The South Sudanese Minister of Commerce Garang Diing Akuong. [Gurtong| File]
By Waakhe Simon Wudu
JUBA, 31 August 2012 [Gurtong] – The South Sudanese Minister of Commerce Garang Diing Akuong, told the press that more emphasis should be put on intensifying the other sectors so as to increase the country’s exports.
“If we don’t stop to export we will continue to have this crisis,” he said adding that “If we want to lessen the issue of dollars we need to intensify the other sectors more especially to intensify agriculture and minimize importing agricultural produce.”
The dollar rate in South Sudan has for the last three weeks dropped in the black market from 5.2 to 4.5 South Sudan Pounds. Garang explained that, anticipation and government temporary efforts have led to the drop.
He said people’s anticipation that South Sudan is likely to start oil production and have enough dollars got from oil exports are likely to affect the situation.
He also added that, following the implementation of austerity measures by the government after shutting down the oil production, the central bank has pumped millions of hard currency in recent days to the economy; to forex bureaus, business traders who import fuel, drugs among other products in a move aimed at minimising the economic crisis.
However, Garang challenged that unless some of the country’s sectors including tourism and mining are mobilised, the situation will be temporary until the oil production resumes which will of course remain as the country’s only export.
Prices of goods and services have increased in the country following the shutdown of the oil.
The United Nations Office of the Humanitarian Affairs last week warned that already 2.4 million people are food insecure in the country.