Seventy-two percent of South Sudan’s population is under thirty years of age. It is this generation that must create a new South Sudanese identity that is inclusive of all its nationalities. In The Power of Creative Reasoning, author Lual A. Deng shows how the ideas and concepts touted by Dr. John Garang could facilitate the advancement of the ideals of freedom, liberty, and human dignity.
The Power of Creative Reasoning provides an insider’s perspective on Garang, a visionary leader who used a combination of strategic thinking and a path-goal approach to resolve complex societal problems. Deng has coined the term “Garangism” as the pursuit of Sudanese commonality with conviction, courage, consistency, and creativity to end all forms of marginalization.
Deng shows how Garang employed symbolic logic in the form of Venn Diagrams to articulate the vision of New Sudan and presents ten power-ful ideas to help the Sudanese as they are facing serious challenges of leadership, democratic governance, sustained peace, economic growth, poverty, and corruption. The Power of Creative Reasoning communicates that the leadership of the new Sudan can manage these challenges by internalizing Garang’s ideas.
I set out to write this book with the main purpose of providing critical tools of analysis to the young generation of Sudanese (in the now two new Sudans) in their search for self-identity on the one hand, and in understanding their historical heritage/legacy (i.e. commonwealth) on the other. These critical tools of analysis are embodied in the body of knowledge of what I have decided to call Garangism, which I define in the next chapter as the pursuit of Sudanese commonality with conviction, courage, and consistency. I would like the young generation in the north (now Sudan) to know that it was the cumulative policies of successive regimes in Khartoum, which have finally broken the back of the Sudanese “golden camel,” thereby splitting the country into two independent states. This young generation can, if it internalizes the vision of John Garang, avoid further disintegration of Sudan into smaller states of Darfur, Nuba Mountains, Funj, Beja and Kush.
For the young generation in the south (now South Sudan), I tell you this: know that 72 percent of the population of South Sudan is under 30 years of age. It is therefore your responsibility to utilize Dr. John’s power of creative reasoning underpinning his ideas and vision in creating a new South Sudanese identity that is inclusive of all its nationalities. This is calling for a nation-building project that looks beyond our “tribes” and geographical locations on the map of South Sudan. You must strive for the unifying factors of the people of South Sudan and not on what divides them. William Gumede of South Africa, as if offering some guidelines to the young people of the south in their quest for a new South Sudanese national identity, states the following:
South African identities are not ‘gated communities’ with fixed borders; more often than not, they overlap meaningfully, beyond the occasional shared word or value. Our modern South Africanness therefore cannot be but a ‘layered’, plural and inclusive one, and one based on acceptance of our ‘interconnected differences’ (2012:144).
If you replace South African with South Sudanese in the above epigraph, you would essentially be talking about our situation in South Sudan. I do not want our youth, who constitute more than two-thirds of South Sudanese population to let my generation get away with pervasive corruption, “service delivery failure, autocratic behaviour, and wrongdoing in the name of advancing the liberation or independence project” (Gumede 2012:11). This book is therefore a powerful tool in your hands to utilize, as a ” legitimate liberation tool” in advancing the ideals of freedom, liberty and human dignity, for which Dr. John (as our people call him) had given the ultimate. He formulated the New Sudan Project as by way of achieving these ideals of the liberation struggle, utilizing the illustrious history of the Kush Kingdom as a guide in his creative reasoning.
Lual A. Deng earned a PhD in development economics from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He was John Garang’s economic adviser, a state minister of finance, and the minister of petroleum for the Sudan government from 2005 until 2011. Deng is currently a member of the National Legislative Assembly of South Sudan and managing director of the Ebony Center for Strategic Studies.