Contributor's Opinion

Opinion: Why poverty while we have billions-worth natural resources

By Beek Mabior, Nairobi, Kenya

July 6, 2020 (Nyamilepedia) – Hi citizenry of my country, kindly allow me to spell out and read this magnificent analysis why South Sudan; a nation with billions natural resources have millions of her people living below the disgraceful poverty line and chronic hunger yet there’re billions of natural resources that the country is endowed with by the almighty God who created both heaven and the earth.

South Sudan; a nation with billions of natural resources and in which millions of her people live in shameful, extreme poverty and chronic starvation is unfortunate. And we must allow sincerity to compel us to acknowledge this shameful condition and veracity that undermine the dream of shared prosperity, equality and justice in our dearest nation.

How can we as a country succeed in eradicating the abject poverty in South Sudan during these tough times of economic meltdown, political crisis and senseless civil wars? Economic growth can make significant contributions to poverty reduction. There is strong correlation between economic growth and poverty reduction.

Moreover, South Sudan is a beautiful and rich country naturally with billions of natural resources on this planet. There are many minerals such as gold, diamond, limestone, mercury, uranium and many more on our God-given land. There are billions of barrels of crude oil and natural gas in South Sudan. There is millions of wildlife in South Sudan. There is a vast fertile soil for agriculture and a lovely weather.

There are many water bodies such as Nile river, Sudd and etc. there are many energetic manpower across our country who can do whatever it takes to achieve prosperity and eliminate extreme poverty. Furthermore, with all such riches and blessings on our land. why is our nation unable to transfigure herself from detestable poverty?

Why does our country again rely on foreign aid? Why is our nation in an abject poverty yet the total figures of natural resources outnumber our citizens?  What is making the few nationals becoming extremely wealthy while millions of citizens suffered in despicable poverty and misery? What do we need to do as a nation to transform this disgraceful condition? Dear reader and fellow citizen.

If you look today across South Sudan and see the deplorable poverty and hardship of our citizenry, then you’ll almost or totally shed tears if you’ve humanity. If you look across the country, you’ll notice that there is absolutely nothing to smile for while millions of people suffered helplessly from persistent conflicts and distress. If You look at the chronic poverty, starvation, misery, deaths toll and fruitless political and communal conflicts of South Sudan today.

Then definitely, you’ll still notice that there is nothing to be glad for and the next question, you’ll ask yourself will be if you’re a patriot, how come the nation is living this way?  I know asking such a question in South Sudan is same as booking your own cemetery’s ticket. If you look at the conditions of our army forces and police personnel, then you’ll still see that, there is nothing admirable. Natural resources are not a curse but a blessing that can be used to change the living standards of the people and to end extreme poverty.

Additionally, poverty is not a permanent condition and its can be eradicated economically if there’s a political and collective will. Effective macroeconomic policy and sound governance are crucial to sustainable economic growth. To be more effective in eradicating poverty, economic growth should not just be a growth, but inclusive or pro-poor growth.  Sustainable and inclusive economic growth can be strengthened by sound macroeconomic policies, especially by avoiding excessive needless debt and inflation; anti-poverty policies so that growth benefits they poor through an adequate and equitable budgeting of resources and government programs that effectively target the poor. Taking full advantage of trade and market liberalization and providing essential economic and social infrastructure, with particular attention to the needs of the poor communities.

In addition, Actions need to be taken to tackle and ensure that markets work for poor people but this requires a good understanding of the policies, institutions, history, geography of a country that affect growth and poverty reduction. For instance, low-inflation growth policies are considered to be particularly beneficial for the poor.

Good governance and establishing the rule of law are critical to increase productivity through confident individual trust of ownership of productive resources. Moreover, deterioration and fluctuations in the terms of trade of the agricultural exports is a source of instability. This, coupled with the fluctuations in agricultural output due to external factors, reduces the reliability of a strategy that is based mainly on agricultural development.

Diversification of an economy and production in the manufacturing sector is essential for economic development and improving the terms of trade for the country. So who and where are the poor in South Sudan? Everywhere you go and look in South Sudan, there’s poverty. Poverty of governance, poverty of health, poverty of education, poverty of infrastructure, poverty of security, poverty of economic policy and poverty of financial policy. Ironically, South Sudanese are sitting on their abundant natural resources while they suffered in poverty.

Conclusively, how can we eradicate poverty in South Sudan? The way forward is to understand poverty better by analyzing it using modern techniques. The way forward is to lay down specific and effective economic strategies to deal with it practically. The strategies should be in the areas of agricultural production, agricultural trade, agro-industry, physical infrastructure, financial and institutional strategies. Specific actions need to be taken, from information-gathering and analysis to improving the terms of trade and agriculture.

We need to stop relying on oil’s revenues solely and diversify our economy. We need to invest in all sectors of economic. But most significantly, we need to say a permanent good-bye to our senseless political and communal conflicts if we sincerely desire to achieve a shared prosperity and eradicate poverty in our nation. Let us be realistic as a nation.

If we can’t put an end to our non-stop pointless civil wars. Then, we should not even deceive ourselves base on wishful thinking and sham belief that we’ll do anything spectacular while South Sudan is burning. We need rectification and rethinking socially, politically and economically if we truly want a better and prosperous South Sudan.

The author is a concerned citizen of South Sudan and can be reached via: betterarticle165@gmail.com

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