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Civil society, media urged to advocate financial transparency in S. Sudan

Author: Stephen Omiri | Published: Friday, May 24, 2024

Engaged members of civil society and media delve into discussions on the pivotal role of both sectors in enhancing financial transparency - Eye Media/Eye Radio/Moses Awan - May 23, 2024

Civil society and media organizations have been urged to advocate for financial transparency in South Sudan.

The call was issued during a one-day seminar in Juba focusing on the pivotal role of civil society and media organizations in enhancing public finance management, financial transparency, and accountability.

The seminar, organized by the Horn Economic and Social Policy Institute brought together various stakeholders.

They include civil society organizations, government representatives, legislators, and audit chambers.

HESPI program director Daniel Fantaye calls on the media and civil society organizations to work together in advocating for public finance management, financial transparency, and accountability in the country.

Eye Media Chief Executive Officer, Stephen Omiri challenged the representatives of civil society organizations to take a proactive role in advocating for public finance management.

and financial transparency and accountability.

“I want to challenge civil society now that we are in the budget-making process and there is a need for pre-budget analysis and post-budget analysis,” said Omiri.

“If you have experts that are willing to break down the budget, then we need you to come on the radio,” he said.

Omiri says the media acts as a watchdog and holds government officials accountable.

He added that civil society organizations and the media are crucial to government transparency and accountability.

“As civil society organizations, we have a role to play in this country. We are not competing with any government,” he said.

“He added, “We are part of the government because we are licensed by the government and we are helping the work of the government.”

“What we need to do is work together with experts like HESPI and the government, and explain to them the role of the media and the role of civil society in moving this country to a democratic society, to a country that is developed, and peaceful

If we do that, I don’t think we need to ask security for permission if they know that we have good intentions for this country.”

The Coordinator of the South Sudan Law Society, Farouk Ukach, urged civil society organizations to rally behind the media, saying that passing information cannot be left to media houses alone.

“We all need to rally behind the media in terms of passing information. It is not only the work of media houses; it is our collective responsibility,” Ukach said.

“Let us stand firm. Stephen has come out openly. Let us also be behind him to see into it that there is something practical that happened, and these messages go out to the public,” he said.

Sudd Institute representative, Ariic David calls for the protection of the media houses, saying that media work is guided by known principles.

“Media is all above objectivity, number two objectivity, and number three accuracy, so then we move on within the domain of things that can be wrong even with objectivity and all that,” Arric said.

Civil society organizations also called on media houses, especially Eye Radio, to allow them on radio stations to advocate for social issues in the public interest.

The Executive Director of the Institute for Social Policy and Research, Boboya James, urges media leaders to give civil society organizations equal airtime on radio stations.

“Allow us to speak about the different kinds of advocacy we are talking about. I know the vocal guys are there; some are always vocal because they want to be threatened by National Security so they go into exile,” Baboya said.

“I promise we will be with this government and tell them what they are doing wrong, and we will continue to stay in Juba,” he said.

“We don’t want to be PPCA; we want to be the people’s voices in Juba, so give those voices on Eye Radio your Eye Radio in South Sudan.”

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