26th February 2020
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Cleric calls for safe macro-environment to discourage dependencies

Author: Charles Wote | Published: 7 months ago

Bishop Barani Eduardo Hiboro of the Catholic Diocese of Tombura – Yambio speaks to Eye Radio on Monday July 29, 2019. PHOTO: Charles Wote/Eye Radio

The Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Tombura–Yambio is urging the government to create a conducive environment for citizens to engage in income-generating activities.

Barani Eduardo Hiboro says the absence of peace in the country that led to the destruction of livelihoods has forced people to depend on government and UN agencies for handouts.

Businesses worth millions of pounds were destroyed during the 5 years conflict.

The private sector has also been struggling to accommodate the high level of unemployment in the country.

Slow red tape reforms, clarity over property rights, and regulatory compliance challenges are still some of the barriers to building a strong foundation necessary for a vibrant formal private sector.

The absence of infrastructures such as proper roads and electricity have also been attributed to sluggish investments in the sector.

Bishop Hiboro said the conflict has also subjected many people to poverty, while others are unable to raise money to sustain their businesses.

“Yes we went into war and everything is destroyed, and we sit down playing cards by the roadside, taking tea from morning till evening… you don’t know who is going to correct that one,” he pondered.

The Bishop added that this has forced many to rely on government officials for financial support.

He told Eye Radio that some government offices are crowded by people who claim to be following up on money either promised to them or approved by top officials.

“People are parked in those offices… some of these ministers don’t have time to eat, [because] some are going there to beg. This is a minister who is supposed to mobilize the resources for the country,” said Bishop Hiboro.

Since 2013, the conflict severely disrupted trade, markets, and agricultural activities. But according to the 2019 Investment Climate Report, the US Department of State said in July that trade and investment conditions in South Sudan have slightly improved in the past year despite delays in implementation of the revitalized peace agreement.

The report highlighted limited physical infrastructure and a lack of both skilled and unskilled labour as other factors inhibiting investment in South Sudan.

Bishop Hiboro said: “The responsibility of the government is to create peace and organize citizens in a sense that their rights and their properties are protected.”

“If I’m going to the market to sell things, how do you guarantee that I will be safe?” he asked, “I need security to see that what I am doing is safe.”

The World Bank’s 2019 Doing Business report ranked South Sudan 185 out of 190 economies on the overall ease of doing business.

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