South Sudan’s currency drastically depreciated against the dollar last week, just after the government announced plans to change it, an indication that more currency hoarders had surrendered the now seemingly old notes.
On October 9, the country’s Council of Ministers decided to change the national currency in an attempt to mop up hoarded cash it claims is to blame for the decline of the economy, according to the Information Minister.
Although details of how the new currency will be rolled out have not been announced yet, the pound immediately depreciated against the dollar. By Thursday, October 15, $1 was trading for 700 South Sudanese pounds in the black market and 165 South Sudanese pounds by the central bank rate. A week before, a dollar fetched 500 South Sudanese pounds on the black market.
This forced many traders in Juba, Rumbek and Wau, among other major regional towns across South Sudan to close shop, saying they are confused about low demand by the consumers and the pricing to use.
Dharuai Mabor Teny, member of parliament representing Lakes State, said the president was to blame for the economic meltdown, arguing that the leadership could have rescued the economic sector a long time ago if they had appointed experts to lead the monetary institutions.
Mr Dharuai said the meltdown was also to be blamed on public financial institutions aggravated by the gross corruption that has persisted in the system for the past decade.
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