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South Sudan, DRC explore road connectivity

By Gladys Fred Kole


South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) have discussed the possibility of developing projects on road connectivity between the two neighboring East African Community member states.

On Tuesday, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Amb. Dr. James Pitia Morgan met with Mr. Adolphe Nkongosoli Sadiki, Charge d’affaires of the Embassy of the DRC in South Sudan, and they discussed matters of mutual interest to strengthen bilateral relations and trade between the two countries.

The duo explored various avenues for cooperation, including the development of common projects that would enhance connectivity between South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

“In particular, they discussed the possibility of linking roads between the two countries, which would facilitate trade and promote economic growth in the region,” the foreign ministry stated in a statement on its page.

The meeting also emphasized the importance of peaceful coexistence between the communities along the border areas of the two countries.

The two leaders expressed their countries’ commitment to advancing bilateral relations and exploring further avenues for cooperation.

Amb. Adolphe Nkongosoli Sadiki and Minister Morgan also exchanged notes on the developmental projects, with a particular focus on the improvement of the road network across the two borders.

Reacting to these bilateral engagements, James Boboya, a political analyst, welcomed the development, saying the anticipated infrastructure projects will boost the political, economic, and cultural aspects of South Sudan and DR Congo.

“The meeting between the two is a welcome move because for South Sudan to grow economically, socially, and politically, it is important for it to directly engage with the Congolese authorities,” he said. “Transportation and communication are two of the key ingredients in broadening cooperation and coordination”.

Boboya observed that there are a lot of challenges when it comes to cross-border activities between South Sudan and the DRC because of non-existing road networks or completely impassable roads, adding that developing cross-border infrastructure is vital.

“Increasing cooperation between the two governments is very important because securing borders between the two will mean peace for the bordering communities and the promotion of traditional ties between these two bordering communities,” he emphasized.

According to Boboya, when there is cooperation and peace between cross-border communities, they will begin to engage in productive activities like agriculture, mining, and trade between the two countries.

“It will increase employment opportunities, and the activities will add to the economic growth of this country,” Boboya lamented

Prioritize crucial roads

However, the political analyst cautioned the government against awarding road construction contracts to incompetent and corrupt companies based on technical know-how and prioritizing roads that are of great importance to the economy.

“I urge the government to construct roads that can bring economic development to South Sudan as a basic tool to work on roads rather than having tribal road selection,” he said.

“Right now, there has been a lot of interest in the Bahr-el-Ghazal highway, which doesn’t add value to the economic situation of the country. So let us not have selective development when it comes to roads, but let us have a holistic approach to road construction in this country.

Meanwhile, the DRC ambassador also informed Minister Morgan about an invitation to H.E. Salva Kiir Mayardit to visit Kinshasa for bilateral talks with his DRC counterpart.

The foreign affairs minister has described how such a visit would provide an opportunity to deepen the ties between Juba and Kinshasa and explore areas of collaboration in various sectors.

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