23rd April 2024
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Dr Ting explains why S Sudan is classified as poor country despite abundant resources

Author: Moyo Jacob | Published: Friday, August 18, 2023

Augustino Ting Mayai on Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2022, in Rochester. Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin

The report unleashed by Forbes classifying South Sudan as the poorest country in the world is justifiable due to the lack of exploitation of available resources, Dr Ting has said.

Dr Augustino Ting, the Managing Director of the Sudd Institute was responding to a recent report released by Forbes ranking South Sudan among the top ten poorest countries in the world by GDP per capita PPP

In the ranking, South Sudan occupies the first position as the poorest country in the world in 2023 by GDP per capita PPP as estimated by International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Extreme poverty is driven by abundant global wealth in possession by the countries. Smaller and less powerful countries in challenging regions are among the bottom ten economies.

Liberia and Chad encounter obstacles like limited resources, weak financial sectors, and unfavourable tax regimes, hindering foreign investments and growth.

Even larger nations like the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Mozambique struggle with poverty due to internal conflicts, political instability, and inadequate infrastructure, hampering their economic progress.

South Sudan, the world’s youngest country gained independence in 2011 but faces significant economic challenges coupled with political instability, ongoing conflicts, and limited infrastructure to hinder its progress.

With a majority relying on traditional agriculture, violence and extreme climate events often disrupt farming, perpetuating poverty in the landlocked nation of about 12 million people according to the last census.

In ascending order, South Sudan leads the list followed by Burundi, Central African Republic, Somalia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique, Niger, Malawi, Chad and Liberia.

South Sudan according to a Forbes report, has a Gross Domestic Product of 3.9 billion Dollars and leads the list of the top ten poorest countries globally.

Commenting on the report, Dr Augustino Ting says it makes sense that South Sudan is the poorest country in the world in terms of economic production.

“It only makes sense in terms of the economic production and so as South Sudanese, we are poor because we are endowed with abundant natural resources,” said Ting.

“Being rich or being wealthy only makes sense if you are able to use those resources and be able to produce that well that provides for all, we don’t have that,” he said.

“So, even though we have oil, even though we have forest, we have this agriculture potential it has not been exploited. So, by GDP terms, we are the poorest country”.

He is a founding Research Director of the same institution, serving in this capacity for a decade.

Dr Ting holds a PhD in Sociology, with concentrations in demography and development from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

He currently studies how state effectiveness affects child health outcomes in South Sudan and Ethiopia.

Dr Ting has written extensively on South Sudan’s current affairs.

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