President Kiir urged to address economic crisis     

President Kiir urged to address economic crisis     
CEPO’s Edmund Yakani in a recent press conference. [File photo]

Kicker: President Salva Kiir is expected to officially open parliament that resumes after almost four months of recess. The head of state has been challenged to seize the opportunity and address the cost of living and a depreciating pound.

A civil society organization is calling on President Slava Kiir to address the deteriorating economic crisis in the country.

Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO) said that they expect the president’s speech today, when he opens parliament, to dwell on issues affecting normal citizens.

“I wish President Kiir should address the growing and increasing pressure of the economic situation, which leads to the suffering of the people in the country,” Edmund Yakani, CEPO executive director, said.

Edmund said the president should give a clear directive on a depreciating currency that continues to deepen against the dollar and other major currencies.

The pound is heading to a record low of 1,000 per every unit of 100 US dollars.

As a result, the prices of basic commodities have shot up, leaving citizens with little in their pockets.

“The high rates of dollars were imposed by some institutions, which contributed toward the suffering of the common people of South Sudan. There is a need for the government to reduce the dollar rates,” he said.

CEPO said most families are struggling to put food on the table due to the increasing dollar.  A weaker pound means local importers, who buy in dollars, spend more on the importation, thus transferring the cost to the end consumer.

According to Yakani, President Kiir should form a committee to assess the economic situation and advise on how to save the local currency.

Yakani further called on the president to crack down on those controlling the black market, leading to a weak pound.

The economy continues to deteriorate despite a number of policies and measures, including the restriction on the use of dollars in local transactions by the central bank, and the pumping of hard currency into the markets to contain the high cost of living that hits some households and business sectors in the country.

Last week, the Central Bank of South Sudan issued a daily auction of 5 million US dollars to forex bureaus and commercial banks in the markets to reduce the economy in the country.