South Sudan, the Way to Economic Growth

BY: Dominic UKELO, South Sudanese, NOV/22/2018, SSN;

Today, more countries are experiencing violent conflicts than in the last 30 years and as stated in Robert Ricigliano’s book, “Making Peace Last,” 25 percent of peace agreements relapse into violence within five years, and these failures significantly increase the likelihood of these conflicts becoming more violent, leading to the economic distress.

In the Republic of South Sudan, economic prospects remain bleak due to the unresolved political, social, and economic fragility. The civil conflict has resulted in serious humanitarian and social crises and diverted resources from development needs.

The critical question facing the countries newly emerged from conflicts, such as South Sudan, is how to achieve a sustainable peace and therefore the economic growth.

It is in this context that the international community has been attempting to turn its attention toward the goal of sustaining peace, in order for the economy to grow.

However, a recent report reads that sustaining peace remains critically under-recognized, under-prioritized and under-resourced globally.

After the World War II, in an attempt to achieve an economic growth in the Western Europe, the United States of America initiated the Security operation to bring a sustainable stability, implemented by NATO, together with European Recovery Program ERP known as Marshall Plan.

The $13.2 billion the United States dedicated by then to the Plan from 1948 to 1952 would be worth a substantial $135 billion in today’s money.

Compare to Afghanistan and Iraq, through 2017, the United States of America spent enormous sum of total $208 billion, in today’s dollars, on the both countries. This is over 50 percent more than the totality of Marshall Aid, in today’s dollars.

Yet the United States has tragically failed to bring about a sustainable peace, therefore, has little to show in term of economic growth in both Afghanistan and Iraq.

There are many differences in the circumstances then and now, but there are two bear particular notices that we can summarized from Western Europe and the two counties, Afghanistan and Iraq.

The first is the presence of a capable, largely a political bureaucratic infrastructure, willing and able to carry out coherent reconstruction and reform programs, in the Marshall countries.

The second, more important, is the presence of far greater internal and external security in the Marshall countries. The two above notice were critical in order to achieve economic growth in the Western European countries

Unlikely in the Afghanistan and Iraq, governments have faced vastly less favorable circumstances than those of the Marshall countries.

They never achieved full sustainable peace, in order for their economy to develop. Instead, they have corrupt politicians and have been under constant war from armed domestic and foreign opponents, such as the Taliban and ISIS.

In short, the foundation that enabled American economic statecraft to be so successful in postwar Europe is lacking in the cases of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Given the insatiable desire to create new Marshall Plans around the globe, it is important to recognize that physical security and political will are prerequisite for economic growth in any country, such as the Republic of South Sudan.

Dominic Ukelo

22 November 2018

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