Degree is not enough, build capacity of your staff, Bakosoro tells gov’t agencies

Government institutions have been advised to invest in building the capacity of technical staff to improve service delivery in South Sudan.

The Minister of Public Service and Human Resource Development said there is an oversized public sector with a capacity deficit.

Joseph Bakosoro stated that the lack of skills and experience in the civil service is a huge constraint to efficiency and growth.

He lamented the hiring of fresh graduates into the government workforce without providing them first with technical skills.

“…finishing university is not enough,” Bakosoro said. “Last month, about 150 South Sudanese applied for the jobs of ICT, accountants, managers etc at the East African block…[but they] failed partly because of no experience.”

He underscored the importance of  developing institutional strategy for building skills for professional civil service to address the country’s ongoing developmental challenges.

“We have to begin building institutions. When institutions are not built, then we will have a lesser fair system in the country,” Bakosoro stated.

Since 2005, the public sector remains the largest employer of South Sudanese.

Experts say reducing the size of the public sector and increasing efficiency are crucial to providing more and better services and public goods and freeing up labour which together can enable better growth.

They added that the task of strengthening government capability, particularly in the core civil service is essential in facilitating economic development and ensuring basic social services reach the population.

Bakosoro urged government agencies and investors to establish technical training institutions within South Sudan to empower its workforce.

For his part, the Minister of Presidential Affairs, Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin acknowledged that South Sudan is still at its infancy in regards to institutional reforms.

“There is still a lot rooms for growth in order for us to reach the potential we deserve. There are certain areas where it is difficult even for a very junior graduate to draft speech for a Minister. It becomes a nightmare…leave alone writing documents and books,” he said.

The two officials made the remarks during the opening of Berberis’ Academy For Training and Learning Center in Juba on July 6, 2022.

According to the International Growth Center, South Sudan’s inexperienced workforce, coupled with the pressures to reward long-serving combatants as well as recent militant groups with public service jobs create extremely difficult obstacles which need to be overcome in order to put in place a functioning government administration in a post-conflict South Sudan.