South Sudan Should Empower The Poor To Fight Poverty: Economist

The participants attending a lecture by the World Bank Economist in Juba. [Misuk Moses Mule]

“The best approach for South Sudan is to empower and use development and the resources of oil and other mechanisms to empower poor people to control their own destiny,” he said.

He called on the government of South Sudan to give power to the poor so that they can determine the future of their children.

Dr. Shantayanan said that this will be very different from the past where government has decided the kind of political capture that ends up undermining the will of the poor.

He argued that even well intentioned plans can go wrong because government helps the poor by spending money which sometimes leak before it reaches them.

In such instance, he said that the poor should be given more powers than the government.

The World Bank’s Chief Economist for Africa Region also said that there is tremendous potential for South Sudan to succeed and being the youngest country, South Sudan has resources and a biggest asset is the fact that the people supports the government citing the shutdown of the oil pipeline which was supported by the populace.

Nonetheless, the said that the people should hold the government accountable and that they need be given access to information and exercise sanctions.

“Even illiterate people know what they want for their children,” he said.

Meanwhile the Minister of Youth Culture and Sports, Dr. Cirino Hiteng, said that all South Sudanese came from poor backgrounds and are still in poor status of society.

He added that everything is a priority in South Sudan. 

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