Machar urges South Sudanese academia to assist government in new state building
February 22, 2011 (JUBA) – The Vice President of the emerging independent state of South Sudan has called upon professors and lecturers of various universities in the region to use their acquired knowledge and assist the government in the daunting task of building the new independent state on a solid foundation.
Riek Machar (GoSS)
The people of Southern Sudan voted overwhelmingly for secession from the north Sudan in the internationally monitored referendum in January, paving the way for official declaration of full independence on 9 July 2011, in accordance with the provisions of the 2005 peace deal between north and South Sudan.
Riek Machar, who delivered the message on Tuesday during a founding conference of ‘South Sudan Academics Forum for Development’ attended by professors and lecturers from universities across the region, informed the academics that the government has identified about 60 objectives to achieve in the process of new state building.
He called on them to apply their expertise and carry out researches that can be supported by the government in finding solutions to the challenges ahead in various sectors.
Machar said one of the pressing issues to tackle in the new state building is to develop a strategy that will create a strong sense of national identity, as a primary identity among the people of South Sudan, rather than tribal identity.
South Sudan celebrates its ethnic diversity and various cultural heritages, he said, but that these should be secondary.
The Vice President also stressed the need to establish research institutions and develop a high quality school curriculum in the emerging independent state. He revealed that 60% of the current employees in Southern Sudan have no skills.
On governance, Machar told the academics that it was important to encourage inclusive political processes, advising that the approach was important for a successful governance system in state building, in order to manage the transition to statehood.
He expressed his preference for maintaining the presidential system of governance and opposed the parliamentary system. He argued that in the future, governance ministers in the executive would not be allowed to serve as parliamentarians.
A president is elected to translate and implement the program of his or her political party in the government through appointed competent members of the executive, he said, adding that the implementing ministers in the executive should therefore draw their powers from the president and not from parliament as may be the case in the parliamentary system of governance.
He also expressed his support to presidential term limits, no matter how brilliant the person in power is, saying it was important to retain the opportunity for the renewal of ideas.
Earlier, the academia expressed concern over their non-participation in the processes being undertaken by the government.
Machar told the assembled of the need for their participation in the Southern Sudan 2011 Taskforce, especially on issues that needed scientific research in order to guide the decision making processes of the government.
He said the government plans to establish a Strategic Planning Council that will incorporate academics from various specialisations, to serve as think-tank for the new state.
Article source: http://www.sudantribune.com/Machar-urges-South-Sudanese,38075