South Sudan’s Mining Policy and Resource Curse
Author: Nhial Tiitmamer
Organization: The Sudd Institute
Type: Policy Briefs
This policy brief analyzes the newly proposed South Sudanese mining sector policy using Botswana’s mining policies as standard reference and with examples drawn from a number of expert literature in extractive resources. Most resource-rich developing countries suffer poverty, political instability, civil wars, corruption, low life expectancy, high illiteracy, and high infant and maternal mortality rates, conditions experts consider as resource curse. Some of these problems are widespread in South Sudan. Therefore, this analysis suggests a mining policy that minimizes these conditions. Resource curse is a function of bad governance and unsound policies, with good governance and sound policies considered a solution.
South Sudan's proposed mining policy lacks best practices, such as resources funds, expenditure smoothing strategy, and investment in infrastructure, education, health and social welfare services. We argue in favor of the creation of a strong system of good governance, transparency & accountability (particularly EITI implementation), expenditure – smoothing strategy to control the negative impacts of volatility, establishment of mineral resource funds and development of infrastructure, education, health and social welfare programs using oil and development aid money during mining development initial stages and mineral resource funds. Development of infrastructure, education, health and social welfare programs prevents the extractive resource wealth from being squandered by a few elites, gives everyone an opportunity to benefit, and creates a productive capacity for other economic sectors.
Nhial Tiitmamer is Programme Manager for environmental, energy and natural resources research and as well the Institute’s Focal Point on Building Resilience and Adaptation to Climate Extremes and Disasters (BRACED), a climate change resilience programme being implemented in South Sudan by a consortium composed of The Sudd Institute and five international organizations. Nhial holds a Bachelor’s Degree and a Master of Science in Environmental Studies and Sustainable Energy from the Universities of Alberta and Calgary in Canada where he spent stints as an environmental consultant and research associate in environmental studies. Nhial is the co-founder of the NewSudanVision.com and has extensively commented and written on issues about South Sudan.