By Paul Ndiho
September 27, 2011
The President South Sudan says his country needs to invest in massive infrastructure development, so the country is better interconnected. Salva Kiir, president of the world’s newest nation explains:
“Our people have been patient for a very long time and what they are expecting from us the people leading them today is service delivery. They need many things, they need education, they need health facilities, they need safe drinking water, they need food security and physical security and there must be security at home. They know that we’re taking measures to address all these things.
The South Sudanese President pointed out that while the country has abundant natural wealth, it must diversify its economy so that it is not too dependent on oil. He says that the ambition of the people of South Sudan “is to be able to transform their country into a regional agro- industrial powerhouse.”
“Oil is not a renewable source of revenue. It can be depleted at anytime in future but our main source of economy is agriculture. What we should do is to use the oil money that we have today to refuel the agriculture so that agriculture will become the backbone of South Sudan’s economy. We’re planning on that and we are going to do it.”
Security remains a key factor in ensuring the development of South Sudan. Mister Kiir emphasizes that his country is committed to peace both within its borders and with its neighbors. He says the issue of Abeyi will be resolved between the National Congress Party and the SPLM in South Sudan.
“I’m confident that we are going to resolve it. Abeyi is not part of the North and they cannot convince anybody. Even at the International court of arbitration, they were defeated there and they don’t have any legal argument on Abeyi. If they have any legal argument on Abeyi it maybe because of oil resources that were found in Abeyi and this is their problem. If there was no oil in Abeyi these people would have not even fought in Abeyi and they would have withdrawn a very long time ago.”
Last week while addressing the U-N General Assembly President Kiir called for a speedy resolution of the border demarcation issues with Sudan– and he also wants to begin serious negotiations between the two countries over economic issues, particularly arrangements over oil.