Thursday January 9 2014

Youth ask region to save businesses in South Sudan



With the business interests that Uganda and the other regional countries have in South Sudan, it’s eminent that they intervene to save its investments from destruction, the leader of one of the biggest youth non-governmental organisations (NGOs) told the Daily Monitor last week.

Since the clashes started mid last month, Ugandan businesses there have been counting losses estimated in billions of shillings.

The most affected businesses are those involved in transportation, export and re-export businesses and trading of particularly agricultural produces and manufactured products.
“Uganda and all the other regional countries have a right to intervene. As a youth NGO, we support such interventions,” Mr Samuel Okomi, the director of South Sudan Youth Participation Agency (SSYPA), one of the biggest youth organisations in South Sudan, said in an interview last week.

He continued: “Uganda, Kenya , Ethiopia and all the other countries have huge business interests in South Sudan, and that gives them the right to intervene or help bring peace in my country.”

According to Bank of Uganda statistics, Uganda is currently earning about Shs54.2 billion from exports to South Sudan down from about Shs271 billion the country used to earn from the trade on a monthly basis. This indicates that Uganda’s trade with South Sudan has declined by 80 per cent in the last two months thus exerting pressure on the country’s foreign exchange earnings from exports.

South Sudan is one of Uganda’s most active trading partners after Kenya in the region; it imports mainly food stuffs and manufactured products from Uganda.