The government of South Sudan and its partner Trade Mark East Africa Thursday launched the first National Oversight Committee (NOC) to oversee their trade and customs development program a sign of their commitment to improve trade growth and Competitiveness.
Salvator Garang Mabiordit first Undersecretary in the National Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning explained that the committee comprises of the Undersecretaries in the Ministry of Finance and Customs, Director Generals of Customs, Bureau of Standard, Secretary General of Chamber of Commerce and other stake holders. He said donors and Partners like DFID and Trade Mark East Africa are among others making the composition.
‘’Today is a good day for us. We were having a meeting with Trade Mark East Africa to inaugurate the national oversight committee in order to facilitate the business with our non oil intuitions like Customs, Bureau of Standard, Commerce and other institutions which are really dealing well with non oil goods at least to elevate us from dependency on the oil and also to let the public know that Trade Mark East Africa is here in South Sudan,’’ the undersecretary said. ‘’We hope the coming of Trade Mark East Africa to South Sudan will improve our institutions like Customs, Bureau of Standards, Commerce and also other related non oil revenue generating institutions. We also hope DFID will try to sponsor some of our training programs in order to catch up with the modern world.’’
Mabiordit said South Sudan is an Island which needs to be connected to the outside world by experienced organizations like TMEA that will offer training to the staff and share their knowledge with the world stressing that being landlocked is bad looking at South Sudan difficulties in transport calling for improved system to meet international standards.
‘’The TMEA South Sudan program is providing technical assistance and financial support worth US$24 million to GOSS. The objective of the program is to support government and international community’s effort in fast tracking movement of humanitarian goods as well as increasing transparency and accountability in the collection of non-oil revenues and reducing cost of doing trade. The program further envisages supporting the South Sudan government desire to become a member of regional bodies such as the EAC. The program is financed by the Government of the United Kingdom and TMEA regional resources.’’ Reads statement this blog obtained.
“The UK wants to see South Sudan that is peaceful, that is democratic and is prosperous and improving the government ability to collect non oil revenue is key part of that in bringing economic diversification, economic stability to this country. It is the kind of thing that the people of South Sudan want and they deserve,’’ the British deputy Ambassador to South Sudan Jon Dean said. “The UK greatly values the Trade Mark East Africa (TMEA) program and its work in Customs Development and Trade Facilitation.’’
Dean added that strengthening the revenue generation capacity of the Government of the Republic of South Sudan (GRSS) will remain a core part of our wider efforts to enhance public financial management in South Sudan.
The Ambassador pointed the safeguarding of transparency and accountability in the management of these revenues as one thing to ensure that South Sudanese people benefit from these initiatives.
He said the UK government has unveiled 7 million sterling pounds hoping that all South Sudanese people benefit from the money and ensure that critical humanitarian aid is able to get to the people who needed most.
“Partnership with government and its implementing agencies has been successful in delivering tangible results while ensuring national ownership. We welcome the GOSS’s commitment to embracing this approach and together with our partners here we are very confident we can contribute to the development agenda here in South Sudan.” Trade Mark East Africa CEO Frank Matseart said.
TMEA is supporting similar projects in the East Africa region especially along the northern corridor and they directly and positively impact on South Sudan. Such projects include: the port of Mombasa improvement project and the one stop border posts along the northern corridor that are aimed at reducing the time and cost of trade including goods transiting to South Sudan and other EAC countries.
He said South Sudan, at the tail of the Northern corridor, will be benefiting from corridor efficiency improvements and specific projects aimed at complementing the process including construction of efficient NIMULE one stop border posts and the customs development projects. It is anticipated that these projects will reduce the time to clear cargo in one direction from 4 days to 2 by the end of 2016.
‘’The second area that we are really working on is to try to bring the custom service here in South Sudan to world class.’’ Matseart said. ‘’Linking the Country with the rest of the world is really important also to work on standards so that the goods can come through. You are not going to face consumer counterfeit goods or spoiled goods. You need to get the best for your people so we are going to do a lot of work for the standard Bureau.’’
The CEO added they will be working to support the private sector and civil society to link to regional Markets particularly at a time the country is at critical situation facing challenges in clearance of commodities entering the country saying that in the long run the program will provide jobs to the South Sudanese.
The programs comes at a time when South Sudan government is trying to restructure clearing agents working in non oil revenue collections in the country from the Nimule Border post with Uganda.