Southern Sudan votes for Independence

The independence referendum for Southern Sudan for which an estimated 2 million Sudanese have died over the last 30 years started today wherever Southern Sudanese live. I expect to return next month to continue providing technical assistance on setting up a new central bank and issuing a new currency. My Deloitte colleague Adam Wicik sent the following email this morning along with many happy pictures of which I am attaching three.

Greeting from sunny, warm and still calm Juba. Again, there is no escaping some photos from here.
As you all know, a Referendum on the future of Southern Sudan started today and will go on for another 7 days.  Today was the first day.  As it is Sunday, with kind permission of Andy, Kate and I were able to go around and pretend to be press photographers.  We almost got arrested once for taking photos, but Deloitte ID card works like magic!
Photos fall into two groups – voting, i.e. long queues, people patiently waiting, casting their votes and immediately shouting in happiness, and having a fingers dipped in long lasting ink to stop them from voting twice.  Everything has been quiet and peaceful so far.
There was some singing, dancing, and drum beating as well.  Of course, what else could you expect on a happy day.
You will see some photos of those happy (and sleepy for some) moments too.
George Clooney is here again.  As always staying at AFEX.  Today we caught up with him at the local church.

This is all for now.  Keep your fingers crossed that the rest of this week, and the next six months, stay calm and happy.

All the best,

Author: Warren Coats

I specialize in advising central banks on monetary policy and the development of the capacity to formulate and implement monetary policy.  I joined the International Monetary Fund in 1975 from which I retired in 2003 as Assistant Director of the Monetary and Financial Systems Department. While at the IMF I led or participated in missions to the central banks of over twenty countries (including Afghanistan, Bosnia, Croatia, Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kyrgystan, Moldova, Serbia, Turkey, West Bank and Gaza Strip, and Zimbabwe) and was seconded as a visiting economist to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (1979-80), and to the World Bank's World Development Report team in 1989.  After retirement from the IMF I was a member of the Board of the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority from 2003-10 and of the editorial board of the Cayman Financial Review from 2010-2017.  Prior to joining the IMF I was Assistant Prof of Economics at UVa from 1970-75.  I am currently a fellow of Johns Hopkins Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, Institute for Applied Economics, Global Health, and the Study of Business Enterprise.  In March 2019 Central Banking Journal awarded me for my “Outstanding Contribution for Capacity Building.”  My recent books are One Currency for Bosnia: Creating the Central Bank of Bosnia and Herzegovina; My Travels in the Former Soviet Union; My Travels to Afghanistan; My Travels to Jerusalem; and My Travels to Baghdad. I have a BA in Economics from the UC Berkeley and a PhD in Economics from the University of Chicago. My dissertation committee was chaired by Milton Friedman and included Robert J. Gordon.

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