Monday December 11, 2017

Oil-rich South Sudan to present its economic package to the West

WASHINGTON – South Sudan President, Salva Kiir is in Washington to attend the U.S.-backed conference aimed at setting Africa’s newest country, the meeting comes a days after the U.S. Treasury relieved sanctions to permit foreign investment in the country’s oil sector.

According to the report, South Sudan will makes its debut for western oil companies this week on the path to economic development after decades of poverty and conflict.

The two-day Washington conference will be addressed by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton representing the Obama administration. The White House aim is to established the economy relationship with South Sudan after the newest nation gain its independence from Khartoum’s ruthless dictator regime in July 9 with the help of international community particularly, the U.S.A, and the United Nation.

Stephen Hayes, the head of the Washington-based Corporate Council on Africa, a business association, said, “companies were interested in South Sudan but realistic about the prospects for operating in one of the least developed regions in the world.”

Hayes continued, “the positive thing is the amount of attention that it is getting from other countries. There is a lot going into it to make it work.” He is referring that the winning contracts for development projects would be the first order of business for most companies.

Organizers said, “among those due to participate in the Washington conference are Marathon Oil, Halliburton Co and Google.”

The head of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the chief sponsor of the conference, Rajiv Shah said, “we are seeing a strong outpouring of interest amongst investment partners in the private sector in their oil economy.”

“I expect you will see significant private investment in the sector, which is why it is important that South Sudan abide by international norms around transparency and makes sure that the proceeds of those investments are invested back to improve the lives of the people,” Shah told Reuters in an interview.

Princeton Lyman, the U.S. special envoy who helped South Sudan to independence after a referendum in January 9, said “the international community would keep up pressure on both sides to resolve disputes, including over oil revenues.”

The U.S. special added that “the conflict in border areas including Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states, where there have been allegations of human rights abuses, made it unlikely that Khartoum would soon get the economic help it needed – throwing a question mark over efforts to stabilize the broader region.”

“What we have been saying to them is you’ve got to get back to resolving these conflicts at the negotiating table so people can turn to the economic situation,” Lyman told Reuters.

Lyman concluded that, “unfortunately I think there are people in the regime who are taking a very military approach to these conflicts.”

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Filed in

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