Will #South Sudan be a failed state?

I’ve been asked many times since my return from Juba if South Sudan will fail. It’s a simple question, fueled by intense speculation. My answer is as simple – no.
South Sudan has enormous resources – not the oil, the water, the agriculture – way more precious. People.
The atmoshere in Juba during the last week was fantastic. On our arrival, people were sweeping the streets. Juba had very few tarred roads. What a sign of ownership.
There are enormous challenges. Schools in South Sudan are proving inadequate to the challenges of the movement of peoples from the north. This is not just a numbers game, but a result of systematic neglect and the fact that the language and ‘style’ of education in South Sudan is english. The Republic of Sudan educates in both an Arabic language and ‘style’. Teaching English as a second language might be one of the most urgent calls to go out. Luckily both the Kenyan and Ugandan governments have been of assistance.
The other major challenge is healthcare. Massive displacement of peoples have overtaxed many clinics. Treatment is expensive because of the vast distances medicine has to be transported. South Sudan has many excellent doctors, but a population swell of possibly 400 000 people in one year would tax even the most sophisticated systems.
In fact, given the famine and drought conditions surrounding South Sudan, there might well be a case for people to move into South Sudan as refugees. This might be providential given that so many NGOs have set up base in South Sudan.
South Sudan is not a ‘Zero’ country. It has roads linking all major towns, it has cellular network coverage.
Most powerfully – it has a people of goodwill. There will be mistakes, corruption and the realisation that law needs to catch up quite smartly with practice.
Will it fail though? Not a chance!

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About sharpspear

Random musings of a Catholic Priest at the bottom end of africa. Media curious. Lover of music. not sure they even represent my views, nevermind the views of others.
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