We must restore our dignity, a pride of our liberation movements from 1955-2005

We must restore our dignity, a pride of our liberation movements from 1955-2005

The Government of the SPLM and the opposition led by SPLM IO, are convinced beyond reasonable doubt, that “the leadership’s war is unwinnable by either side.” A fact which brought them to peace table and committed themselves to the R-ARCSS 2018. With outgoing declarations of commitment, the Government and opposition agreed to work together and realise the people’s peace expectations. The IGAD, AU and UN expressed the same. But the Troika (the US, UK and Norway) differed and expressed skepticism, doubting the commitment of the warring parties and possible mismanagement of the peace deal. Troika’s ambivalence, regime change and peace-making contradicted “good-faith” and mediation principles.

For this peace to succeed, the SPLM and SPLM IO must join hands and uphold the fundamental sovereign interests of the Republic of South Sudan. This means that South Sudan should identify true friends if it lacks ones at the moment. There is no shame in international diplomacy where friend “in needs is a friend indeed.”

By this summary, President Salva Kiir was genuine, and not desperate as some care-nothing South Sudanese commented, when he declared and emphasised before the parliament that “I have completely forgiven Dr. Riek Machar and ready to welcome him home.” Kiir wanted Riek and all South Sudanese to take charge of their country’s interests and co-operate with friendly countries and distant the enemies at this stage.

Kiir and Riek went to war against one another and we want them to restore back our lost peace before they retire peacefully enjoying their joined legacy of having liberated the lands they fought for for three quarters of their ages.

I appeal to them and the political leaders who signed the R-ARCSS to work for successful peace. No return to war because South Sudan is nothing now in the eyes of the world, but “a laughing stock.” We must restore our dignity, a pride of our liberation movements from 1955-2005.

Let’s unite over the Revitalised Agreement on Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS)

Let’s unite over the Revitalised Agreement on Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS)

By Aldo Ajou Deng Akuey

Problems facing the Republic of South Sudan today are grossly huge. They range from total insecurity, poor livelihood, absence of essential services, social, political and economic breakdown. Human freedoms and obligations are in complete disharmony. And above all, the amount of destruction inflicted on this fragile country from 2013-2018 is an worldly unprecedented in contrast to Syria, Yemen, Libya, central Africa Republic etc. Alone we are reported to have killed 400,000 citizens, let alone distraction of the fragile infrastructure. Over 4 million left the country. Two million citizens are internally displaced from their homes. And 7 million are dying from lack of food and tropical diseases. These are the problems we have inherited from Khartoum and our own made.

This is the mess our country is in. It is time to acknowledge that this country cannot with stand or sustain more disasters. The sole option is peace, as agreed on 12 September 2018, by the warring parties.

nile explorer south sudan

A man waves South Sudan’s national flag as he attends the Independence Day celebrations in the capital Juba, July 9, 2011. Tens of thousands of South Sudanese danced and cheered as their new country formally declared its independence on Saturday, REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya

Let’s unite over the Revitalised Agreement on Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS) 2018. Let’s relate our problems to the Churches because Christianity is our shared national value. Let’s form the truth and reconciliation commission, supplement it to the National Dialogue and enforce the R-ARCSS’s implementation “letter and spirit” to save our country. Otherwise, let’s celebrate the doomsday before “we are all done by it.”

Africa’s importance on fleet world map destined to grow

Africa’s importance on fleet world map destined to grow

Authored by: Frank Jacobs (Source: GlobalFleet)

Africa is home to 1.2 billion people today, or about 17% of the world’s population. By 2050, the UN estimates there will be 2.5 billion Africans (25% of the global total). By century’s end, there could be 4.5 billion Africans, representing 40% of humanity. Meanwhile, the continent is shaking off its reputation as the place of constant conflict and misery. Governance is improving and the economy is developing fast – in some countries, at least.

Transport infrastructure
All of which points to a future in which Africa will become less of an afterthought in the considerations of global fleet managers. The first step towards better understanding Africa is realising that it is not a single place, but – like Europe, Asia and Africa – a huge continent that defies quick and easy definition.

And one that lacks transcontinental transport infrastructure. For example, there is no single road that cuts conveniently east to west across Africa. If you want to move goods from, say, Kenya to Nigeria, you’d have to go all the way down to South Africa and then up again. That can take six weeks.

When it comes to OEM preferences, there are marked (yet not absolute) regional differences. East Africa is strongly influenced by the Middle East when it comes to the new- and used-vehicle markets. North Africa is under strong European – mainly French – influence, while West Africa demonstrates its relative proximity to the US. South Africa has a more European feel, thanks to a significant manufacturing presence by some European OEMs. Oh, and Toyota is everywhere.

