BusinessSouth Sudan

South Sudan Blames Conflict for Inability to Export to EAC

By Roger Alfred Yoron

The July fighting in Juba between forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar, find coupled with the current insecurity countrywide, has disrupted South Sudan’s plans to start exporting to the East African Community EAC.

This was revealed by the youngest nation’s Presidential Adviser on Economic Affairs and envoy to the bloc, Aggrey Tisa Sabuni.

Tisa told Chimpreports that South Sudan had plans to start agricultural production in 2016 with the idea that in three years’ time it would be manufacturing and exporting processed goods to the rest of the states in the EAC.

However, he said, in the meantime, there are other commodities which South Sudan can export once it gains stability.

“We have more fish than Uganda now; we will be getting fish out. We have more bulls in Kapoeta and in the interior of South Sudan. Our Gum Arabic is now being smuggled to Sudan,” he observed.

“These are the things that will immediately be harvested and exported as we invest in Agriculture, manufacturing and processing which takes two to three years. There are things that we only harvest and export like Gum Arabic, fish, bulls; we will only need to create the required investment climate.”

The young nation became official member of the block in September this year.


It was admitted by the heads of states of the Community during a summit in March 2016, five years since it applied for membership.

Political analyst and lecturer at the University of Juba, Dr. James Okuk agrees that besides oil, South Sudan has a lot of natural resources that if harvested and exported could generate hard currency to the country.


He however said that without stability in the country, the idea of harvesting and exporting is just speculation.

“Refugees don’t export anything; IDP’s [internally displaced persons] don’t export anything. Now, the majority of the population are affected, either they are refugees or IDP’s,” Okuk told ChimpReports.

“That’s why now the priority should be peace so that the Country goes back to normal, security restored and people start working, and then now you can think of exporting fish, Gum Arabic. You can’t harvest them in a violent environment. With the current war environment, it’s just speculation, it’s impractical, and it doesn’t work.”

Tisa on the other side said some benefits South Sudan currently enjoys as a result of its membership in the bloc include political and diplomatic support to the country and exchange of security information with the region.

“This kind of information exchange is already happening. A lot of our officers are already being trained at Jinja military barracks; others are in Rwanda on ICT. These things are happening but the public does not feel it, they don’t know,” the presidential adviser said.

On his part, senior economics analyst at the Ebony Center for Strategic Studies, Dr. James Alic Garang said security-wise, the impact of joining EAC is a positive one on South Sudan.

“It’s not a negative one. Joining EAC is not the cause of why we are fighting. Also, [the current] inflation is not related to the EAC; it is insecurity brought by war. EAC is not helping with inflation but is also not acerbating,” Alic told this website.

“It remains to be a good political calculation [by South Sudan] and a good attempt to integrate the region. If you are a Country, you join a block to get other mutual benefits such as security, increased markets size, labor mobility across border and feeling of solidarity,” he added.

“These are the benefits even though today South Sudan is not enjoying them to the full because of the conflict.”

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