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Central Bank’s Governor scoops award in London

Central Bank’s Governor scoops award in London

By Larco Lomayat

London, UK, July 12, 2023 — Central Bank’s governor scooped an award in London for his ideal and innovative leadership of the institute BoSS on Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Hon. Johnny Ohisa Damian was named by the African Leadership Magazine as one of the top 25 African Finance Leaders in the year 2023. “This is in recognition of his leadership and innovative policies that have helped in stabilizing the national economy of South Sudan.”

Damian was formally decorated with the instruments of honor during the African Business Leadership Awards (ABLA) presentation ceremony- a component of the 8th Edition of ALM Africa Summit in London, United Kingdom, and he received an award as governor of the year.

The event brought together Policymakers, private sector leaders, civil society leaders, amongst others from across Europe, the US, and Africa to discuss issues bothering promotion of African trade and investments, globally.

Some of the speakers attending the event in London included Baroness Sandy Verma, member of the UK House of Lords; Lord Dollar Popat, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, His Royal Majesty, Ogiame Atuwatse the 3rd Olu of Warri Kingdom, Nigeria who also invests in gas and oil industry, amongst other political and policy leaders from across Africa, Europe, and the United States of America.

In his remarks during the ceremony, BoSS governor Damian congratulated South Sudan for the 12th Independence Day on July 9th. “This is a wonderful experience, he said.” “As the youngest country, we had a successful investment conference in 2013, where we got over 40 billion dollars commitment, unfortunately in December,

war erupted in South Sudan, all the investments disappeared. “Again in 2016, we went into conflict.

In 2018, the peace agreement was signed, and up to now the peace is holding and we are preparing for elections next year, this is a turning point for us.”

He said the size of South Sudan is about 644, 329 square kilometres, 90% of land is arable for agriculture, if we had engaged in agriculture, I am sure by now we would be feeding the whole of Africa and we are going to do it.

“We are 12 million people, the country relies on oil export, and we are the third largest sub-Sahara country in Africa after Nigeria and Angola in oil production, still a lot of investments need to be done. Currently we are producing about 150 to 170 thousand barrels per day. We have got about 3.5 billion reserved that needs to be tapped.”

Even the changes that are happening in the world, countries are now moving out of facet fuel. The governor noted, “We need to do that as quickly as possible to ensure that we catch up with the other countries. We have a huge potential because the Nile passes through our country. We don’t use it for agriculture. We need to put that in use, and this can only be done through foreign direct investment.” He added If South Sudan starts practicing that now, “we will be able to put water into proper use.”

“South Sudan has potential hydro, and geothermal powers that need to be exploited. As a region, I think, Ethiopia is working on the renaissance dam, Uganda is working on the hydro power also, is it not better for us to unite as East Africa Region to start getting use of them?”.

In sports, the governor continued, South Sudan has just qualified for the Basketball World Cup for the first time in history and in our first trial, that is a biggest and great achievement not only for South Sudan but for the entire Africa, “we hope we win the world cup.”

As I said earlier, there is abundance of water resources, and fisheries are also available to be tapped. Coming to tourism, “I think what is known worldwide is about the migration of animals between Kenya, Tanzania to Sarangani, but we have, I think the biggest migration of white eared cob, because it is only available in South Sudan and has been proven by the national geographic, that is also an area we need to invest in.”

There are agreements signed with Ethiopia and Uganda for South Sudan to start importing electricity from Ethiopia and Uganda.

The BoSS governor underscored that South Sudan is very much serious on implementing the peace agreement and really wants to ensure that investment takes centerstage.

He noted that elections of next year will be free and fair. The President has expressed in his Independence Day’s speech that South Sudan needs peace urgently to open ways for foreign direct investment to come into the country. “I know there is a lot of challenges, but we must work hard as Africans, we start with our own. We need to see Ethiopia joining East African Community to make it formidable negotiating block in the whole region.”

Within the region, “we are members of the East African Community, which has approximately 400 million people. With the joining of Congo, it has given us a bargaining power to ensure that when we talk to investors outside, we talk as a region instead of talking as countries or individuals.”

He noted, this is just a brief update on South Sudan, which is ready for investments, “we hope next year, we will be talking something different.”

“The award recognition is really something that has taken us by surprise, not only me but also the whole country. This award comes right after we celebrated our independence anniversary.”

What could be more important than to be recognized by the prestigious organization “The African Leadership Organization”. To me this is a very big achievement for the country given the fact that I have just been there a year as a governor. “The minister of Finance is also in office little over a year. We have had the support of our president and the government to ensure that we make the country ready for investment,” he added.

“I thank the African Leadership Organization for recognizing us. This is an achievement that we did as Bank of South Sudan and together with the Minister of Finance, we have worked closely to ensure the reforms are done.”’ “’We ensure that South Sudan’s laws are investment friendly,” he added.

Hon. Johnny Ohisa Damain was joined at the colorful event by South Sudan Ambassador to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland based in London, Agnes Adlino Orifa Oswaha.

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