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South Sudan Needs All Citizens with Expertise to Help Build Country, Says Official

Salva Kiir Mayardit, the President of the government of southern Sudan, Feb 8, 2011 (file photo)

An official in what will soon be the government of South Sudan is encouraging citizens in the diaspora who have special expertise to come home and help build the new nation.

Ambassador Emmanuel LoWilla, a policy official in the office of the president, says the government has created the conditions the experts need to succeed.

Soon after signing the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), the government launched an outreach initiative to attract the experts abroad to return home, he said.

“We have always wanted all of our [experts], wherever they are, to come and rebuild the country because nobody can build the country for us other than ourselves,” said LoWilla. “What we can do is to encourage them that they should come back here and join us in the rebuilding of our country.”

Analysts say with little or non-existent infrastructure, South Sudan will need “every help” it can get in its drive to develop it. They say infrastructural development in the south seemed to have been neglected, despite Sudan’s oil wealth.

LoWilla said the administration is holding talks with both local and international business groups to create opportunities for the returning experts.

“We have been encouraging even the non-governmental organizations that are working in South Sudan that they should give priorities to South Sudanese who are qualified to take these jobs,” he said.

“[We] have been able to compile a list of southern Sudanese who were working in the north with their various qualifications and various abilities. This has been handed over to our Ministry of Labor and Public Service and the one of Human Development,” said LoWilla. “Both ministries are looking at possibilities of where the gaps are and where they are needed, whether in the government of South Sudan or even with other states.”

South Sudan will become Africa’s newest nation this Saturday. According to the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), several African heads of state and government have confirmed their participation in the ceremony.

Wednesday U.S. President Barack Obama announced the presidential delegation that will attend on behalf of the United States.