South Sudan abandons plans to introduce new currency

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JUBA, SOUTH SUDAN - JULY 09, 2011: The new currency was shown off during Independence celebrations in Juba, South Sudan, Saturday July 9, 2011. South Sudan raised the flag of its new nation for the first time on Saturday, as thousands of South Sudanese citizens swarmed the capital of Juba to celebrate the country's birth. (Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times)
Enlarged versions of South Sudan’s currency were shown off during Independence celebrations in Juba, South Sudan, Saturday July 9, 2011.  (Creative Commons / Leovdvxxx)

South Sudan said it has reversed its plans to introduce a new currency as the pound continues to depreciate against the U. S. dollar and other major currencies due to the economic crisis.

Michael Makuei Lueth, minister of Information and Broadcasting, said the move to change the local currency was only a mere proposal by the economic crisis management committee as a means to salvage the economy from further collapse but was not agreed and passed by the cabinet.

“The change of national currency (South Sudanese Pounds) was brought in the discussion of previous cabinet meeting as one of the long-term economic measures, but it was not agreed and passed by the council that time,” Makuei told the reporters in Juba on Wednesday evening.

In September, President Salva Kiir established an economic cluster committee to investigate mismanagement of non-oil revenue and also to come up with recommendations to revive the falling economy.

Makuei also said the government is in the final process of acquiring a loan that would be injected into the market to stabilize the deteriorating economy.

Last month, the central bank said the government had run out of foreign reserves to control the hyperinflation rate in the world’s youngest republic.

As of Thursday, 100 U.S. dollars was selling at between 70,000 to 73,000 South Sudanese pounds (SSP) due to the low volume of SSP circulation in the market amid skyrocketing prices of commodities due to speculation.

The South Sudan economy has been shattered by several years of civil war and this coupled with the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a drastic drop in oil prices, thus dropping the country’s revenues.

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