After being in business for many years we often forget that the simple things make a big difference to clients and vendors alike. We are here to remind you and help brush up on your business etiquette.

The basis of business etiquette is about building strong relationships in your field by fostering better communication. This can only happen when people you do business with feel secure and comfortable.

Keep Time

Keeping time is key to doing “good” business, we all have our struggles and last minute emergency meetings but this has to be communicated to the person waiting for you somewhere else. It makes life easier when you are considerate to others and let them know well in advance that you will be cancelling, allowing them to also get things done in the mean time.

The best way is to manage your time properly and make sure you allow adequate time between meetings to arrive 15 minutes early.

Reply to Emails and text messages

Do you often call a colleague or associate to ask for a number or information? Do you send a reply message to confirm you have received it? It is common courtesy to reply with a simple message stating well received, appreciated or thanks. The reply shows appreciation of their effort and will help ensure that the next time you request information you will receive it.

Don’t use your phone during meetings

Using your phone is a sign that you are not interested in what someone is telling you. This will often lead to the person you are doing business with to feel that their opinion is is not valued and could cause them to take their business somewhere else.

Even though some people take notes on mobile apps its important to let the others in the meeting know what you are doing as this helps to avoid them getting the wrong end of the stick.

Introduce yourself & others

Although we have a very strong tradition of introducing people in South Sudan its important to remember that not everyone will remember you from a previous meeting. You should always be ready to reintroduce yourself without feeling offended or at least without showing that you are offended. Once you reintroduce yourself its time to make a good impression.


By Nana Alfred Taban published in Good Vibes Magazine issue 1, Nov 2019

Of course, nourishing the mind is always best done when relaxing in suitably pleasant surroundings.

On a recent Saturday afternoon, I checked into the Pyramid Continental Hotel in Juba, one of the best Five Star Hotels in the country, with luxurious surroundings and supreme spontaneous services that makes one feel completely pampered.  (Exactly what I needed). After a draining work week, I’m after one thing: peace and quiet.

Coming from Kampala, the hotel driver picked me up at Juba International Airport with a white V8 (The latest) one of the most loved and popular cars in the city. It was a 10-minute ride to arrive at my destination.

The hotel has 81 expansive luxury decorated rooms and suites providing extraordinary comfort for a wonderful haven in the city. They have Classic, Superior and Deluxe rooms with different prices ranging from $260-280. The standard King Room cost me $259.60 a night inclusive of taxes, breakfast, and spa services. They also have Junior and Presidential Suites ranges from $517.

For the next twenty hours, I deal with a total of three people (front desk agent, a smiling waiter, and the spa center desk agent). Otherwise, I’m left in blissful solitude. Even when you’re out of your room, the whole ‘Do Not Disturb’ philosophy has a way of permeating all aspects of hotel life.


Once inside my room, I shut the door behind me, and did a quick lap of the space, a ritual shared by hotel geeks worldwide (trust me). The room was extremely lavish and elegant with lively furnishing and fabrics. It offered European inspired Roberto Cavalli facilities including: speedy internet access, mini bar, TV with international channels, safe deposit box, hairdryer, tea and coffee facilities, bathroom with walk in shower, flexible bedside reading lights, blackout curtains and a beautiful indigenous legacy mirrored in exceptional views from the balcony of the River Nile as well as Juba city. All these features creating perfect examples of the “Belle Époque Era” the French expression meaning Beautiful Era.

The table, stocked with a decent array of magazines (at the top of the pile: Travel + Leisure), makes an inviting place to stop and sit, but I could barely make it through an article before surrendering blissfully to a pre-dinner nap.


 After the satisfying pre-dinner nap, it was time for relaxation and immersing the senses through a flawless spa journey leaving you feeling spoiled, re-energized and peaceful, allowing you to shut off from external stimulation.

The Spa Center helped me to indulge myself in some much-needed ‘Me’ time, to switch off and relax, recharge, reflect, detox and beautify. 

The Spa facilities in the hotel include a variety of choices of relaxation for you, from Sauna to Steam, and Jacuzzi. They also offer incredible treatment rooms and Turkish/Moroccan baths. Its extensive treatment menu are performed in purpose-built, beautifully appointed private rooms featuring up-to-the-minute technology and products.

I was extremely pleased to find out both male and female spa facilities are separate for the comfort of each individual. The Spa charges a reasonable $25 per person for non-guests who would like to pamper themselves.


The Peacock Restaurant

By 6:30pm I was making my way to The Peacock Restaurant that offers all day dining, located on the ground floor that beautifully structures a diverse buffet style set-up of internationally-inspired cooking during breakfast, lunch and dinner especially dedicated to the taste of delicate and fantasy.

The unique setting of this restaurant focuses mainly on elegant food with an excellent wine list and outstanding menus with a delightful buffet spread to enjoy while watching their cooking experts showcasing their cooking creativity.

