First-ever “Made in South Sudan’’ Exhibition Held to Showcase Local Products and IndustryJun 12, 2017
A five-day trade exhibition showcasing locally-made products and businesses, dubbed “Made in South Sudan”, was held June 6-10, 2017 under the theme “Together Promoting South Sudan Business and Industrial Development.”
The exhibition was organized by the Ministry of Trade and Industry, in partnership with private sector actors and the United Nations Development Programme.
On behalf of the President of the Republic of South Sudan H.E. Salva Kiir Mayardit, Presidential Advisor on Agriculture and Food Security Hon. Dr. Ann Itto inaugurated the “Made in South Sudan” exhibition on its first day at Nyakuron Cultural Center in Juba.
In her keynote address, Dr. Ann congratulated the business community in South Sudan, especially the exhibitors for organizing and participating in the exhibition, considered an integral step to developing a more robust business sector in South Sudan.
“It is very important for young countries like ourselves to take pride and celebrate tiny little things we do right, even if they come from our humble backyards, because it is only when recognizing these little achievements that we get the energy to move forward,” said Dr. Ann.
She further stated that South Sudan is a land of opportunities, endowed with vast resources such as water, fisheries, forests, wildlife and minerals, but a key challenge is “how to add value and convert these resources into goods which can then be consumed or exchanged for hard currency in the regional and international markets.”
The Minister for Trade and Industry Hon. Dr. Moses H.A. Tiel explained that the exhibition offers an avenue to showcase products manufactured in South Sudan and highlight existing opportunities in business and industry sectors; provide a platform for sharing and exchange of experience, information and ideas among manufacturers; and to create an enabling environment for interactions and discussions between private and public sectors to deliberate on critical issues affecting business and industry in South Sudan.
The Chairperson of the Manufacturers’ Association Mr. Innocent Tukwasibwa highlighted challenges faced by businesses and manufacturers in South Sudan. He said the biggest challenges are lack of hard currency to import raw materials, power shortages, external competition, high tax rates and lack of land for investment.
Meanwhile, UNDP Country Director Dr. Kamil Kamaluddeen stated that South Sudan can prosper when everlasting peace prevails. He said the country cannot depend on oil forever, adding that the private sector is the engine of development. He reiterated UNDP commitment to support local, small and medium size enterprises through training, advice, and support to policy initiatives and ideas.
“The exhibition today is about ideas that have come to light - that is how countries grow, that is how prosperity comes. No country benefits when it’s perpetually in crisis. Any country benefits when it continuously pursues options and opportunities in the private sector. The private sector is the engine of growth and it should not be different for South Sudan,” said Dr. Kamaluddeen.
The exhibition drew participation of more than sixty business enterprises in South Sudan. Attendees included Presidential Advisor for Economic Affairs Hon. Aggrey Tisa; Minister of Information, Communication and Postal Services Hon. Michael Makuei Lueth; Minister of Roads and Bridges Hon. Rebecca Joshua Okwachi; Minister of Higher Education Hon. Yien Oral Lam Tut; and Deputy Minister of Labour and Public Service Hon. David Yau Yau. Development partners and members of the diplomatic corps to South Sudan were also present.