TRUE FRIENDS ARE FEW THESE DAYS
With Odongo Odoyo
A friend who is interested in investing in the country called me from Lagos on his way to Rwanda before coming to Juba. He has come and is busy trying to find out how he and his group of companies can effectively set up their investment in the country. This side depends on the relevant authorities to give appropriate direction on how to go about it. My take on this call and going by others before was that there are investors and people eager and wanting to come in the country to invest. They only want to reaffirm and confirm that peace was already here and indeed the notion my friend had before changed immediately after jetting into Juba International Airport (JIA). The perceived images by some media outlets of a country in war and guns changed. The new look airport was of similar standard to others my friend who is a globe trotter in the business circle exclaimed and wondered why some of the information was being manufactured and for what reason. He was impressed by the scene and welcome but had only one barrier. Communication at a first glance. However, being who he is, he adopted to the surroundings very fast promising to make all the necessary arrangements to meet with people who could give him proper direction for investments. He did and right now is busy scheduling meetings after meeting for the one week he will be in the country before taking off to go and make final arrangements for investing here. The issue here is that with peace there must be honesty and trust to those with indication of investments. Barriers which could discourage them should be removed just like other obstacles. The development of the country should take the centre stage with all understanding that the country could have been far much better now if the past conflict did not occur. While the country cannot remain in the past, the experiences then should be enough lessons to discourage anyone from thinking along the war-line. Like my friend, there are many investors waiting for peace to settle and start the journey to come to the country. This is a reality and any message being sent out there should be factual and real not image tarnishing. Everyone should be an ambassador who propagates the presence of peaceful co-existence in the country and among the different communities for the purpose of uniting them to belong to the country. The sense of belonging must take the lead, and commitment be the goal for all. This is a sure way of success than dwelling in the past and propagating propagandas which only end up messing those working hard to restore peace. There must be sense and anywhere one goes to, one must be ready to be identified with a success story in one way or the other. There should be winning not defeatist attitude at all the time and in all one does. It is only then that our success will be noticed and realized. It is possible to work towards this goal. It is possible to walk this walk. Walk it now and do not wait for tomorrow. Me and my friends we started it long back and will continue to walk it to the better remaining part of our lives. Thank you and let us all make merry because success is obvious and will be seen soon. Let it be for all to see to prove to the world that this country has all the goods that one can be proud of.