Classic mobility
“There are some 42 million cars on the road in Africa, with vehicle ownership varying considerably between the various regions. In sub-Saharan Africa, it’s just 2%, versus 70% in the US and 50% in Europe”, says Andy Sacha, formerly Global Fleet Manager at Nestlé, now an independent consultant (carfleet.guru), with wide experience in the region.

But that 2 % isn’t evenly spread: if there’s anything that defines Africa, it’s the huge divergence between markets, says Mr Sacha: “There are some developed countries that are similar to Europe, for example, South Africa, Egypt, Morocco and (in the wider Middle East) Israel. And then on the other end, you have extremely undeveloped countries like Mali or Congo.”

“So just by this fact, you can see that fleet and mobility development is very polarised across Africa. Also, when we talk about mobility, this is still the classic mobility: planes, trains and automobiles – plus scooters. None of your fancy mobility cards in Africa! And certainly no EVs, at least not in 99% of the continent.”

Xavier Gonzalez, Global Procurement Manager at British American Tobacco, confirms this view: “Some countries – Morocco, South Africa for example – have a higher level of fleet and mobility maturity, but the average across Africa is very low. In some markets, Algeria for example, access to vehicles is limited. That’s why in this region, we at BAT own our vehicles. Only in the more developed countries, like South Africa, do we lease them.”

Three types
More specifically, Mr Gonzalez sees three types of problems that impact on fleet management across Africa (and the Middle East):

  • “Firstly, lack of OEM availability. There are barely any European or American manufacturers present in Africa; however, there is a significant presence of Asian manufacturers, notably Toyota.”
  • “Secondly, we have to consider Africa’s environmental specifics, such as extreme weather conditions, and roads which can be in very bad repair. This dramatically reduces vehicle choices. We are obliged to choose ‘tropicalised’ vehicles. That in turn impacts on the way the fleet is managed: cars must be tough and mechanically simple, so they can be repaired anywhere.”
  • “And finally, there isn’t an NCAP safety assessment standard in the countries of Africa or the Middle East for that matter. For companies like ours, that operate with global standards, that obliges us to adapt global standards to regional – and even local – requirements.”

Operational leasing
South Africa – and North African countries like Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Egypt – is where international leasing players (either directly or via partnerships) offer ‘classic’ services, such as operational leasing.

South Africa also boasts some strong local players, which are not only able to provide these lease services domestically, but also extend them to other close-by and/or fairly-developed countries, including Namibia, Ghana and Nigeria.

“East Africa is mainly managed through local dealers,” says Mr Sacha. “Some of the larger ones are able to provide financial leasing. However, none of the major leasing companies operate in this area, nor do local banks offer leasing services, and there are no local lease companies. So there are no lease markets in East Africa.”

High-tech avant-garde
And that’s a bit strange. Aren’t East African economies like Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania supposed to Africa’s booming, high-tech avant-garde? The peculiar combination of lack of traditional infrastructure and high penetration of mobile phones has made the region a world-leader in innovative technological solutions, notably for micropayments (agriculture, but also gambling).

“This hasn’t yet translated to fleet, because that’s a high-value investment, and local banks are quite risk-averse and conservative when it comes to lending,” says Mr Sacha. “However, a mobile solution would be ideal for a car-sharing solution like Zipcar, where you rent a car by the hour. The issue would be how to validate the drivers (and their licenses). Plus, road conditions are dreadful – even in major cities like Nairobi or Kampala. Small cars would struggle.”

Bad roads translate into high maintenance costs and ultimately high rental costs. That would put this solution beyond the means of the average user. Instead, places like Nairobi have a well-developed system of informal communal transport, via minibuses and scooters – but also individual solutions like Uber (and local variants).

Middle classes
“I see the need for mobility developing in East Africa, where the urban population is large and the middle classes are growing”, says Mr Sacha. “The question is: will they bypass the car and go straight for mobility solutions, or will they follow the classic approach – a car for everyone – but just much faster?” Not an option: public transport to meet the mobility demands in the major cities. “The governments are too cash-strapped.”

“Fleet maturity is patchy and varies from zero to full maturity – but again, only for classic mobility solutions like operational leasing or vehicle purchase,” adds Mr Sacha. “On the mature side, you have South Africa, Morocco, Algeria, Israel and Egypt; on the immature side, there’s DR Congo, Mali, Rwanda and Liberia, among others. All the others are somewhere in between.”

