Juba by Billy Kahora

Writer’s Brief

The New East Africa vs Old Money Trails and Wind Trade Routes

As talk continues of Southern Sudan as the latest East African province, a lot of groundwork is being laid down for trans-national commerce between Juba, Kampala and Nairobi, to formalize such a regional arrangement. There is nothing new or exciting about this – this is ‘Scramble For Africa’ Lite with different and possibly more legitimate faces sitting around the table. Kampala, Nairobi and Juba are the new Berlins, Londons and Romes of the post-millenia. It is the informal that is worth some scrutiny – informal trade, relationships between these places now known as Southern Sudan, Northern Uganda, Northern Kenya, and to some extent Somalia, has always been present and is again growing exponentially with the end of the war, the successful referendum and ‘opening’ of borders.

The parallel re-emergence of these informal and old links, nomadic and migratory in nature, and Islamic too, are of interest because they tend to ignore national borders and unless remain un-disturbed, formenting resistance to the national. In fact, there seems to be some kind of ‘national’ space that has its own borders that includes the same North Kenya, extreme Southern Sudan, Southern Ethiopia, Somalia as diaspora. Interrogating the idea of a free trading and cultural space that merges all these regions is of great importance even as we think of Southern Sudan in national terms as the latest addition to East Africa. Also, the Nile Valley, the ebb and flow of its traditional economies, civilizations, cultures which to some extent resists national borders and agreements adds a fascinating element to all this.

What are the historical cultural connections and relationships between these spaces mentioned?

How do the pull factors of common culture, pre-existing political entities relate to the push factors of national borders?

What does this all mean for a push for a larger ‘East Africa’?

Reading List

  • “Doing Business in Juba” 2011, IFC Sudan Investment Climate Program, World Bank and the International Finance Corporation 2011 <http://www.doingbusiness.org/reports/subnational-reports/juba>
  • Martin E & Mosel, I 2011, “City limits: urbanisation and vulnerability in Sudan. A Juba case study”, Humanitarian Policy Group, Overseas Development Institute. <http://www.odi.org.uk/resources/download/5290.pdf>
  • Muggah, R. 2010, “Rethinking Transnational Gangs”, in T. Shaw and A. Grant (eds) Regionalisms. London: Ashgate
  • Mills, L. R 2005 ‘The Growth of Juba in Southern Sudan’, in J. I. Clarke et al. (eds) Population and Development Projects in Africa. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Ahmed, AG 2011, “Internal Population Displacement in Sudan.” Migration, Gender and Diversity in Eastern Africa, Conference at Ahfad University for Women, Omdurman, Sudan. May <http://www.immis.org/?p=11>
  • El Nagar, S 2011, “Decisions of South Sudan People in Khartoum to Return or Stay.” Migration, Gender and Diversity in Eastern Africa, Conference at Ahfad University for Women, Omdurman, Sudan, May <http://www.immis.org/?p=11>
  • Bunting, M. 2011 “What does the future hold for southern Sudan?” Guardian Focus Podcast, 30 June <http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/audio/2011/jun/30/focus-podcast-south-sudan-future?intcmp=122>
  • Waldyes, T 2010 “To Be Or Be Gone:  Ethiopian Expats Stand Divided on Sudan Referendum”. Addis Fortune Volume 11, Number 550, Nov 14 <http://www.addisfortune.com/Vol_10_No_550_Archive/Feature-To%20Be%20Or%20Be%20Gone.htm>
  • Sebba, KR 2007, “Evolving patterns of migration to Southern Sudan”, Paper presented at the African Migrations Workshop: Understanding migration dynamics in the continent, Centre for Migration Studies University of Ghana, October <http://www.imi.ox.ac.uk/pdfs/research-projects-pdfs/african-migrations-workshops-pdfs/ghana-workshop-2007/Kalyango%20Ghana%2007.pdf>
  • Garang, J 1987, John Garang speaks. Routledge <http://books.google.co.za/books?id=dcoNAAAAQAAJ&printsec=frontcover>
  • Sudan Foundation 2000, John Garang: Sudanese patriot or American mercenary, Sudan Foundation
  • Gabb, S 1998, Why do you continue fighting? : an open letter to Dr. John Garang, Sudan Foundation
  • Abdul-Raheem, T & Biney, A 2010, “Killing Of John Garang who did it,” Speaking truth to power: selected Pan-African postcards. Fahamu/Pambazuka
  • Garang, J 1994, “This convention is sovereign”: open and closing speeches [to the first SPLM/SPLA national convention, April 2nd 1994], Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement
  • Nyaba, PA 1997, Politics of liberation in South Sudan: an insider’s view, Fountain Publishers
  • Lokosang, Lb 2010, South Sudan: The Case for Independence & Learning from Mistakes, Xlibris Corporation
  • Guarak, MAM 2011, Integration and Fragmentation of the Sudan: An African Renaissance, AuthorHouse

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