Tuesday April 26
Content - but not euphoric
We see and hear very little of euphoria in Juba. Do not get me wrong, no doubt everybody or almost everybody (say 98%) is happy about the creation of a new independent and separate nation, Southern Sudan. They have a new flag, a new national anthem.
Preparations are going on for the big day, July 9, only two months down the road. A big issue is accommodation. Some 4000 people are likely to come in, including a large number of foreign dignitaries. Obviously they cannot all stay the night in Juba, so many will fly in and out the same day. Air space control and lining up all the airplanes on the airport area are just a few but important challenges.
But no euphoria; no banners, no proclamations, no rallying of people to clear the streets or remove all local dumps. In a way understandable, although I would have liked to have the streets cleared any way……
Mozambique - or Rwanda?
The lack of human capacity is obvious in all walks of life. Coming back to taxis; they are driven by non southern Sudanese, filling a gap that was created with the realization of the new situation in Southern Sudan, not least Juba. Previously there were no taxis, thus no need for taxi drivers.
There is a Diaspora to tap, at least theoretically, but they are not willing to come back unless something is done about housing, schools for their children etc. So SS has got to start from bottom and create domestic capacity. That will for quite some time bring in the “old” type of development workers, technical assistants on gap filling duties.
Mozambique at independence was in a similar situation when all the Portuguese left, including ironically all taxi drivers. The turnout of Mozambican’s from the University was a two digit figure.
In some ways the devastated Rwanda had a similar situation. They tried to turn the table by creating a strong vision for the future and an environment that attracted some of the Diaspora.