8th June 2023
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Kang against rushed adoption of regional integration policies

Author: Emmanuel J. Akile | Published: Friday, September 16, 2022

Minister of Petroleum, Puot Kang/photo credit: UNDP-South Sudan.

The Minister of Petroleum has called on the government to cautiously implement the regional integration polices as South Sudanese risk being out-competed in the jobs market.

Puot Kang Chol said he is concerned with the quality of students the country’s universities are producing.

“Today we are part of East African Community and whether we like it or not, if we follow East Africa Community charter, they will take all the jobs from here,” Minister Kang was speaking at University of Juba on Thursday.

South Sudan was admitted into the bloc in March 2016.

The bloc’s member-states include Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan.

The EAC mission is to widen and deepen economic, political, social, and cultural integration to improve the quality of life of the people through increased competitiveness, value added production, trade, and investments.

Its 1999 treaty sets out conditions for membership, including adherence to universally acceptable principles of good governance, democracy, rule of law, observance of human rights and social justice.

The implementation of regional integration policies mean that South Sudanese must have to compete equally with citizens from the region in job opportunities in and out of the country.

However, Puot Kang warns that South Sudanese professionals are not yet ready to compete with their regional counterparts and risk being kicked out of their jobs.

“The world of tomorrow, whether we like it or not, the fact remain that you must be equipped, you must have what it takes to survive in it, meaning whatever we have with us, if we don’t support it, particularly our universities,” he said.

Analysts suggested that South Sudan’s early efforts to integrate infrastructure, including rail links and oil pipelines, with systems in Kenya and Uganda indicated intention on the part of Juba to pivot away from dependence on Sudan.

On the other hand, citizens raised concerns that South Sudan’s economy is not sufficiently developed to compete with EAC member states and could become a ‘dumping ground’ for Kenyan, Tanzanian, and Ugandan imports.

According to Minister Puot Kang South Sudan is yet lagging far behind its neighbors in the education and industrial sectors to compete.

South Sudan remains among the worst in every regional and global index. In 2019, it was the second least peaceful country in the East African region after Burundi.

The country was also the third least peaceful country in the world in the same year after Syria and Afghanistan, according to the Global Peace Index 2019.

South Sudan’s Gross Domestic Product, which is only 17 percent remains one of the least in East Africa and in the world, due to the economic cost of violence.


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