MPs pass law renaming the South Sudanese unit currency
The National Parliament passed the Bank of South Sudan Act 2011, Amendment Bill 2023, changing the name of the country’s currency unit from “South Sudanese Pounds” to “South Sudan Pound”.
The Bank of South Sudan Act 2011 has been amended to conform to the Revitalized Agreement on Conflict Resolution in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS) and Article 182 of South Sudan’s Transitional Constitution.
While most South Sudanese refer to the bank as “The Central Bank of South Sudan”, the bank now changes its identity to “The Bank of South Sudan.”
Chairperson of the Standing Specialized Committee on Finance and Economic Planning, Changkuoth Bichiock, told the August House about the changes made in the amended act while presenting the joint report on Finance and Economic Planning, Legislation and Justice, and the Public Accounts of the Bank of South Sudan.
He pointed out that the committee made all of the changes in the document throughout the second reading.
“We distributed this document, and everyone has it and all the chapters, the deleted and whatever is done, is in this document,” he said.
“In section 46, this “Sudanese” is deleted throughout the bill, and we replaced it with the word “Sudan,” he continued. “As a result, the pound will be known as the “South Sudan Pound” rather than the “South Sudanese Pound”.
During the debate, some Members of Parliament expressed worries about the issue of currency naming, questioning why the committee deleted word “Sudanese” despite the fact that the country does not own the resources but its people do own the resources.
According to Charles Majak, an MP from Warrap State, the currency ought to have continued to be named “South Sudanese Pound”.
“Why would you delete Sudanese and replace it with Sudan, i.e. South Sudan?” Before the bill was passed, Majak claimed that South Sudan did not own the resources.
“It is the people who own the resources, and they are living within an international border in a place called a country identified as South Sudan,” he argued.
Majak continued, “My question now for argument given that I have put my justification is to the chair to clarify for me and to convince even the house, why did you cancel Sudanese?”
Adis-Ababa Othou, Deputy Governor of the Bank of South Sudan, explained that the new currency-trading name was adopted from the region like Kenya and Uganda.
“The practice in the region when it comes to currency is to name the currency to the country.”
“Thus, in Kenya, the unit of currency shall be known as Kenya shillings. It is not in Kenyan shillings,” he said.
The August House also passed the Banking and Other Financial Institutions (Amendment) Bill 2023.
According to the roadmap for implementing Chapter Four of the Revitalized Agreement on Conflict Resolution in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS), the transitional parliament ought to decide the name of the Bank of South Sudan.
The office of the president is also responsible for ensuring the BoSS’s mandatory oversight independence, leadership, and membership along with the appointment of the board.
The Ministry of Finance and Planning has been charged with examining and carrying out the roadmap’s strategic goals for economic growth.