AUTHOR: Daniel Garang Deng | PUBLISHED: September 21, 2023
Gichira Kibara, NCAC chairperson [left]; and Dr Dhieu Mathok, investment minister, speak at a press conference in Juba on Thursday, September 21, 2023 | Credit | Daniel Garang Deng/TRC
The National Constitutional Amendment Committee (NCAC) on Thursday launched the reviewing of the Investment Promotion Act, 2009 to meet the international standards and reform as required by the R-ARCSS.
Passed into law before the the then region gained independence, the Act provides for the promotion and facilitation of investment and the creation of administrative, operational and government framework of the South Sudan Investment Authority. The law applies to all investments within the country.
It also also establishes the South Sudan Investment Authority as a body corporate and gives it the objectives to encourage and promote domestic and foreign investments in the country so as to strengthen and diversify the economy, promote surplus production, economic growth and development, realize self-sufficiency and creation of surplus for export, contribute towards poverty eradication, among others.
Speaking to the media at a press conference, Gichira Kibara, NCAC chairperson, said the process of reviewing the laws seek to recover the country economy through improvement of investment.
“We have had a lot of consultation with the minister (of investment) on how to improve the environment of the Republic of South Sudan for investment and we believe we will be able to complete this process in within a very short time which will play a critical role in economic recovery,” Kibara stated.
For his part, the Minister of Investment, Dr. Dhieu Mathok Diing Wol, said the reviewing of the investment laws is overdue.
“This is an important process for us in the ministry of investment. It’s overdue. We thought it should be out such that we can be able to organize the investment environment for South Sudan,” Dhieu stated.
He explained that the country faces impediments in investment due to conflict in the laws and urged the committee in consultation with relevant institutions to harmonize the investment laws.
“There is a lot of vacuum in term of laws and there is a lot of contradiction on the laws which are doing investment in the Republic of South Sudan. Until Now, we have identified more than 14 laws which are not in harmony with the investment act,” Dhieu said.
“One example is the Companies Act, 2012. When you look at it, the way companies are registered especially the foreign companies. They are entitled to register 100% foreign. If you are a foreigner with your kids, you can come to South Sudan and set up your company and then operate.”
The minister went on to say the Companies Act, 2012 contradicts the Investment Promotion Act, 2009.
“Investment promotion act require the foreigner coming to South Sudan to invest and have a genuine partner which is a South Sudanese. Which we believe this the right practice in many countries,” he asserted.
“If you come to the Land Act 2009, nothing about investment and this is what is impeding down investment in the Republic of South Sudan because the land Act doesn’t talk about the investment. It was left in the will of the communities to decide whether they give the land for investment or not.”
The NCAC is a body mandated by the 2018 revitalized peace agreement to draft, review and complete amendments of various legislations to bring them in conformity with the peace deal and international practice.