Ministerial Circular 007/2014 made its entry into the public domain yesterday. Investors representatives, Executive Directors in companies, even those owned or co-owned by foreign investors, private companies in general including airlines, hotels, lodges, banks, insurance companies and apparently also foreigners employed in the public sector, must hand over their positions to South Sudanese citizens by 15th of October 2014, according to the document.
Individuals known in Juba / South Sudan have added that this applies apparently too for NGO’s and foreign aid organizations, a move which could lead to the instant collapse of the economy as by and large the expertise is lacking to fill such positions with suitably qualified locals.
With the fledgling tourism sector already down the drain following the outbreak of violence in December last year, following largely baseless regime allegations of an attempted coup to remove Kiir, and an economy at its knees following the often intense fighting which brought the oil industry to a near standstill, leaving the regime strapped of cash and the country unable to meet import bills and other financial obligations, was this latest move quickly dismissed as an attempt to create, per force, positions for regime cronies even though the consequences might be as stark as they were for Uganda in the early 1970’s when one Idi Amin expelled the entire Asian community, eventually leading to a near total collapse of manufacturing, production and services.
While it is acknowledged that South Sudan as a sovereign country can by and large do as they please, are the consequences of such ill thought out actions potentially catastrophic for the economy as there is a wide lack of qualified personnel in South Sudan, aggravated even further through the departure of thousands of professionals fleeing the ethnic violence and fighting