OpEd

The next generation will never believe $100 was once at SSP 200  

First and foremost, who knew the United States Dollar during the dark days of the Civil War. If there were, indeed, those who knew it, then they were too few, maybe students who were studying abroad and a few businesspeople.

That was because the Sudanese Pound had value the same way against the USD in Sudan, as of now, though it has fluctuated a little bit now due to the ongoing war in Sudan.

To make the long story short, the rate of the USD was still controllable up to 2010. You could buy it at a cheaper price and you could too, sell it at a cheaper price. When South Sudan became independent in 2011, granting her a full right to name and mint her own currency, the rate of the USD began rising gradually, but it was still controllable.

Whether or not the USD is unhappy with the name of our currency ‘South Sudanese Pounds’, nobody knows it. Why was it controllable when it was ‘Sudanese Pounds’, but becomes uncontrollable when it is ‘South Sudanese Pounds’? What is wrong with the “South” added?

In 2011 to late 2013, the USD was still joking with the economy. $ 100 was at SSP 500 or 600, I stand to be corrected here. Commodities were extremely cheap. SSP 1 could buy at least 5 pieces of sweets.  It could transport someone from Gudele, whether Gudele 1, 2, 5, or Gudele 15, to Custom market. SSP 2 could buy one a very delicious lunch; the lunch which is at SSP 20,000 now.

A person having SSP 5 by then was not called using his name, but his nickname. Not just a nickname, but the one he loves the most because he could invite 5 hungry people to take lunch with, and he could handle the bill at once. SSP 10 could be sent to families in the States for a one-month upkeep.

SSP 20 and 25 were the gross salary of other people and they were happy with it. SSP 50 and 100 were rarely seen in the hands of people because changing it could take someone almost 30 minutes looking for a change. Getting SSP 500 was almost news! Native tourists could even pay SSP 1 to see SSP 500! It was very rare in the hands of people.

When war broke out in 2013, it was as if it broke out between South Sudanese Pounds and the United States Dollars, and not between the SPLM and SPLMIO. The USD became very wild, it could not obey either the president or the economic cluster. Anytime it (USD) thinks of shooting up, it can shoot up and the prices of commodities follow it on the spot.

Since it rebelled against the SSP, it has never moved out of its war zone; ‘Black Market’, where it shells South Sudanese on a daily basis.  The worst part of its rebellion is that, it is not alone. Flooding, locust, famine, war, disunity and indecisiveness are its co-fighters. Recently, bad governance was identified as its spy.

When we tell our children that the USD was once a very small money to us, they will never believe us, but we will keep on telling them. We will tell them that the economy was too stable, but your grandfathers in the names of Salva Kiir Mayardit and Riek Machar Teny indulged in a senseless war, leading to the unending economic crisis.

If they do not believe us there, then they might have inherited some ignorant genes from their grandfathers. South Sudanese have suffered a great deal from economic crisis. It is high time the issue of economic crisis should be dealt with immediately.

Thanks for reading “Sowing The Seed Of Truth”.

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