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OPINION

Why Bak Barnaba deserves more time to implement his economic reform agenda

Dr. Baak Barnaba Chol deserves more time to implement his economic reform agenda in South Sudan.

Minister of Finance and Planning Bak Barnaba (courtesy).

Today, our country is facing economic hardships, and many are pointing fingers and wondering what the way forward is. While a lot of people are currently suffering, we should remember that South Sudan is not the only country facing this plight.

Some attribute the economic difficulties to civil unrest around the globe (such as the war in Ukraine and Russia), inflation, and economic dependence on international financial institutions like the World Bank and IMF.


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While some believe that the current management of our financial institutions should be replaced, others support Dr. Bak and his team in implementing their plans for economic transformation. As a concerned citizen, I would like to shed some light on a few things.

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I am not here to defend any particular group or represent anyone. My intention is to share my thoughts on how we can improve the economy of our country. Although I am not an economist, I believe that every citizen has the right to express their opinion on this matter, and it is our constitutional right.

In my view, the Ministry of Finance has undergone significant changes in recent years. Unfortunately, these changes have not produced the expected results for a long time. Since our country gained independence in 2011, the ministry has had eight different ministers, most of whom are highly educated individuals. However, despite their efforts, tangible economic reforms have not been achieved.

According to an African proverb, an old broom knows all the corners of the house. To improve our economic situation, I strongly believe that we need to give Dr. Bak enough time to implement his plans. Dr. Bak is the right person to clean up the house and make things run smoothly.

This will require patience and time to develop effective short-term and long-term solutions that can lead to economic growth. We should also accept the institutional reforms that are affecting all of us, even if it means making tough decisions that may not be popular or embraced by everyone.

Hon. Bakโ€™s reform agenda highlights the significance of increasing non-oil revenue collection, as well as promoting the commercialization of the agriculture sector. This is in line with what Dr. John Garang used to emphasize in his speeches during the liberation days.

The approach Involves channeling funds towards infrastructure and agriculture, while also enhancing security along the roads to facilitate inter-state economic engagement. This will drive economic growth and enable the distribution of goods and services to those in need. If implemented carefully, it has the potential to lead to a more prosperous and thriving society.

We need to acknowledge the steps taken by him to strengthen the economy and support those in need. Although the current issue is the exchange rate, we should not ignore his notable accomplishments such as the formation of the Agricultural Bank Board, creating employment opportunities for unemployed youth, organizing successful economic conferences, and implementing recommendations from respected organizations like FATF, IMF, and World Bank.

Additionally, there have been significant improvements in major roads and infrastructure that deserve recognition. As we aim for a stronger and more diverse economy, it is important that we support and trust the efforts of Hon. Dr. Bak Chol and his colleagues who are working tirelessly towards this goal.

By giving Dr. Bak more time, resources, and trust in his leadership qualities without any interference, we can work together to create a brighter economic future for South Sudan. Therefore, I humbly request our President, His Excellency Salva Kiir, and all citizens to unite and support Dr. Bak in his mission to restore and improve our economy.

James Thon Atem is a concerned South Sudanese citizen who can be contacted at jamesatem22@gmail.com.

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