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Cabinet eyes Juba-Riyadh cooperation deal

By William Madouk


The Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Ruben Madol, presented a memo on the general cooperation agreement between South Sudan and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia before the cabinet on Friday.

The deal signed on January 24, 2022, would offer a chance for the Gulf country to invest in Africa’s oil-rich nation.

The deal inked in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia’s capital, provided for knowledge exchange between the two sides and allowed Saudi Arabia to invest in agriculture, oil, livestock, and fisheries that would generate millions of dollars.

Addressing the media shortly after Friday’s cabinet meeting, the deputy minister of information, Jacob Maiju Korok, said the minister of justice and constitutional affairs presented a memo on cooperation before the cabinet chaired by President Salva Kiir.

“The Council of Ministers listened to the Hon. Minister of Justice Robin Madol who presented a memo on a general cooperation agreement between the Government of South Sudan and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” said Korok.

“The agreement was signed on January 24, 2022, in Riyadh by our ex-minister of foreign affairs, Mayiik Ayii Deng, who represented the government of South Sudan and his Saudi Arabia counterpart,” he added.

He cited that the agreement aimed to strengthen ties between the two countries.

“The agreement was to strengthen ties between the two countries and also their people to develop bilateral cooperation and promote science, technology, agriculture, media, tourism, youth, and sports,” he noted.

However, Mr. Korok did not clarify whether the memo was passed or whether it would still be deliberated on by the cabinet.

Economic experts welcomed the Cooperation Agreement, which aimed to boost economic and trade ties between the Republic of South Sudan and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Dr. Abraham Maliet Mamer, who is also an advisor in the office of Vice President for Economic Cluster, Dr. Wani Igga, said Saudi Arabia is one of the top oil-producing countries with the latest technology, so dealing with them would help the country benefit from their experience.

“Yes, we will definitely benefit from Saudi Arabia’s knowledge of investment and Saudi Arabia’s capital from Saudi people who have money. We will also develop cooperation alongside Saudi Arabia’s knowledge of petroleum production, and in the oil and gas industries, Saudi Arabia is very much advancing,” Dr. Mamer said earlier.

“In economic terms, yes, cooperation is needed; the cooperation is beneficial to the Republic of South Sudan. What I advise is that the protocol should not be signed and left there; it should be followed and implemented,” he added.

Meanwhile, the economic analyst, Reja Gladys Joseph, who is also a lecturer at the University of Juba, faculty of economics, welcomed the deal and encouraged the leadership to embark on food production.

“It’s really a good initiative for the nation to have an external relationship with a developing country like Saudi Arabia. That is very good cooperation, but we should think about focusing on investment, and this is a gospel I always preach,” Ms. Joseph said.

“If you want to make money or want to be self-sustaining, you can focus on investment that add something little, rather than [South Sudan] depending on humanitarian aid, which is not health economics,” she added.

Ms. Joseph cited that if the 5th Governor’s Forum proposal on the economy could be adopted, it would help the nation overcome economic shocks and become independent in terms of producing its own food.



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