The Vice President of South Sudan, Riek Machar, said the newly independent state and Kenya shall further their economic cooperation for the benefit of the two sisterly nations.
Machar made the remarks while briefing the cabinet on Friday in a three-page document outlining the topics discussed during the half cabinet retreat, which was hosted and financed by Kenya in the coastal city of Mombasa last week.
The second group of ministers is expected to begin the retreat on Sunday.
He said both the Vice President of Kenya, Kalonzo Musyoka, and Prime Minister Raila Odinga, while briefing the retreat in Mombasa in separate occasions last week, assured of Kenya’s projects aimed at promoting economic cooperation.
The construction of Lamu port which will be used by South Sudan and Ethiopia besides a plan to build a railway and a highway to the border area with Kenya are among these projects.
The Kenyan official also stressed that a pipeline for exporting the crude oil from South Sudan to the Kenyan ports is included in their plans.
Machar told the cabinet that the discussions with the Kenyan government will lead to “cooperation in technical and knowledge transfer, technical assistance, economic cooperation and support in international organizations.”
“As you know, in terms of global and regional challenges, geography is no longer an impediment to growth. In the course of this retreat what we have identified are global responses – innovative new approaches that extend across national, geographical and cultural boundaries,” he stressed.
The landlocked South Sudan hopes such cooperation would lead to unfetter its economy for the Republic of Sudan as the two countries still diverge about a package of a number of outstanding issues among which the fee of oil transportation though Port Sudan.
The one-week retreat program provided for intensive presentations and discussions between South Sudan ministers and their Kenyan counterparts on the following issues:
1. Public service management and development, 2. Reconstructing public administration after conflict:- strengthening human resources in the public service; 3. Collective responsibility in government; 4. Managing government business; 5. Visioning for national development; 6. Engaging citizens in Nation Building; 7. Government financial management and budgeting; 8. Cooperative Movement in national development; 9. Corruption and its impact on nation building; 10. Managing ethnic diversity; 11. Management of external relations in the contemporary world; 12. Government communication and media relations; 13. Regional and international economic agenda.