Government reorganization sees split of tourism and wildlife in Juba


(Posted 04th August 2013)

The recent sacking of the South Sudan cabinet paved the way to reorganize the government and implement sharp cost saving measures by reducing the number of ministries to only 18, from previously twice that number.

In the process however it appears that the former Ministry of Wildlife Conservation and Tourism was split and its functions bundled with other departments.

Wildlife Conservation is now listed alongside Interior in one Ministry, while Tourism is combined with Agriculture, Forestry, Cooperatives, Rural Development and Animal Resources.

Ministers appointed to these two portfolios are Aleu Ayeny Aleu for the Ministry of Interior and Wildlife Conservation, with Jadada Augustino Wani as Deputy Minister while Beda Machar Deng is the new Minister for Agriculture, Forestry, Tourism and Animal Resources, Cooperatives and Rural Development with Nadia Arop Dudi the newly appointed Deputy Minister.

Two regular tourism sources from Juba expressed their consternation however that Wildlife Conservation, a crucial component in the country’s largely wildlife based tourism industry, has been hived off to Interior, where, in their words ‘it now takes two ministries to agree on coordinated efforts of wildlife protection, sustainable tourism activities and promoting the sector, instead of previously only one. This will be a cumbersome process and going by past experience, where ministers bickered in public over their jurisdiction, this has not been fully thought out nor were key stakeholders consulted. Putting ministries together when the oil money runs out is good, but they should have put complementary functions together, like Tourism, Wildlife Conservation, Forestry and Environment’.

Valid arguments which reflect a similar sentiment in Kenya where Tourism, instead of being bundled with similarly complementary functions and departments now is lumped together with East African Affairs and Commerce, by many seen as a failure by the principals to consult more widely with key stakeholders and seek their input before they decided how to structure their government set up.

It is puzzling me because Uhuru [Uhuru
Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya] was once chairman of the Kenya Tourism Board and he should have known better what goes together or not. But I guess politicians’ attention span is perhaps even more limited than that of ordinary folks. It still makes no sense frankly and only complicates workings between key organizations which are reporting to different cabinet secretaries. Coordinating that is not easy and there are already examples where the joints are creaking’ added a Nairobi based senior stakeholder on condition of not being named.

Watch this space for regular updates from the tourism sectors across Eastern Africa.

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