Business Community Speaks to South Sudan National Dialogue
Juba – Business leaders from South Sudan Chamber of Commerce and National Dialogue Leadership have shared views at a consultative event in Juba.
Held on February 23, 2018, the forum was organized to brief the business community on the dialogue’s progress as well as solicit their financial support to the process.
The event was presided over by ND Co-chair Hon. Angelo Beda, Amb. Dr. Francis Deng, the Deputy Rapporteur, and Hon. Betty Achan, a member of the leadership.
The business community was represented by its Deputy Chairperson Lodu Lukak and Chamber of Commerce Secretary General, Simon Akuei and dozens of business leaders. The meeting heard extensively from individual business leaders, who expressed their key concerns about challenges affecting the country’s economy and the traders specifically. The stakeholder group also shared their ideas on how to fix the nation’s myriad problems, namely:
- The need for the ND leadership to facilitate a meeting between South Sudan President Gen. Salva Kiir and the Chamber of Commerce &Agriculture.
- The private sector should be involved in policy formulation and decision making at all levels in the country including the ND.
- Peace can only be brought by people on the ground.
- Security organs deployed in the markets extort money from traders and practice should be stopped
- South Sudan National Constitution should be respected to promote rule of law
- A federal system of governance should be implemented.
- The market should be protected from unscrupulous individuals.
- Ministers, Civil Servants and Generals shouldn’t engage in business while still holding office
- Business opportunities should be given to local traders and not foreigners.
- Debt owed by the government to the private sector should be paid out.
- Patriotism should be inculcated in South Sudanese
- Government should foster secure environment to spur private sector growth
- Government needs to invest in infrastructure, hospitals, running water and electricity to enable civil society develop the nation
- Foreign traders should not be favored over the locals in terms of hard currency allocation for importation of goods.
- Rebellion should not be rewarded.
- The import license and hard currency should only be given to legitimate national companies and not briefcase companies or well-connected individuals.
- Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning should abolish demand for 10% as conditions for payment
- Ministry of Finance should pay traders on time for services delivered.
- Illegal checkpoints on the major roads should be eliminated.
- Multiple taxations at the Municipal, State and National level should be harmonized to avoid citizens taking up the cost.
- Government should address the issue of street children and the business community can support.
- The Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture will sit down and organize to see how to support the ND process.