Wednesday, July 6, 2011

On 9 July, the Republic of South Sudan will become the world's newest nation state, formally seceding from Sudan. But what does this involve?
Passports, currency, stamps, anthem, internet domain name - and a decent football team. These are just some of the requirements.
Then there are state institutions to be established, a constitution to draw up and an overseas charm offensive to conduct.
An aspiring nation has many things to get on with. Here are a few of them.

The Same Hymn Sheet

Have the national anthem ready before the big independence day, and ensure everyone knows the words.
In a move that said, "we believe in democracy", South Sudan's government invited everyone to try their hand at composing an anthem.
The winning entry, composed by students and teachers from Juba university, makes a break with the military-style march of Sudan's anthem.
An upbeat tune is set to three stanzas that portray trust in God, jubilation for an end to decades of oppression and commemoration of the martyrs who lost their lives for the sake of freedom.
Singers have been dispatched around the nation-to-be to ensure citizens will be word-perfect by 9 July.
One official recently pointed out that when Sudan got her independence in 1956, it took the country some time to come up with her anthem. It just shows south Sudan is ready to govern itself, he said.
Shipments of the six-coloured flag - the former emblem of the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) - have been arriving from China over the past few weeks, and the government plans to raise one on top of the highest peak of the Imatong Mountains on 9 July.

Putting the capital into the city

Most states dream of a modern capital. But for the moment South Sudan will need to lower its sights. The world's newest capital, Juba, is strung out along the banks of the White Nile river, lacking basic infrastructure, including reliable power, water and sewage systems.
The town, which was established almost a century ago by British colonial administrators was a government garrison town surrounded by rebels during the war. It has expanded since then and witnessed something of a construction boom.
In the past few months, the transition government has mulled over proposals to relocate the capital, to "allow for the creation of a modern city planned for 200 years with absolute flexibility to observe any population growth and technological advancements".
Earlier plans involved relocating and rebuilding the capital in the shape of a rhinoceros, as part of proposals to rebuild the region's cities in the shapes of animals and fruit.
According to experts, generally, a capital city can take 10 to 20 years to build but can take a century or more to mature into an attractive, self-sustaining place.
Full story on BBC.


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