With its secession from Sudan on July 9, 2011, South Sudan not only gained its eagerly-awaited independence, but also embarked onto the long road of state building. Over the past several months, the new country has begun to confront the myriad challenges it faces in sustainable development, good governance, and capacity building. In addition, the world's newest state is also coping with cross-cutting issues of managing resources, constructing a sense of nationhood, and contending with problems particular to youth and women. These reports begin to address some of the central challenges to statebuilding in South Sudan.

With its secession from Sudan on July 9, 2011, South Sudan not only gained its eagerly-awaited independence, but also embarked onto the long road of state building. Over the past several months, the new country has begun to confront the myriad challenges it faces in sustainable development, good governance, and capacity building. In addition, the world's newest state is also coping with cross-cutting issues of managing resources, constructing a sense of nationhood, and contending with problems particular to youth and women. These reports begin to address some of the central challenges to statebuilding in South Sudan.

 

Oil and State Building in South Sudan
July 2011 | Special Report by Jill Shankleman

As South Sudan becomes the world's newest nation, its dependence on oil resources looms as one of its greatest obstacles to a stable economy. This report outlines how South Sudan can manage its oil sector in the short term to bridge the gap between its formal and informal economies, partner with the international community, and invest in development on behalf of its people.  In particular, the report highlights three priorities for the Government of South Sudan.  First, in the short term, it should focus on developing a detailed understanding of what it now owns and what the long-term prospects are for its oil industry. Second, it needs to maximize revenues from the existing industry. Third, it must make the best use of its revenues for development.
 

Diversity, Unity, and Nationbuilding in South Sudan
September 2011 | Special Report by Jok Madut Jok

This report focuses on how the new state will manage its cultural diversity with a view to bringing all its ethnic nationalities together, forming a national identity that can reduce the level of suspicion and ethnicity-based political rivalry. The information and analysis in this report have their roots in the author ’s academic research and interests, as well as his background as a civil servant in the government of South Sudan. Much of the information was generated through interviews and group discussions over a long period in the context of other studies and evaluations. Many of the opinions expressed here are a combination of newspaper editorials, news coverage in the local media, debates on Internet discussion forums, public lectures and debates, government policy briefs, and a host of other government documents pertaining to its vision, development plans, and programs aimed at addressing the myriad security challenges that confront South Sudan.
 

Dowry and Division:  Youth and State Building in South Sudan
November 2011 | Special Report by Marc Sommers and Stephanie Schwartz

This report assesses the situation, priorities, and expectations of South Sudan's massive youth population in the context of building the new nation. Drawing from field interviews with youth, adults,and government and nongovernment officials in the capital, Juba, the mainly pastoralist oil-rich state of Unity, and the mainly agricultural state of Western Equatoria, this report found that strikingly conservative cultural norms are mixing with new social and economic changes to create a host of pressing challenges. The report highlights the impact of dramatic dowry (bride price) inflation on youth and finds that it is stimulating rises in insecurity, crime, and population growth while intensifying threats against and control over female youth.
 

Gender and State Building in South Sudan
December 2011 | Special Report by Nada Mustafa Ali

This report asserts that equality between women and men and among women—as well as women’s security, economic empowerment, and meaningful participation—should be central benchmarks to state building in South Sudan, not only as a matter of principle, but also as a means to overturn years of conflict and marginalization. Gender equality is essential to building a strong and equitable economy and to ensuring a functional state that maximizes the full potential of all South Sudanese. The report is based on field research in Juba in February 2011 as well as previous and follow-up research by the author. It examines the risks and opportunities associated with gender and state building in South Sudan, analyzes priorities that South Sudanese women interviewees identified, and recommends ways to make the new state responsive to and reflective of the needs of all South Sudanese women and men.

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