National, News

South Sudan, Ethiopia sign road infrastructure deal 

 By Bida Elly David


Government of South Sudan has signed a bilateral agreement with Ethiopia on the construction of roads connecting the two Countries.

The development transpired during a bilateral meeting between President Kiir and the Ethiopian deputy prime minister, Demeke Mekonnen Hassen on Wednesday.

A statement from the office of the president noted that the agreement aimed at easing trade through the mobility of goods and services.

Foreign Minister Dr. James Pitia Morgan said the deal will enable the two countries to strengthen their economies of scale to benefit the citizens.

“Juba and Addis Ababa have been enjoying cordial relationship, spanning for many years,” Ambassador Pitia added.

Meanwhile, the Ethiopian deputy prime minister appreciated the government of South Sudan for the historical ties.

He said that Ethiopia remains committed to building bilateral ties in a variety of areas with South Sudan.

Demeke also noted that the meeting, through the concept note, strengthens people-to-people relations between the two neighbors.

However, South Sudanese economic analyst, Abraham Malieth challenged the agreement between the two countries, saying that it is just a paperwork.

Abraham underscored that South Sudan has signed several bilateral agreements with different countries in varied areas, which have failed to yield fruits.

“The agreement is just a signature. It first has to pass to the council of ministers and later taken to parliament to be rectified otherwise it will remain on the paper,’’ Abraham said.

He noted that rectification of the agreement by the two organs becomes an empirical protocol that will be respected when referring to any work.

“If it is ratified by the parliament there will be free trade between the two countries that will benefit the two Countries economically,’’ he said.

Malieth, on the other hand, argued that the success of the agreement between the two countries will help reduce the double taxation burden on exported and imported goods due to good infrastructure.

“Double taxation will be removed among the two Countries as goods and services will be fastened because people will not be taxed in both countries,’’ he said.

He added that with this, investment will be accelerated because of the opening between the two countries; South Sudan will attract Ethiopian capital since they will be at ease to do business through good roads.

Moreover, economist Abraham pointed out that such an agreement, if holistically implemented, will reduce inflation.

“It will also encourage productivity because, in our Eastern border with Ethiopia, there are products that can be produced and exported, even our oil, because of the good road infrastructure,’’ he added.

He said that security improvement will be another added value if the agreement materializes.

In 2017, South Sudan and Ethiopia signed an agreement for the construction of two highways, one linking Gambella-Paggak-Palouge and another linking Dima-Raad-Boma-Bor.

Memoranda of understanding was also signed on energy, border trade protocol, preferential trade, communication, information, and media.

In a joint statement, the two countries said they desired “further strengthening of the already existing excellent relations between the two countries.”

The trans-border highway projects acknowledged that the free movement of people and goods was a pre-requisite to boosting economic ties.

The two leaders also agreed to form a joint border committee to strengthen cooperation on the issues of security, trade, development and infrastructure along the common border.

Comments are closed.