JOINT PRESS RELEASE - Japan and UNDP Witness Inauguration of South Sudan’s First-ever State Revenue Authority in Aweil

May 26, 2017

Aweil State Acting Governor, James Wieu Mayuol, along with Japanese Ambassador to South Sudan, H.E. Kiya Masahiko, and UNDP Senior Advisor, Biplove Choudhary, inaugurate Aweil State Revenue Authority.

Aweil State Governor a.i., Hon.James Wieu Mayuol, along with the Japanese Ambassador to South Sudan, H.E. Kiya Masahiko, and UNDP Senior Advisor on Human Development and Inclusive Growth, Biplove Chaudhary, officially inaugurated Aweil State Revenue Authority as the first-ever state revenue authority to be founded in South Sudan.

The Government of Japan and UNDP have teamed up to help Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning rescue the crippled economic situation in South Sudan with and to raise non-oil revenues. The two partners have so far provided training on transparent public accounts management to State Legislative Assembly members, facilitated establishment of a unified tax system in Jubek, Aweil, and Yambio States. This March, Aweil State Legislative Assembly became the first state to sign the harmonized State Revenue Authority bill into law, constituted a Revenue Authority Board, and appointed a new commissioner to administrate the body.

 “The launch of the Aweil State Revenue Authority is a major milestone and an advance on the commitment and political will of state governments to establish a transparent, accountable and efficient revenue generation system which will enable the state government to provide social services to the vulnerable people,” said Hon. James Wieu Mayuol, Aweil Acting Governor, during the launch.

 “A robust non-oil revenue tax collection system, will enable the government to mitigate the impact of financial austerity induced by inadequate budgetary allocations from the central government on account of sharp fall in oil revenue receipts and continued volatility in the international oil market,” said Garang Majak Bol, State Minister of Finance.

The Japanese Ambassador to South Sudan, Kiya Masahiko, expressed hope during the event. “Witnessing the establishment of the first-ever South Sudanese local revenue authority makes us proud of our $1.2 million contribution. The Revenue Authority inauguration is a testament to the resolve and political will of the South Sudanese authorities to seriously leverage the economic situation to expand social service. Japan looks forward to seeing how other states advance on the Revenue Authority establishment and finance necessary social service to whom they serve.”

Mr. Biplove Choudhary, UNDP Senior Advisor, emphasized the importance of the support from Japan. “I would like to compliment the Governor and the Ministry of Finance for taking this historic step and taking a concrete step towards provision of essential services to the vulnerable people of Aweil and thank the Government of Japan for its steadfast support to the project.”

According to the World Bank, the economy of South Sudan is one of the world’s most underdeveloped and the most oil-dependent. UNDP has been supporting the state government to build a sustainable and transparent non-oil revenue system since 2015 with funding from the Government of Japan since 2016. This pilot program has a roadmap to be replicated in other states in the future.

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