National, News

National Economic Conference hikes citizens’ expectations

By William Madouk and Hou Akot Hou

South Sudan’s first-ever national economic conference commences today in a bid to bail the country from hardship while citizens’ expectations shoot up.

A key issue on the table at the conference, attended by scholars, think tanks policymakers and analysts, is reshaping the country’s economy.

The 4-day conference will be held under the theme “Toward a Diversified, Inclusive and Sustainable Economic Growth.”

Delegations of major players in the country’s government, on Sunday, jetted Juba ahead of time so as not to miss a pint of the occasion.

Northern Bahr El Ghazal State governor, Tong Akeen Ngor is among spirited delegations that touched ground yesterday to attend the 1st National Economic Conference.

Mr. Ngor is accompanied by advisors, ministers, youth leadership, students’ leadership, Intellectuals and chiefs among others from his state.

Meanwhile, governors from the ten states, chief administrators from three administrative areas and state ministers of finance, are to attend the conference in Juba.

As delegates convene for the conference in Juba, citizens all over the country expect quick solutions to the biting economic challenges.

Abuk Deng, a tea seller in Aweil town, who contemplates abandoning her business for farming, expects the conference to fix skyrocketing commodity prices.

“Food prices are hiking or rising too much. This is one of the things we want to hear the leaders are looking into the problems we are facing,” a concerned citizen stated.

According to Abuk, the uncontrolled price increments incapacitated her business unprofitable and difficult to earn a living in the urban area.

“I can’t afford to get a small bag of sugar as things are fluctuating daily. If the governor comes back with a message of having solved this recession problem, then it is well and good,” she stated.

Another bottleneck that citizens expect among numerous others, the forum to resolve is the delays in payment of salaries to civil servants.

Though expectations of the citizens keep mounting each passing minute, it remains to be seen what outcomes the national conference will bring forth to resolve the economic conditions experienced in the country.

President Salva Kiir Mayardit, together with his vice for the economic cluster, Dr. James Wani Igga, will grace the much-anticipated event.

President Salva Kiir Mayardit, the brain master of the conference, preempted the concept in March during the inauguration of the National Assembly.

He eventually commissioned the Ministry of Finance and Planning to devise means to address the budding economic crisis.

“I am today directing the Ministry of Finance and Planning to organize the South Sudan National Economic Conference that will complement the ongoing public finance management reform,” Kiir said.

The president proclaimed the conference would deliberate and address the fundamental economic challenges that are facing the country.

However, according to the national minister of finance, Bak Barnaba Chol, economic sectors and stakeholders will present their views on the main concerns.

“Challenges of the economic situation in South Sudan and proposal in regard to transformation agenda on the economic,” the minister said.

According to the minister, the forum would identify key policy priorities to manage the current mid-term economic challenges.

He stressed that the government trying to address oil dependency by diversifying the country’s economy.

The finance minister views the conference to improve coordination and collaboration mechanisms between his docket and the state counterparts.

He forestalls the national economic conference will promote policy dialogue aimed at achieving microeconomic stability and sustainable resource mobilization.

The forum is also to achieve effective planning and budgeting, prudent resource allocations and strengthen government spending capacity.

It’s further expected to strengthen and install overall intergovernmental fiscal discipline, in the country.








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