Bure (2005). Peace Dividend and the Millenium Development Goals
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Southern Sudan should not expect significant amount of peace dividend soon after the attainment of peace given the lack of pre-war development as well as the duration and impact of the war. Little can be expected in the short-run, but much can be attained within the interim period and beyond. How much can be realized will depend on focusing on rural development and an effectively decentralized system of government. Prioritization in resource allocation will generate more resources and increase the capacity to develop from internal resources. To initiate a process of sustainable development, the first things must be done first. These include laying the basic infrastructure in administration, transport, education and training, health, energy, and incentives to the peasant farmer. The paper outlines some elements of a strategy for laying a sound base for sustained development that can lead to faster realization of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in Southern Sudan. Overall, Southern Sudanese policy makers should not be too much concerned with meeting certain international dead-lines given their initial conditions. What is important for the South is to initiate positive changes and being able to continuously improve on these changes. Concern should not be with catching up but with making continuous improvements.
Good governance, efficiency, inclusiveness, transparency, accountability, and being seen to be doing their best, under the circumstances, will mobilize popular support and effort, and sustained peace and security. The sustainability of peace and security will determine the long-term marked reduction in poverty. Of course, this assumes all parties to the peace agreement are committed to the achievement of genuine and durable peace regardless of the outcome of the referendum on Southern self-determination.