Opinion: Will Changing the Currency Save the Economy? 

By Marum Ruon Wicjoat,

Oct 11, 2020(Nyamilepedia) — According to the outcome of the cabinet meeting last Friday, the government spokesperson and the information minister announced the decision by the Council of ministers and the governor of the central Bank to change the National Currency of South Sudan hinting the decision to curb the uncontrollable inflation and the inability of the ministry of Finance and economics planning to control the exchange rate of the hard currency in the Country.

South Sudan Minister for Information and Broadcast, Michael Makuei (C) gives a press conference on January 5, 2014 alongside other delegation members in the Ethiopian capital a day after South Sudan's warring parties met in Addis Ababa for the first time since fighting erupted three weeks ago. The army continued Saturday to battle rebels in a bid to wrest back the strategic town of Bor, capital of Jonglei, one of the country's largest states. Heavy fighting was also reported late Saturday near the presidency in the capital Juba. AFP PHOTO/Solan GIMECHU (Photo credit should read SOLAN GEMECHU/AFP via Getty Images)

South Sudan Minister for Information and Broadcast, Michael Makuei (C) gives a press conference on January 5, 2014 alongside other delegation members in the Ethiopian capital a day after South Sudan’s warring parties met in Addis Ababa for the first time since fighting erupted three weeks ago. The army continued Saturday to battle rebels in a bid to wrest back the strategic town of Bor, capital of Jonglei, one of the country’s largest states. Heavy fighting was also reported late Saturday near the presidency in the capital Juba. AFP PHOTO/Solan GIMECHU (Photo credit should read SOLAN GEMECHU/AFP via Getty Images)

The decision was made to also prevent and reduce hoarding of money outside the banks in the Country, control exchange rate and boost domestic food production. My dear Countrymen and Women, if I may ask, what will changing of the currency do to change the collapsing economy? As a Graduate of Accounting and Finance, there are lot of interrelated factors and disciplines to be put together to change the worst state of economy our country is facing. 

Peace and stability, we all know why our country is at this state and we do not need experts to tell us our problem. Without stability, how can we produce our own foods in our rich agricultural land? Hon. Makuei Lueth sadly stated that South Sudan imports basic commodities like potatoes and Onions from neighboring countries, yes this is true but without first accepting peace, there will always be dependency on importation of everything.

Stabilizing the Economy, this is the second most important thing for a country to prosper. If we really want to improve our state of economy, lets produce locally, lets encourage foreign investors to invest in our country, lets bring back refugees so that there will be no need to send money outside the country, let`s open schools, provide health care, build roads and many more so that our children and young people do not have to go to neighboring countries to also import foreign education.

All these require peace in the Country and Peace is not just absence of war, peace may also be equal distribution of resources to the citizens in accountable and transparent manner so that a trust is built between citizens and their government.

Depositing money into the banks. Despite the challenges facing the people in the country, the minister said, “So the cabinet has decided that the currency should be changed so that anybody who does not take the money to the bank is left out and will lose it, this is an advice to those who are holding money in their houses to hurry it to the banks now….” I have no doubt that the government have clear statistics on the number of people who have access to banks in the country. How can we not keep the money in our houses when only less than 5% of the people have access to banks? 

“I know that we see the things we cannot say because we fear but only a nationalist will speak up for his people” 

Marum Ruon Wicjoat is a concerned South Sudanese and can be reached at marumruon@gmail.com


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