Govt. should create sustainable jobs through public private partnerships (PPP)

By: Eluzai Matata, South Sudan, SEP/26/2014, SSN;

The Government South Sudan (GOSS) is faced with multiple problems stemming from frustrations of citizens and workers nationally and internationally. Many are unemployed and live below the poverty line. The day-to-day livelihoods are scanty. Farms are run down by conflicts, thousands are displaced. Employment options are scant. Citizens are yawning for government stimulus plan, a bail out.

There are, however, institutional options the government can select from to create opportunities for the young and energetic working force whose current political, social and economic contributions in South Sudan are uncounted for.

The question is “what went wrong?” The jobs in South Sudan seemed to be only accommodative of school and graduate leavers.

The mass youths of South Sudan have very thin opportunity margin to break through the education qualifications and experience requirements placed by the government, private and Non Governmental Organizations (NGO) institutions.

Any conflict or post conflict nation diversifies its sectors of the economy to attract young people away from active conflict activities. The young will have wider growth and development options to engage in, rather always waiting for employments in the executive, legislative and judicial organs of the government.

The government ought to reaffirm its commitment to broaden space for investments that create jobs, increase national revenue and minimize on profit repatriation. Employments motivate and boost the morale of citizens. National and international public-private partnerships that are mutual in nature should be pursued.

Most of the key sectors of the economy that provide business services in South Sudan are run by foreign nationals. This include fuel stations, banks, fresh water supply, food supply, construction materials supply (timber, cement, paint, electrical equipment, iron sheet), oil exploration, just to mention a few.

They (foreign dominants) who work alone without South Sudanese do not contribute to sustainable development in the long term. In the event that foreigners switch off services, many South Sudanese needs and work comes to languish.

A case in point was when floods ravaged transport services and the 15th Dec 2013 conflicts eruption etc. the entire nation was short of fuel, fresh water, electricity, food, and the list goes on and on.

In some other countries (e.g. South Africa on mines; Zimbabwe on land redistribution, mining sector, Malaysia on aviation industry etc) the government embarked on nationalization of the key sectors of the economy to strengthen its political grip on power and attract the country’s societies closer to the government than to the private sectors.

They also worked to ensure that national economic sovereignty, ownership and control is attained. But for South Sudan, such a policy would increase existing outrage from our African allies, though it may remain pursuable should it be prove a viable option.

It should be noted that, the private sector leads to concentration of profits in the hands of a few. In the case of South Sudan where many private sector institutions are foreign, huge profit repatriation is inevitable.

If the government engaged into such investments, a lot more of financial, human and material resources would be developed and retained in South Sudan.

At the moment, I observe that our country is not at mutual footing with other countries. We have the potentials in human and natural resource base. We needed fair trade, transparent procurement and exchange of capital inputs, we need subsidies in agricultural inputs, we need trans-boundary agreements in natural resource management, and we need skills exchange for wider infrastructural developments.

South Sudan can move forward, if the following sector of economic growth and development are approached carefully.

List of Institutional Options for Public Private Partnerships (PPP) to Improve Employment Opportunities in South Sudan:
1. The Banking Sector: Commercial banks notably – Kenya Commercial Banks, Equity Ban Bank, Charter One, Ethiopian Commercial Bank; and Foreign exchange bureaus.
2. Education and health care development: primary, secondary and university growth and developments with unified curriculum for each level; primary health care, dispensaries, clinics and hospitals.
3. The Energy and Petroleum – retail and whole sales sectors: Fuel stations; promotion of Hydro electricity power; minimizing thermal electricity supplies; and the mining sector.
4. The transport sector: Roads: Public transportation using buses; Water: motor boats, ships, ferries and; Air: aircrafts efficiency as a high risk, but lucrative venture.
5. The food and drug sector: Revitalizing the agro-industries of South Sudan (Nzara Agro-industrial complex, Upper Talanga Tea Plantation, Aweil Rice Scheme, Yirol Shea butter factory, Mangalla Agro-Industry, Eastern Equatoria Development Project, Melut Sugar Factory, Wau Fruit Factory; and National Drug Authority and pharmaceutical companies.
6. Eco-Tourism and wildlife Conservation sector (payment for ecosystem services): Protected Area Administration – reestablishment of National Park HQs; Hotels and restaurants; and National Tour and Travel Guide.
7. Water and sewerage sector: Fresh water supply; and Sewage waste disposal and management.
8. Land and Property Rights Sector: Housing Finance Estates; mortgage, land banking; and property insurance.
9. Insurance sector: Health care insurance; motor vehicle insurance…
10. Logistics and procurement sector.