The road to fleet maturity is often seen through the lens of North America and Western Europe – i.e. those regions that achieved maturity first. But that is not necessarily the road Africa will take. ‘Mature’ schemes using mobility budgets and electric powertrains still seem very far away, even in the more developed African markets. Shared mobility schemes are problematic, considering the high risk of vehicle theft and hijackings.

Historical baggage
“The European model is not necessarily the most suitable for Africa,” according to Mr Sacha. “Africa has the advantage that there is no historical baggage, and their needs are very different from those in the Northern Hemisphere. So ‘African-style’ fleet maturity will be Nigerian or South African, rather than American or European.”

“I don’t see these markets evolve to levels comparable to North America or Europe today – at least not in the next five to 10 years,” Mr Gonzalez opines. “That’s not to say they won’t get there in the end, but we’re talking such a long time that Europe and North America will have moved on from where they are now. Long story short, for the foreseeable future, dealing with Africa will mean dealing with a serious delay in fleet maturity.”

That delay in maturity will remain a challenge, but in the best possible sense: global fleet managers with African responsibilities will have to be innovative and adaptable, as they will face a wide range of complex issues across a region that looks destined to become ever more important as the years go on.

Humanitarian crises
Finally, a view of fleet management in Africa must include the various agencies (UN-based like Unicef or WHO, and others), which operate large vehicle fleets – the ubiquitous ‘white fleet’ – in those African countries suffering from humanitarian crises. The most recent example is Mozambique, which is now recovering from massive floods and other hurricane damage inflicted some weeks ago.

In the case of UN agencies, each emergency activates a well-established fleet supply chain, managed by UNOPS, reallocating vehicles around the continent and from their regional base in the UAE.

Without any local fleet support, they have to single-handedly manage the fleet on the ground, with all its associated logistics requirements for maintenance, fuel, etc.  “This is not something a mobility provider would be able to manage,” says Mr Sacha, “but it shows you the complexity of this region in regards to fleet and mobility and the extent that individual organisations have to go to in order to support their people and fleets in Africa.”

Rapid industrialization is majorly driving the demand for Electronic-Waste (e-Waste) Management Market

Rapid industrialization is majorly driving the demand for Electronic-Waste (e-Waste) Management Market

Source: GlobeNewswire, Yahoo Finance

NEW YORK, May 22, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The global e-waste management market is estimated to reach 65.5 million tons by 2025, while augmenting at a CAGR of 4.4% during the forecast period. Factors attributing to the industry growth include; increasing number of industrial waste, rising disposable income, growing government initiatives, and decreasing life-span of electronic devices. Besides, rapid industrialization and urbanization in emerging economies is expected to generate a significant amount of e-waste. Additionally, growing adoption of electrical as well as electronic devices such as television, smartphones, laptops, refrigerators, and air conditioners among others is further augmenting the market growth. However, high e-waste management cost associated with the recycling is anticipated to impede the market growth over the forecast period.

nile explorer south sudan

Electronic Waste /
Photo by Francesco Paggiaro from Pexels

Electronic waste (e-waste) primarily includes discarded motherboards, computer monitors, headphones, mobile phones, ACs, refrigerators, and among others. Though, rapid growth in technology along with continuous innovations in electronics sector has resulted in the fastest growing waste streams. Moreover, major economies across the globe such as the US, China, Japan, Germany, and India are encountered to produce the highest amount of e-waste in 2017. Although, it is estimated that due to poor extraction techniques, only 20% of the global e-waste have been recycled. Considering the current scenario, many emerging economies are developing an integrated solution to manage the e-waste

Key findings of the report:

  • The global electronic waste (e-waste) management market is estimated to reach 65.5 Million Tons by 2025, while augmenting with a CAGR of 4.4%
  • Based on Type, disposable type e-waste dominated the market in 2018, and is projected to retain its dominance over the forecast period. However, recycled type e-waste is anticipated to exhibit a substantial growth from 2019-2025.
  • Based on material, metal segment is accounted to hold the largest market share in 2018, and is likely to emerge as the fastest growing segment over the forecast period
  • On the basis of end-use, the consumer electronics industry held the major market share in 2018, owing to the decreased prices of consumer electronics along with increasing disposable income. Whereas, the IT & Telecomm industry is likely to augment with the highest CAGR during 2019-2025.
  • Geographically, North America held the major market share in 2018, followed by Europe. However, Asia-Pacific is anticipated to register the highest CAGR during 2019-2025.
  • Key players profiled in the e-waste management market include Electronic Recyclers International, Inc., MRI e-cycle solutions, Sims Recycling Solutions, Inc., Umicore S.A., GreyOrange pte ltd., Ecoreco Ltd., E-Waste Exchange Pvt Ltd., and Desco Electronic Recyclers cc. among others.

