By Majok Lual Magot, Juba, South Sudan
Thursday, April 6, 2023 (Thejubamirror News ) — South Sudan, the world’s newest country, has grappled with numerous issues since its independence in 2011. One of the most pressing concerns is the high number of government positions and its impact on the country’s ability to function effectively.
With war, high levels of corruption, and insecurity, the world still needs to identify an equally critical challenge in this country like a bloated bureaucracy. The Transitional Government of National Unity alone has up to five vice presidents managing five clusters.
These clusters already have individual ministries dedicated to them and boast expenditures of millions of dollars on uniform projects that yield no fruit. While this may seem like a good way to ensure the representation of different regions and ethnic groups, it has led to a lack of clear decision-making and accountability.
According to a recent study, South Sudan has one of the highest ratios of government officials to citizens worldwide. With a population of just over 12 million, the country has over 15,000 government officials. This has led to a bloated bureaucracy that could be more efficient and costly.
Additionally, this high number of government positions means that a significant portion of the national budget is devoted to paying salaries and benefits for officials, limiting resources available for other critical areas such as infrastructure development and social services.
This practice also slows down government work, as too many people are involved in decision-making and too many layers of bureaucracy to navigate.
Another issue with South Sudan’s government structure is the number of irrelevant ministries and overflowing agencies. Many experts argue that there are too many government agencies and departments, many of which are duplicating the work of others.
This leads to confusion and inefficiency and increases expenditure as these agencies require funding and resources to operate. One example is the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, which has been criticised for its lack of impact on the country’s food security situation.
Despite having a budget of over $10 million, the ministry has been unable to address the issue of food insecurity in the country.
Experts suggest several solutions to combat these issues in government. One is to reduce the number of vice presidents and other high-ranking officials in government and review and reorganise government agencies and departments, consolidating or eliminating unnecessary ones.
This would streamline government programs, reduce expenditure, and increase accountability and decision-making. Reports suggest that South Sudan could save a significant amount of taxpayer money if it reduced the number of government positions by 50%.
The government must address these issues to improve the lives of its citizens and ensure sustainable development. Following these recommendations can enhance the country’s ability to recover from the civil war and develop economically and socially.
The author, Majok Lual Magot, is the Secretary-General of SPLM/A -IO’s National Youth League (reformists) and can be reached at +211924445462 / firstname.lastname@example.org.