South Sudan president fires another central bank governor

South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir has sacked central bank governor Johnny Ohisa Damian and other senior finance officials, state television announced, the second time he has removed a central bank chief in just over a year.

The announcement made late on Monday did not give a reason why Kiir was removing Damian and appointing James Alic Garang, an advisor to the International Monetary Fund, in his place.

Kiir also replaced the central bank’s two deputy governors, the head of the government’s revenue authority and other senior officials in the finance and trade ministries.

Abrupt changes to the leadership of the central bank and finance ministry have been frequent in recent years and in 2020 alone the central bank governor was replaced twice.

Damian only took up the position in August 2022 after Moses Makur Deng was removed from the role.

South Sudan’s economy has been depressed since a civil war that erupted in 2013, forcing about a quarter of its population to flee to neighbouring countries.

The war cut oil production, the mainstay of economic activity. While crude output has improved in recent years, it is yet to reach levels seen before the war.

Production in other sectors like agriculture has also plummeted, while in 2020 the double blow of the COVID-19 pandemic and plunging oil prices added to South Sudan’s woes.

Source: Reuters