Assembly passed the federal strategy plan for 2022–2023.

John Agany, the chairperson of the standing specialized committee for information at the parliament, said there are a lot of things that need to be addressed by the permanent constitution-making process, including the number of states that do not depend on the federal ministry.

He added that one issue that will also need to be addressed is the division of national resources.

He said the policy document was only meant to prepare the minds of the people as they go through the constitution-making process to decide on what kind of federal system they want.

Known examples of working federal systems are those of the United States, Australia, and the Federal Republic of Germany. In Africa, for example, it is mostly practiced in Nigeria and Ethiopia.

Other countries, like Kenya, have a blend of decentralized government, where powers are concentrated in the central government and the federal system.

South Sudan, though a decentralized government with some elements of federalism, has most of its powers concentrated at the central level, which is contrary to the federal system.

The young East African country is aiming to finish the transition from the current dispensation of governance into a new one upon holding a general election in December 2024.

Presently, the transitional government of national unity is expected to roll out the pending chapters of the revitalized peace agreement.


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