South Sudan budget sets unrealistic expectations

CNBC – 25 July 2014

This is an interview I did on South Sudan’s unfathomable war budget for CNBC’s Closing Bell Africa programme.

In late June, South Sudan’s finance minister Aggrey Tisa presented an unfathomable budget to parliament for July 2014 to June 2015.

While in a state of war, and with a complete oil shutdown in Unity state and a partial shutdown in Upper Nile, the ministry of finance has decided that it can increase spending on government agencies.

To achieve this, it believes that it can increase oil income by 23% and non-oil revenue by 35%. This is wildly unrealistic.

The budget is very much a budget for war. Military spending has increased from 47% to 56%, while spending on health and education combined amounts to just 11%. Just 4% is devoted to infrastructure development.

Here’s the link on CNBC.

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Richard Nield is a freelance journalist, photographer and filmmaker covering the Middle East and Africa. In 10 years covering the region, he has been published and broadcast by clients including the BBC, Reuters, Al Jazeera, The Economist, The Financial Times, The Independent and Foreign Policy magazine. He has reported from throughout the region, including Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia, South Sudan, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.