South Sudan’s vice president James Wani Igga says rampant corruption amid intermittent insecurity is frustrating foreign investment and slowing economic growth.
“There is a need to fight corruption because there is no investor who can go to a country where corruption is prevailing,” Igga told journalists in Juba.
Igga is the country’s Vice President for the Economic Cluster provide in Chapter 1 of the 2018 revitalized peace deal. President Salva Kiir has tasked the cluster to investigate irregularities in revenue collection with the aim of boosting the economy which has been crippled due to years of conflict.
Igga disclosed that the country is yet to guarantee maximum national security to create a conducive environment for investors, adding that implementing the 2018 revitalized peace agreement is also crucial to win investor confidence.
In September 2020, U.N. Investigators warned that the future of South Sudan people is being compromised by deeply entrenched government corruption, adding that looting and pillage of resources are not just offshoots of war, they are the main drivers of the conflict.
“At one end of the spectrum, South Sudan’s political elites are fighting for control of the country’s oil and mineral resources, in the process stealing their people’s future … at the other, the soldiers in this conflict over resources are offered the chance to abduct and rape women in lieu of their salaries,” Yasmin Sooka, the Chairperson of the U.N. Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan said in a report to the UN Security Council.
South Sudan was ranked in the 2019 global corruption index by Transparency International at 179 out of 180 countries.
Oil-dependent South Sudan descended into conflict in December, 2013. Its economy was battered by more than seven years of conflict which affected oil production, its major source of hard currency.
Despite the government and opposition parties signing the 2018 revitalized peace deal in Ethiopia, the economy remains weak due to shortage of hard currency in the reserves of the central bank.