Washington, DC, April 16, 2013 (SSNA) — a Government delegation led by Hon. Kosti Manibe met with ministers and senior representatives from more than forty countries and international organizations during the South Sudan Economic Partners Forum in Washington DC. The objective of the meeting was to discuss how South Sudan managed its recent budget crisis, to review the Government’s fiscal and economic strategy, and to begin a renewed partnership with the international community.
In his remarks, Minister Kosti described the shocks that have affected South Sudan over the past 20 months: 98 percent of Government revenue was lost after the oil shutdown, the country stood at the brink of conflict, suffered food shortages, and saw the arrival of 200,000 refugees from Sudan. Some observers did not expect the young nation to survive these challenges. However, with resolve, discipline and prudence South Sudan succeeded in overcoming the most pressing challenges.
Minister Kosti emphasized that it will be important to use natural resources in a disciplined, efficient and prudent manner. With improved governance, South Sudan will be able to tackle its development priorities, improve the business environment, protect civil liberties, increase the wellbeing of its people, and care for future generations. Achieving all these goals will not be easy. Building the necessary institutions will take time, patience and partners. South Sudan asked donors to work with Government and civil society on a new partnership compact for South Sudan, based on mutual commitments to reform and aid effectiveness.
During the conference, partners congratulated the Government for its prudent management of the budget and the economy over the past year. Donors welcomed the impressive improvements in public financial management, expressed their strong support for the Government’s reform strategy, and affirmed their long-term commitment to South Sudan. Many partners emphasized that continued prudence, good governance, and increased transparency will be vital for success. Donors also asked the Government to make progress in protecting civil liberties and improving accountability.
To support South Sudan, donors are providing 1.3 billion dollars in aid per year. At the conference, many partners including the EU, the IMF, the African Development Bank, the World Bank, the UK, the Netherlands, Norway and other countries indicated their willingness to provide new assistance of up to 300 million dollars. In a sign of increased confidence in South Sudan’s public financial management system, much of the new support would be provided through the Government budget. Mindful that the private sector will be very important for job creation, donors also offered to organize a conference for foreign investors later this year. To cement their renewed partnership, the Government of South Sudan, its international partners and civil society will finalize a compact by the end of October.
For more information on the South Sudan Economic Partners Forum, contact the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning or the Embassy of the Republic of South Sudan in Washington DC.