Government policy framework poised to augment the market during the forecast period

Technological advancements in consumer electronics is gaining momentum, however it has also resulted in the rising volume of e-waste owing to their short life-span. Many legislations as well as strategies are paving the way to cope with challenges of e-waste management. The incorporation of circular economy in electronics and ICT sector aids in managing e-waste effectively. Additionally, extended producer responsibility (EPR), a baseline policy tool has been introduced in India for e-waste management. As per this policy, it is mandatory for the producers to conduct awareness programs, collect e-waste to reach the targets, and check recycling process. Likewise, Latin America and Middle East & Africa are also supporting and following certain regulations to manage the e-waste.

Browse full research report with TOC on “Global Electronic Waste Management Market Outlook, Trend and Opportunity Analysis, Competitive Insights, Actionable Segmentation & Forecast 2019-2025” at: https://www.energiasmarketresearch.com/global-electronic-waste-management-market-report/

Opinion: Moving forward as a Peaceful Nation

Opinion: Moving forward as a Peaceful Nation

From January 2014, friends of South Sudan and South Sudanese uncomfortably dismissed violence for peaceful resolution of a conflict generated by individual politicians in the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) and few politicized generals in the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA). The rejection of violence and campaign for peace gathered a tremendous momentous impact on the then warring parties: the SPLM, SPLM In Opposition and South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) to accept dialogue, negotiation, and reconciliation. In the process, from 2014 to 2018, the committed Regional Bloc of the Horn of Africa, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), in alliance with African Union (AU), the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and Troika (the US, UK, and Norway), exerted their diplomatic experience and successfully mediated an agreement which seems capable to end “the senseless war” of 15 December 2013. The Revitalized Agreement on Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS), signed on 12 September 2018, is now holding and correctly being implemented by the political parties with support by the IGAD countries and the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).

Now that peace is here, what is the role of the South Sudanese civilians, in terms of critical support of peace, security and upcoming government of national unity?

Yes, we have national roles and obligations as citizens of the Republic of South Sudan. These roles and obligations are of two facets: (a) the protection and services provisions by your country to you as a citizen. (b) And “what you can do for your country.”

What we can do for our country now, for R-ARCSS to succeed, should be focused on the following: (a) commitment to the unity of purpose and necessity; (b) sustain and maintain our obligatory commitment to peace and security; (c) support the political parties in their efforts and endeavors to correctly implement the R-ARCSS in the pledged spirit and letter; (d) remind the upcoming Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) to critically abandon dictatorship, tightened legislation to prevent and fight corruption, theft, and mismanagement; and (e) finally, save-guide the future of system of government (federation) and good governance, liberalism, democracy and the rule of law. Above all, the National Legislature (parliament) and the Judiciary must prevail effectively in the transitional legislation and application of interim justice respectively.

In my opinion, it is time to regret the past (2005-2018) and acknowledge the failure of the state in all fields of customary livelihoods. Worst of all, the culmination of the country’s political, economic and social failure into anarchical violence, chaos, and war, has recorded a historical shame on our country. The humanitarian death and plight shall remain among the top worst in world records. To repair the image of our country, we must accept our mistakes, learn from them and correct them amicably. Such actions can win us a reconsidered recognition worldwide and restoration of our national pride. Let’s bury our differences if any, and reverse back to the long liberation (1955-2005) solidarity which gave us the independence we deserved. Let’s go for the change because the past had messed up, decayed and impossible to retain and maintain.

