News / Africa

US Ambassador Says South Sudan Faces Challenges, Opportunities

US Ambassador to South Sudan Susan Page (AP file photo)US Ambassador to South Sudan Susan Page (AP file photo)
x
US Ambassador to South Sudan Susan Page (AP file photo)
US Ambassador to South Sudan Susan Page (AP file photo)
John Tanza
[Editor's note: This story updates and corrects errors in an earlier version.]

The United States Ambassador to South Sudan, Susan Page, said her government is working to create economic opportunities for youth in South Sudan, while at the same time encouraging the new country to diversify its economy, allow press and media freedoms and actively promote good governance.  Ambassador Page also said South Sudan’s future depends on the outcome of ongoing peace talks with Sudan in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

“The country has a lot of potential," she said. "Of course we see the conflicts in various states that are going on between ethnic groups, between rebel militia groups, but we still believe in the potential of this country. We always knew this was going to be a long-term program."

Page pointed out countries don’t become independent overnight and suddenly become a model of democracy, human rights and good governance. She said the U.S. is focused on helping South Sudan create economic opportunities, especially for young people.

“Over 70 percent of the population is under 30 years old. There are really big opportunities but there are also huge challenges to find appropriate work and opportunities for the youth, [such as] education, [and] promoting a new, constitutional development process," said the ambassador.

She said South Sudan got through the initial year of independence, and now the U.S. can help South Sudan diversify its economy, expand press and media freedoms, and promote good governance.

Recently, South Sudan was faced with an alleged government corruption scandal involving billions of dollars. Page disputed the notion that the U.S. is not challenging South Sudan on living up to its stated goals of good governance.

“We don’t have to do it through lots and lots of public speeches," she said. We published our human rights report, the first since South Sudan had become an independent state. There were a lot of public comments from ministers who were not terribly happy about our report.”

Page said the U.S. would like to see accountability, adding that when people are arrested, they should be brought up on charges, tried in a fair process, and punished accordingly.

There's no doubt the economic situation in South Sudan is precarious, Page said, noting that the issue has been addressed by the U.S. government and other donors, including the United Kingdom, the European Union, Norway, and the African Union.
 
South Sudan and Sudan recently reached a tentative agreement on oil transport fees that is expected to end a standoff between the two countries.  The months-long dispute led to the shutdown of oil production in South Sudan and caused economic turmoil in both countries this year.

Page said after the recent oil deal was reached, donors renewed their pledges to help South Sudan. She noted that, even with the pending oil transfer agreement, it will take several months before oil resumes flowing, and revenue begins to reach government accounts again.

Listen to John Tanza's interview with the U.S. Ambassador to South Sudan
Llisten to John Tanza interview Ambassador Pagei
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

You May Like

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid