News, Northern Bahr el-ghazal

Aweil explore solutions to soaring prices

By Hou Akot Hou


Aweil Chamber of Commerce and municipal council representatives held a consultative meeting on Wednesday to address the surge in commodity prices in Aweil Town, Northern Bahr el Ghazal state.

The meeting comes amid a rise in the cost of essential goods. For instance, a 50kg bag of maize flour, which previously sold for 42,000 SSP, now costs 70,000 SSP.

Similarly, a 50kg bag of sugar has jumped from 70,000 SSP to 83,000 SSP. This coincides with a rise in the black-market exchange rate, which has climbed from SSP 1,100 to 1,480 SSP per dollar.

During the meeting held at the Chamber’s premises, the chairperson argued that granting traders access to the Central Bank to obtain dollars at the official rate could help alleviate the situation.

“If these traders are given access to the Central Bank at the official rate, they can help ease the negative impacts of the skyrocketing market,” said John Gau, the chamber chairperson.

“We, at the chamber, cannot control the actions of the black market exchangers if we simply keep talking.”

“The state government, in collaboration with the Central Bank, should devise strategies to allow at least 20 local business owners to access dollars at the official rate. These business owners can then use the dollars to import essential goods, which would help stabilize prices” he further proposed.

The meeting also addressed concerns raised by traders regarding illegal taxation imposed on their goods upon entering the state.

In response, Aweil Town Mayor, Mr. Zechariah Dut Mou, acknowledged the recent price hikes and expressed surprise at the rapid escalation.

He assured the meeting that a consultative meeting with the governor would be held to discuss the concerns raised, particularly the request for access to the Central Bank for obtaining dollars at the official rate.

Residents of Aweil are increasingly worried about the rising cost of living, as many lack alternative sources of income. The situation has the potential to severely impact their livelihoods.

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