South Sudan: The Economics of Stability in South Sudan

(Page 2 of 3)

opinion

Because there is no other way to export the oil except through the Sudan controlled oil pipeline, South Sudan's revenue is effectively controlled by Sudan.

Clearly this creates an incentive for opposition forces to first secure the oil fields as they are working to do and then strike a deal with Khartoum, before conceding control in any peace negotiations.

In the meantime, a hungry population and years of unmet expectations have put enormous pressure on South Sudan's first independent government to deliver so-called "peace dividends" and to deliver them fast.

These dividends are costly partly because South Sudan is a vast country with almost no tarred roads and few services. Of the handful of functioning schools, clinics and hospitals, the majority are run by South Sudan's humanitarian community, itself anxious to see the new government take-over.

Furthermore, fears of a demobilised military coming home to no jobs makes it imperative the government maintains its expensive security apparatus currently absorbing over a quarter of stated government expenditure.

Civil servant recruitment and salaries are on the rise and currently constitute more than half of government budget leaving little money for delivery.

If anything, the first two years of independence have only managed to convince South Sudan's leadership how difficult it is to meaningfully deliver services within any particular election cycle.

It is abundantly clear to even the casual observer that promising and delivering better services is an unlikely path to securing power simply because it is so difficult to meet the population's expectations in South Sudan.

Accordingly, the promise of a democratic system that grants power in return for service delivery appears hollow to many power brokers in South Sudan.

These dynamics shape the raw economics of decision making in South Sudan. When combined with low life expectancies, risks of continued internal and cross-border conflicts, a politics dominated by ethnicity and tribalism, worrying signs of baked in corruption and nepotism, a stark and dangerous incentive structure emerges.

Ads by Google

Copyright © 2014 The South African Civil Society Information Service. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.