28th February 2024
Make a Donation

Govt urged to seek more import routes as Uganda threatens embargo

Author: Moyo Jacob Felix | Published: Tuesday, July 4, 2023

Trucks at the Nimule Customs yard | Credit | Deng Daniel

An economist has advised the South Sudan government to open multiple trade corridors along its borders with neighboring countries to diversify the importation of goods and services amid a trade rift with Uganda.

Stephen Ihude Oduho was reacting to the recent threat by Ugandan grain dealers to suspend the exportation of food to South Sudan.

This was after the South Sudan Bureau of Standards resolved to destroy impounded food items that it allegedly found to have contained high aflatoxin levels after conducting several laboratory tests.

SSNBS deemed the 120 tons of food items impounded three weeks ago as unsuitable for human consumption.

The Torit-based economist warns that should Ugandan traders suspend supplies to South Sudan, the country risks severe food shortage – a situation that could result in sharp price hikes and panic buying.

Ihude recommends that the authorities find solution and address to the trade dispute with Kampala or look for other options.

“We are depending on outside and we do not produce. We are very vulnerable as a country because of that dependency,” he said in an interview with Eye Radio.

“Any slight thing like this, immediately we become affected. They also need to open this route here; we are relying only on Nimule I think it is not very safe.”

He also suggested that the national government considers options including opening several routes to allow for the transportation of goods in case one path experiences difficulties.

“I think this Juba-Nadapal highway could also be an alternative so that many routes are opened. If one route is having difficulties, the other route can help instead of relying on one route.”

“But production is key number one, we import really over 85% of commodities from outside. It is not healthy for the economy.”

“If we produce here, I think certainly, we will have a lot of impact in terms of prices subsidizing. That route of production is the real sustainable solution, inflation and also the issue of this dependency.”

On Friday, South Sudan Ambassador to Uganda, Simon Juach Deng said Authorities in Juba and their Kampala counterparts have arranged for talks to break the impasse.

It’s not clear if the talks have commenced.

South Sudan is landlocked and currently imports almost all of its needs, including 40 per cent of its cereals from neighboring countries, particularly Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia, according to African Development Bank.

Support Eye Radio, the first independent radio broadcaster of news, information & entertainment in South Sudan.

Make a monthly or a one off contribution.

error: Alert: Content is protected !!