South Sudan embarks on digitization to ‘catch up with the world’

South Sudan embarks on digitization to ‘catch up with the world’
Joseph Bangasi Bakasoro, Minister for Public Service (photo credit: courtesy)

The government of South Sudan has vowed to embark on digitization of its system to ease operations.

This came up during a workshop on the digitization of South Sudan held on Tuesday at Palm Africa Hotel.

Speaking during the opening of the workshop on Digital Government Strategy organized by the government and the European Union, the Minister for Public Service Joseph Bangasi Bakasoro, said the workshop would be a roadmap geared towards viable developmental strategies in South Sudan.

“It is important for South Sudanese to begin moving forward. This workshop is key to bringing us on board with the rest of the world to move together,” Bakasoro stressed.

He added that the digitalization of the key government institutions would bring about accountability.

 “Most of the institutions especially the Ministry of Public service should be digitalized, NRA should be digitalized, ministry of information, ministry of trade and many more. In the ministry of public service, they have a lot of challenges, and if we do not t digitalize our system; we shall not curb any anomaly in South Sudan,” he reiterated.

He pointed out that government payroll was still clogged by ghost workers and deceased persons- a problem that should be weeded out upon digitalization. According to Bakosoro, the drive is to bridge the digital divide between South Sudan and the world.

“Let us move together, whether we are 100 years behind and others are 200 years ahead; we can catch up somewhere as long as we have that political will to move the country forward. So, for the technocrats in different institutions who are here, the government will send you to make sure you begin from somewhere,” he said.

He added that the government was ready with the program to ensure that the country had embarked on tangible reforms.

“You know Rwanda is ahead of us; very far away ahead of us. Uganda is also trying and Kenya is already ahead. So, we the neighbors should not also remain behind; let us move. We request the European Union and other donors to support this program so that also they can change our mindset. Change must come whether we like it or not, change must come,” he said.

He lauded the National Revenue Authority (NRA) for robust improvement in its activities citing the greater increment in the revenue collection this year in contrast to the last year’s collection.

“They are trying to close those windows, broken tiles, doors, even roofs where money exits without entering. That is the beginning of the digitalization of the system. We must applaud them for that. And we must move, we might not be very fast not to do it all at a time but a long journey starts with one step,” he said.

He encouraged the citizens to come up with strategies which—with the help of the European Union— would lead to the digitalization of South Sudan.

He also appealed to the partners and the donors to work together with the South Sudanese government with perseverance and cooperation.