By Spy Uganda
Uganda’s Ambassador to South Sudan General Ronnie Balya has called for peaceful elections that will be held in 2024.
Balya made the call during the 1st and historic South Sudan National Economic Conference that is ongoing in Juba. This conference that started on the 4th will close on the 8th of September 2023.
Held under the theme “towards a diversified, inclusive and sustainable economic growth,” the conference aims to bring together stakeholders from various sectors to discuss and strategize on how to achieve a more diversified, inclusive, and sustainable economy in South Sudan.
Ambassador Balya appreciated and commended the good work of the South Sudan Government since it was formed, especially in implementing the Peace Agreement, despite the numerous challenges.
”I encourage the government to do more by fast-tracking the remaining crucial tasks in the Peace Agreement – in order to conclude the transition peacefully and in one piece,” noted Balya adding; ”As we approach General Elections December 2024 – let us keep the temperatures, tensions, and anxiety low, and uphold solidarity as one people (South Sudanese).”
Balya told S.Sudanese that in partisan political competition, ”we are opponents not enemies” thus rguing them to maintain that sportsman spirit.
On economic growth, Balya said that African countries need to stop walking and start running to be able to catch up with the developed countries – whose standards of living are very high.
”Africa is a well-endowed continent – with vast natural resources; largely green with virgin land, plenty of water resources, oil and gas, minerals etc. Africa should be feeding the world, not the world feeding Africa. My appeal to fellow African people is that let us develop the teeth and the appetite to eat this meat on the table provided by God, in Peace, Unity and Harmony- i.e. do not enjoy the meat while fighting and quarreling,” said Balya adding;
”What I mean by the teeth and appetite is that; let us acquire the necessary tools to extract the abundant natural resources God gave us, – to generate wealth, raise the standard of living of our people and generally ensure a prosperous continent. If we do not develop the teeth and appetite, those actors with the teeth and appetite will consume the abundant meat and we remain malnourished.”
Balya said that now that peace has returned to S.Sudan, they need to embrace this opportunity to expand trade, investment, and the revenue base.
”Let us focus on Joint Venture Business in the various sectors; industry, agriculture, ICT and services –like health, education, banking, real estate, hospitality, tourism, piped clean water, and Infrastructure development (especially energy and roads),” said Balya.
In his concluding remarks, Balya said S.Sudan needs to focus on boosting household income, enhance immunization and health care, universal free and compulsory primary and secondary education, improve transport, roads and build railways, work on acquiring cheap and clean energy, organize people in functional cooperatives – to enhance job creation, and wealth creation.