I arrived in Juba, South Sudan a few days ago. I came upon the invitation of the Government and I have spent some time talking to various officials and stakeholders. I have also spent some time talking to ordinary people on the streets. It has been fascinating!
Since the beginning of 2021, I have been putting more time on my advisory efforts: trying to work with governments and multinationals to navigate the complex paths of development and investments. I am not an expert but the fact is that I do have some experience. I have made a number of mistakes and I think folks can learn from those mistakes. I continue to argue that you don’t have to make the same mistakes especially when those made those mistakes are willing to share with their experiences with you – for a fee though. It can be more expensive when you decide to make your own mistakes.
For the newest African Republic, I believe that they should not have to make the same mistakes that other countries made: they can leapfrog into development if they chose the path less travelled. Orthodoxy won’t get them there.
I see that South Sudan has a lot of potential and holds great promise. But the few days I have spent here also show me that the challenges are enormous, daunting, and complex. Unless the Government and People of South Sudan thread very carefully, they might remain an under-developed country for a long time. But they chose the path of learning from the mistakes of others and I think they will get ahead faster. I don’t think time is on their side. They must act now and act fast.
My advice to them is: don’t do things the same way other countries have done it because you will get the same results.
If South Sudan wants to move forward faster, the political leadership must make some tough, unorthodox decisions. A lot of people will not like the decisions but after the results are shown, they will come to appreciate it.
My advice, if you ask me is DON’T LISTEN TO THEM. There is no where in the literature that shows that they have helped any country. It is time to tell them, thanks but no thanks and move forward.
Here is my argument: moving with THEM will lead you nowhere. If you move without THEM and get nowhere, you have lost nothing. But moving without THEM holds the possibility that you could get there faster.