I saw a subtle balance in the tradition, culture, and modernity of the restaurant.

The Hookah Terrace

 By 10:00pm. I called one of my girlfriends to accompany me through the night time lively affairs. And she was up for it. By 11pm we’re at The Hookah Terrace with breathtaking arabesque design details and a remarkable lounge-style set up with excellently blue colored pillows and candles to enjoy the delicate sense of calmness in their unique space. With the best company in a friendly and unique atmosphere.

The shisha lounge offers a variety of shisha flavors for guests to choose from including watermelon, double apple, rose, cherry, mint, and blueberry. My absolute favorite was the blueberry-mint.

ThePresidential Spot and Anseba Sunset Lounge

After enjoying the shisha we went to the Presidential Spot, one of the primary spots to be, placed on the fifth floor with a vast variety of drinks to choose from.

Outside of the Presidential Spot is the open-air terrace The Anseba Sunset Lounge which has a good view of the sky or sunset when you visit it at the twilight hour.

During the weekend night’s atmosphere of relaxation, the hotel offers social nights open to the public and guests that draws a fairly international crowd where they watch the sunset and catch up with colleagues and friends after a long day. I went back to my room at around 2:30am with a treasured collective of night experiences.


They have a great fitness center, one of the essentials of a top class hotel. This 5 star gym consists of state-of-the-art equipment, yoga space, and cardio suite.

Using high-spec equipment,  gym instructors are there everyday to help guests with their routine and advise what you should do to keep fit. The personal trainers will give advice on weight training, aerobics and so on.

There are more services like airport pickups, currency exchange, beauty salons, barber shop, multilingual staff, laundry and dry cleaning services for your comfort.

Overall Pyramid Continental Hotel satisfied my every need and I reluctantly checked out with a feeling that I wanted to extend my stay for a few more days. The hotel in my opinion is your  best option as a business traveller visiting Juba who expects a world class standard of service and ambiance.

The Revitalized Peace; New Hopes for Private Sector Development

Compiled by Simon Akuei Deng. The Secretary General for South Sudan Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture.

The Revitalized Peace Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS) creates a new dispensation to the populace, creating hope to the people of South Sudan and the region at large. Peace is like oxygen to human life and investment, doing business across the globe and specifically in the Republic of South Sudan requires a conducive environment where private and public enterprises thrive in peace and harmony. Peace is good all the time, and all the time, peace is good. Just as we usually say, God is good all the time.

When the peace was signed in Addis Ababa in 2018, the market reacted positively with the South Sudanese pound gaining strength against major world currencies and especially the US dollar hence renewing hopes for the citizens of the Republic of South Sudan as the prices in the markets responded downwards.

The R-ARCSS has a reform agenda enshrined in chapter four of the agreement making the R-ARCSS important and different from many other agreements dishonored as Hon. Abel Alier Kuai alludes to in his famous book about the Sudan agreements.

The R-TGONU is expected to undertake immediate and medium-term economic and financial management reform programs that will introduce a period of rapid reconstruction and development country wide. If the reforms are taken seriously, it will speed up the repatriation of refugees and IDPs as development will create hopes and attraction to people returning to their homes with security being the major catalyst.

On the business sector, investors will flock in big numbers to the country responding to the peaceful environment conducive for doing business which is characterized by peace, security and the rule of law. The youth on the other hand will get employed and subsequently improve their livelihoods while the government mutually benefits from collection of taxes (PIT) and social corporate responsibilities would have been exercised to the satisfaction of all the parties. All these benefits will be realized in an environment of sustainable peace where citizens are free to do business regardless of who they are and where they come from.

Chapter 4, Section 4.15 of the revitalized peace agreement provides important reform programs with different government institutions reformed including the Bank of South Sudan, the Ministry of Finance and Planning, Public Finance Management among other institutions that will improve the economy in the long run. Institutions of R-TGONU are expected to be stronger with smarter systems respected by leaders and public servants managing them. The worst case scenario in the 21st century is when public authorities are stronger than the systems and the institution they lead. This has been manifested in most corrupt countries in the world, the situation we do not wish to see in the Republic of South Sudan.

Section 4.15 continues to inform us of good things ahead including the establishment of Enterprise Development funds expected to improve the lives of small and medium enterprises in the country. The fund’s managers are tasked to identify local, sectorial or private associations with the view to improving their production/efficiency through capacity enhancement and easing access to financing.

The funds will further develop micro, small and medium enterprise (MSMEs) among the rural population and the urban poor, including but not limited to South Sudanese Farmers Association, dairy producers’ associations, poultry producers’ associations national private companies in the areas of supply, general trade, construction and others. This is good news for the private sector if it is implemented according to the dictates of the text as per the R-ARCSS.