Conclusion: The fact the private sector is important in nation building does not mean the government cannot do business. Our government is now limited to employment opportunities to its national ministries, state ministries and county local governments!

Venturing into sole proprietorships (business managed only government staff under nationalization of the key economy sector) or parastatal (joint business ventures – public – private sector partnership) would help government to improve on development potentials for job creation, improves national revenue base from taxes, resolve in national gross domestic products (GDP), and national income per capita.

Hence, the need to redirect national education curricula that suits the current and future skills demands in the labour market.

Rather than expelling, the government should insist on accommodating more citizens in the international companies/ NGOs for employment opportunities requiring nationals. We ought to work together to reap from the benefits of globalization, under legal provisions.

Our members of parliament need to stand up to the current test of times by producing laws and regulations guiding foreign employments in South Sudan.

A clear legal and institutional framework developed, monitored and evaluated timely, will improve our national and international cooperation. No part of the world entertains illegal foreign employees.

Eluzai Matata is a South Sudanese Environment/ Natural Resource Development Professional. He can be reached at eluzai.matata@yahoo.com

2 Comments

  1. False Millionaire says:

    Eluazi/Editor:

    Thanks for the mediocre article n for the waste of time n space on the forum.Sadly you are wrong if you believe that employment in such sectors as banking,health care,teaching,pharmaceutics etc.are the solution to unemployment in RSS.There must b something wrong some where in your thinking n that is why you have forgotten to remember that these sectors employ only those with education capacity.But what is the percentage of educated south sudanese in our population of millions?a tiny minority.So you are defending the interests of the tiny minority without the majority,are’nt you?I am sorry to say:but you are just as useless as the useless power elite presiding over our country for the sake of their own living.It’s find for us if you are campaigning to overthrow them inorder to take their place so that you can do what they are doing today.Period.But is it that the concept of employment in England?

    We encourage you to follow our thinking.The unemployment problem in RSS is a problem for every citizen.Educated or none educated,there is no difference.As such it must b considered to b solved in the context of being one problem for all n at a national level.The most basic solution sir,is professionalization of the work activities like farming,cattle rearing,fishing n the likes which we already do for simple living.But how do you do it?You create conditions that will detonate it like building a good road network to link village to village,town to town,city to city,state to state,from south to north n from west to east.This will insure distribution of local goods in all markets in the country.After that pay salaries to all workers in the country every month.With the money,the people will buy the goods in the markets.The farmers,fishermen,cattle keepers n all the likes will get money from selling their products.What they do then become their professions.The transporters will transport people n goods from production places to markets.They too will make money n what they do become their profession.Other professions would b provoked to spring to being from within such climate.With our local goods in our markets,we will no longer need to import such goods from countries like Uganda n Kenya.Neither would it b the foreign labor to do for us the work that we already know how to do from birth.The two cases which are the unfortunate routine today.It’s at this point that banking n insurance sectors become most useful.The workers would b encouraged to put their money in banks partly for security reasons n also to facilitate bank to bank business operations.The insurance companies would insure capital,material n workers’ health against risks.Your educated south sudanese minority would still work in banks,health care,teaching n all the sectors that employ educated people.The demand for them will be very high becouse we would be at the context of an all out explosive development.You would have to provide more of them again n again.At this point the educated n the none educated citizens:every one of them will have work.Consider this point very well.That is the best solution possible.It is within our arm’s length.But above all,do not forget to remember to build fuel refineries.Nothing would work without cheap home produced fuel.Think about reversing our sad situation.We could b exporters of fuel n food products to thesame countries that export to us thesame products today.We must say no to inferiority complex n fight for our common interests at a larger sphere.

  2. galdino. sebit says:

    Thank you Mr. Matata for your constructive and forward looking contribution to our national labor challenges. In addition, national youth service should be constituted throughout the country, as a first step of compulsory youth service.Absolutely, it can contribute to development with sustainable results, in every sector of national economy. Moreover, job training institutions that existed during the autonomous south Sudan, ie.Amadi Rural development institute, Yambio institute of Agriculture, May Vocational institute in Wau. etc. These vocational institutions should be opened to provide better skills for our manpower resources.

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