– Aldo Ajou Deng

SOUTH SUDAN’s REVITALIZED AGREEMENT IS ON HEALTHY START AND HOLDING IT’S GROUNDS

SOUTH SUDAN’s REVITALIZED AGREEMENT IS ON HEALTHY START AND HOLDING IT’S GROUNDS

Fresh civil war erupted in Juba on 15 December 2013, causing heavy civilian casualties. The war spread to other parts of the country as the power struggle within the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) and took a nose dive into the military and the general public. As the war progressed, it took ethnic dimensions pitting the Dinka and Nuer residing largely in Juba. The war was predictable but the magnitude of the violence was unforeseen as it quickly spread from Juba, Bor, Malakal, Akobo, and Bentiu. There were revenge and counter-revenge from both sides of the conflict. Immediately, in January 2014, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) intervened to stop the violence and broker a negotiated peaceful settlement within the context of the conflict. Eventually, and on 12 September 2018, the South Sudanese political parties: the SPLM, SPLM IO and South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA), signed the Revitalized Agreement on Resolutions of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS). These parties to the R-ARCSS have so far shown their commitment to it as compared to the previous peace agreements (ARCSS 2015 in point) which ended up in a brutal violence and total failure.
The focus has now shifted to the implementation of the R-ARCSS. The R-ARCSS has provisions for eight months pre-transition leading to the formation of Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU). The TGoNU shall run for a period of three years under which a new constitution will be made and government structures put in place. There shall be institutional and security sector reforms that will make government small, effective and efficient. Reforms will be directed at the public sector but most importantly putting governance institutions in place. The implementation phase requires all parties to collectively pull in the same direction and ensure the process is carried out to a successful conclusion.

The immediate challenge is hence security. The security challenge is complex to deal with in a period of three years given the history of the liberation struggle within SPLM/A and lack of documentation on liberation cadres within the formal and informal military ranks. The process of creating a new South Sudan Defense Forces and the criteria of inclusion and exclusion is a negotiated agenda. It also carries with it political risks of more violence from those who might not be accommodated within the new People’s Defense Forces (PDF). Thus, security sector reforms must encompass vocational training and recruitment of cadres in other security agencies such as police, wildlife, prisons, and national security among others. Security sectors reforms also have both lateral and horizontal implications since the number of generals shall be drastically reduced and redeployment and training of others in military academies to take new roles within the restructured South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF). The success of security sector reforms shall equally guarantee success in other sectors and state institutions.

Security sector reforms remain the most controversial and basic source of ensuring peace in South Sudan. The six national security services (SPLA, South Sudan National Police, National security intelligence, South Sudan National Prison, National Wildlife, and Fire Brigade) have to be restructured, reformed and professionalized. Above all, they have to be put under government administration for accountability and strict monitoring and supervision. In the past, the central focus has been the reconstruction and undertaking of security reforms solely focusing on SPLA instead of whole security sector reforms. Whereas there have been policy documents of security sector reforms such as the transformation program (2012-2017), very little has been achieved. Security agencies are largely a reflection and damping ground of SPLA and its affiliated militias. The starting point would be a comprehensive undertaking or review of the security sector to determine force strength, capacity, skills and competencies and then right size through alignment with resources and in a manner that takes into consideration emerging security threats in South Sudan and globally. The specific objective of undertaking sector reforms is to professionalize the six security agencies while making them independent of the executive and SPLA. Most importantly is to place them under civilian control. Finally, the general objective would be to strengthen civilian oversight role internally and externally. The security sector should be undertaken also as part of greater institutional reforms.

South Sudan faces serious humanitarian crises in diverse forms- Internally displaced persons, refugees, and over seven million facing starvation across the country. There are those physically challenged, injured, traumatized, and civilian deaths with attendants effects socially manifested in IDP camps where direct and indirect effects of the war are widespread and notable. The humanitarian tasks involve high social movement and mass resettlement of people. More often than not, diseases such as measles, cholera, and meningitis take the heavy toll on women and children in a distressful environment and conditions. What is more, it requires huge international support from humanitarian agencies to resettle refugees and internally displaced persons even as the state seeks a lasting solution to the problem largely associated with war and legacy of war.
The revamping of the economy is equally important if not the most important variable in realizing and implementing the peace process. Besides the oil economy that contributes to 98% of national revenue, other sectors of the economy have been neglected. Agriculture, animal husbandry, minerals, and tourism have the potential to transform the economy and create jobs for the youth. It is worth noting high youth unemployment and security implications, especially when coupled with high inflation and low productivity. Indeed, the revitalized peace agreement placed more emphasis on sharing oil resources and revamping the oil infrastructure at the expense of diversification of the economy and food security. Prudent management of oil resources and diversification of the economy would generate revenue that might transform sectors such as health, education, delivery of social services and infrastructure to link the country both horizontally and vertically.

The success of the peace agreement would depend also on the caliber of the constitution negotiated within the transitional period of three years. The constitution requires taking into consideration a federal system of government and control of resources by devolved units to allow the central government to concentrate on foreign policy, defense national security. The aim would be to introduce many centers of power and control of resources placed at the hands of the local populace. What is important however is not to weaken the state but allow the state to play its traditional role.

Finally, peace is expensive and require support beyond national borders. The peace agreement would need the support of the whole world and especially countries with significant investments and other interests in South Sudan. The primary focus should remain the interests of South Sudanese to realize and reap peace dividends.

By Aldo Ajou Deng Akuey