GOSSJUBA, August 2010 - The Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS) through the then ministry of Presidential Affairs, now Office of the President, has developed a "Vision 2040" document to harness the resources and efforts of the government to transform Southern Sudan into a modern nation.Titled "South Sudan Vision 2040: Towards freedom, equality, justice, peace and prosperity for all", the vision was adopted by the GOSS Council of Ministers on January 15, 2010.

The vision is founded on seven pillars: educated and informed nation; prosperous, productive and innovative nation; free, just and peaceful nation; democratic and accountable nation; safe and secure nation; united and proud nation; and compassionate and tolerant nation.

Educated and informed nation
On education, the government recognizes that the education system literally crumbled during the liberation struggle. The government also understands that historically, Southern Sudanese have never had a favourable education system. Both the colonial and Khartoum-based governments have only focused on providing elementary education in Southern Sudan which was merely aimed at producing junior government officers. Furthermore, the education system was not sensitive to the cultural contexts and needs of Southern Sudanese. The government also recognizes the fact that human capital is critical for the development of any nation. The vision is that by 2040, Southern Sudan will have quality education system that prepares its youth to cope effectively with the emerging challenges of the dynamic global environment. This education system will be characterized by its relevance, quality and accessibility; and will apply the latest information technology in expanding and enriching the learning experience.

Prosperous, productive and innovative nation
The vision is to transform the country to an economic powerhouse in which all members of the society play their honest part in the "baking" and sharing of the national cake. This vision will be achieved through the creation of a diversified economy driven by agriculture, industry, mining, manufacturing, tourism and services. The vision recognizes the role of all segments of the population including women, youth and communities synergized through appropriate partnerships. The vision is to generate sizable GDP and achieve full employment scenario in which the number of jobs available in the formal and informal sectors is equal to the number of the citizens seeking employment. It is also envisaged that by 2040, all Southern Sudanese will have obtained access to good quality basic shelter either in rural or urban setups.

Free, just and peaceful nation
The vision recognizes that the lack of freedom, equality and justice are some of the factors which drove the people of Southern Sudan to war. The people fought with the single determination to liberate the nation from the deliberate deprivation of these rights and midwife a just and tranquil society. These rights and aspirations are now enshrined in the Interim Constitution of Southern Sudan which seeks to guarantee the rights of all citizens. This vision will seek to entrench and perpetuate a tranquil environment in which freedom, equality, justice and peace thrives.

Democratic and accountable nation
A cardinal tenet of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) and the vision of the New Sudan is democratic transformation of the country. This will entail the mainstreaming of democratic practices and processes which enjoin the active participation of the citizens in determining their destiny. The vision identifies some of the hallmarks of democracy as decentralization of institutions; regular, free and fair multiparty elections; as well as widening of the democratic space in which all citizens can enjoy their civic rights. The vision is to nurture a Southern Sudan which will have developed morally, ethically upright and educated society matched by exceptional leadership that provides a role model for the younger generation.

Safe and secure nation
Citizens cannot be free if they don't feel secure in their own country. The vision asserts that true freedom can only be realized if the country is protected from internal and external aggression. By 2040, it is envisioned that Southern Sudan will have established a crime-free society where all forms of crime and illegal possession of firearms as well as drug addiction will be eliminated. It is also envisaged that the law enforcement forces will be trained, strengthened and professionalized appropriately to win sufficient confidence of the citizens. Due to the increasing incidence of natural and other disasters, the vision recognizes disaster preparedness and management as a critical component of security. It is envisaged that by 2040, relevant institutions and procedures will be in place to anticipate, prevent and manage the consequences of natural and manmade disasters.

United and proud nation
The vision underscores the fact that the people of Southern Sudan have been marginalized for many years. It also recognizes the fact that all people of Southern Sudan played a role in the liberation struggle regardless of their ethnicity and domicile with the conviction that their common freedom and aspirations could not be achieved otherwise. The vision seeks to facilitate further integration so that by 2040 the country will have a united citizenry who though may be from diverse cultural or religious backgrounds are patriotic and proud to share a common heritage, national pride and desire for peaceful coexistence. This will be demonstrated by mutual respect and widespread use of the flag and other symbols that signify national harmony and common destiny. The vision also recognizes the place of the family and will seek to strengthen the family unit and maximize its benefits in transmitting social and moral values from generation to generation.

Compassionate and tolerant nation
The people of Southern Sudan have been gone through economic hardship for a very long time, forcing many of them into extreme poverty. Their expectation now is to have a compassionate and caring nation which offers support and opportunity to those who are poor and vulnerable and guarantees equitable share in the benefits of economic growth. It is envisioned that by 2040 all the people of Southern Sudan will have access to productive resources as a means to eradicate poverty to the extent that no one will live below the poverty line; Southern Sudan will be a tolerant nation that cherishes free expression of ideas, free practice of religion and association with other people in the pursuit of legitimate goals; and that no Southern Sudanese will be disadvantaged by gender, age, religion, creed, colour, ethnicity, language or political ideology. Significantly, the new Southern Sudan will have citizens who are law abiding, have strong moral values and exhibit high ethical standards.

For more details please visit: www.goss.org