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South Sudan will get a larger budget but not reforms

Monday, August 19, 2019

Subject

South Sudan's budget and reform outlook.

Significance

Relative to other underdeveloped countries, oil wealth has given South Sudan potential economic advantages. However, an entrenched system of financial patronage and embezzlement has persistently undermined official budget targets. Despite occasional promises, President Salva Kiir’s government has never made a firm priority of development or public financial management reform. It has not even made good on its pledge to allocate 100 million dollars to finance the 2018 peace agreement that nominally ended its five-year civil war.

Impacts

  • Significant public financial management reform will not happen until there is a real change of government, starting with Kiir.
  • Major new oil investments will not materialise, despite some purported plans.
  • External initiatives to improve public financial management will only have marginal impact.
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