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In this article the author examines the relevance of infant-industry promotion theory to South Sudan’s economic revitalization efforts. As a newly formed state with jurisdiction over people with varied and often conflicting interests, the South Sudanese government will likely experience difficulty developing institutions and procedures that produce an equitable distribution of economic gains across the South Sudanese population. After a brief introduction, Zambakari discusses the role of the state in economic development dating back to the renaissance. He discusses the state and economic development in South Sudan and argues that recent declines in South Sudan’s performance on key human development indicators heighten the urgency of evaluating different strategic options for rebuilding an economy ravaged by civil war. This process will necessarily require careful consideration of the optimal degree of state involvement in designing and implementing these solutions. Infant-industry promotion is one promising approach to leveling the playing field between developing and developed country economies. Lastly, Zambakari presents the case for infant-industry promotion and call for the government to serve an active role in economic development and promotion, an alternative model for development in South Sudan by applying selective economic policies to industries where productive capacities can be developed.
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