Central Equatoria State launches State Strategic Plan

Central Equatoria state formally launched the third State Strategic Plan for 2012/13 – 2014/15 on Friday 17 August 2012 at the State Revenue Authority.  This plan details the State Government’s priorities over the next three fiscal years in the areas of governance, economic development, social and human development, and conflict prevention and security.  Mr. George Conway, UNDP Country Director, a.i. emphasized the importance of strategic planning, saying “Planning is a necessary tool for the development of any a nation. Development planning is critical to building sustainable economies, fostering peaceful communities, and protecting the future for the next generation of South Sudan.”

 In late 2011, Central Equatoria state, with support from UNDP and the Government of Canada, began working on this plan, which included collecting and analyzing data as well as conducting consultations with stakeholders to ensure the process was inclusive.  Stakeholders from the six counties identified economic and social development strategies that aim to increase the standard of living through improved basic service delivery.  In addition, this process ensures that State Government planning is coherent with local government plans, as well as the development needs and priorities of the communities.  At the same time the Strategic Plan is aligned with the Central Government’s South Sudan Development Plan. Mr. Conway explained the importance of this harmonized approach, stating “These measures will help to ensure that the Central Government, State Government and Local Governments are working more seamlessly together to address the development challenges of the people and to improve the welfare of the population.”

 The Central Equatoria state plan seeks to address the main development challenges including a poverty rate of 44 percent, low literacy rates and primary school enrolment, slow economic growth, inadequate food production, poor physical infrastructure and widespread insecurity.  Discussion ensued regarding decision-makers needing to prioritise as resources are scarce and not every challenge can be addressed in three years, particularly during the current austerity context. The Honourable Manase Lomole Waya, Deputy Governor of Central Equatoria state, underscored the need for prioritization: “This Strategic Plan is a guiding document not only for the Government but also for those who would like to support the development agenda of this nation. It recognizes the principle of comparative advantage, realizing that it is essential to concentrate efforts on key priority areas, addressed in detail in the document, rather than trying to accomplish everything at once.” 

 The Honourable Jacob Aligo, State Minister of Finance and Economic Development identified the seven priorities that were decided through a collaborative process, stating “Through the consultative process, the following have been identified as the key priority areas for the State to be implemented throughout the duration of the Strategic Plan:

  1. Economic growth strategies in priority sectors, including agriculture, forestry, animal resources and fisheries,
  2. Employment creation;
  3. Physical infrastructure development and service delivery;
  4. Capacity development combined with Public Sector Reform to improve service delivery;
  5. Public financial management, including resource mobilization, planning and budgeting, as well as expenditure management, and anti-corruption;
  6. Building of human capital through basic service delivery in education and health; and
  7. Provision of security through conflict prevention and the strengthening of the Judiciary, aiming at improved rule of law and human rights.” 

 The event concluded with the Honourable Manase Lomole Waya officially launching the plan.

 To view a copy of the Central Equatoria Strategic Plan, please visit the ‘Documents’ section of the Central Equatoria State website www.ss-ces.org