The government will implement recommendation of private sector development strategy (PSDS) developed jointly between the South Sudan business forum and Ministry of Trade and Industry that has provisions for establishing youth enterprise development fund with the goal to bring more youth into economic growth and development. The fund is also expected to establish a women’s enterprise development fund for the provision of subsidized credit for women based enterprise development and capacity of women entrepreneurs.

The revitalized peace agreement also aims to establish microfinance institutions, promote social welfare development policy, and establish a social security fund and it further aims to provide subsidized credit and capacity building for vulnerable members of the society.

The enterprise development fund success lies in the hands of both government and the development partners where a basket fund is created and stakeholders make tangible contributions to be used as revolving funds for start-ups and promotion of incubators project financing. The SMEs will access the funds through a competitive and transparent business plan competition where parties account for their actions during the administration of the revolving fund.

We cannot let go of this opportunity as most of the tasks are within our reach coupled with responsibility to implement the Revitalized peace agreement in letter and spirit for the benefit of the entire country and its people.

A peaceful South Sudan is a prosperous South Sudan.

Published in Good Vibes Magazine issue 1 , November 2019

South Sudan Unite Impresses Once Again

Presented by the Luol Deng Foundation Head of Media, Chier Ajou Deng 

South Sudan Unite (SSU) 5th annual conference was held in Minneapolis, Minnesota USA from July 19 – 21 2019. The three-day event was a big success with over 500 attendees. Like every year, the goal was more than sharing fun and information. It intended to highlight, celebrate and to unite all the people of South Sudan particularly the youth in the diaspora. 

SSU is an initiative of the Luol Deng Foundation — through the celebration of South Sudanese cultures, highlighting the arts, fashion, professional development, mentorship and community development initiatives focused on investing in young people, it aims to create solidarity and peace amongst South Sudanese people in the diaspora and at home. 

 Day 1

 The first day kicked off with a panel and workshop led by South Sudanese professionals, the goal of the moderated panel and workshop called R.I.S.E (Role Models Inspire Strength and Empower) was to empower the youth to become leaders of their world by providing guidance and creating a strong network of positive role models to support and develop young people.

The panel had a range of South Sudanese with different backgrounds take the stage to share their experiences as entrepreneurs, academics, professional athletes and social justice activists.

Some of the panelists and speakers shared their thoughts about SSU:

“The workshops and panel day is always one of my favorite days. There aren’t many opportunities or spaces where we can come together as South Sudanese professionals and share knowledge, experiences, and network while discussing issues and opportunities in our communities. I love that the day is filled with meaningful conversation around South Sudanese solutions to South Sudanese problems and opportunities. It’s a day that gives young people a chance to see themselves in and learn from professionals that look like them. The epitome of representation!” -Buay Tut, Director of Outreach & Diversity at Make School 

Day 2:

The Community Day Festival on the second day was a social event for families, friends and the South Sudanese community to gather in the spirit of peace and simply have fun. Attendees got to play basketball and socialize with each other and ate traditional dishes cooked by South Sudanese women. There were many activities for the younger children like a bouncy castle, football and face painting, a DJ and dance floor open to all. 

Video game developer, Lual Mayen named a Global Gaming Citizen by Facebook at the 2018 Game Awards, led a VR game activation. Akeem Akway, the official Barber of the Minnesota Vikings and Timberwolves provided free haircuts to South Sudanese youth at the festival.

Some of the attendees shared why they chose to come to SSU/their experience: 

“I come to South Sudan Unite to learn more about my heritage and meet people from my country.” -Ivan Arkangelo, Atendee at SSU

evening event 

SudoNight, also known as Culture Night was an opportunity to enjoy live music and performances by South Sudanese musicians and dancers. Music performances included Bafo Joseph, Dynamq, Amanie Illfated, Khat Diew, Yaba Angelosi, Wad Haj Yousif, and DJ Biggie Deng. Cultural dance groups included Nyiir Biem, Anyuak Traditional Dance Group, Youth for Greater Good, and Jonglei Dance Group. 

SSU gave out awards to recognize two outstanding South Sudanese individuals for their work in the community: 

Video game developer, Lual Mayen, received the Achievement Award for developing Salaam, a game about peace and the refugee experience that drew inspiration from his twenty two years in a refugee camp. 

Nyamuon Nguany was given the Diaspora Award for her work in building bridges and partnerships between immigrants, especially in under represented communities and the lawyers and advocates working to stand up for their rights. 

Day 3: Fashion & Arts Showcase, July 21, 2019 

South Sudan Unite rounded up with a fashion show hosted by Nyakouth Chakin and Anyang Deng, consisting of some of the best South Sudanese designers and models displaying both traditional and modern clothing. Additionally, there was an interactive art exhibition, vendors, and live performances by South Sudanese dancers, art performers and musicians. 

SSU 2020 will be held in Kansas, Missouri, USA 

For more information: 

Please visit:


Instagram: @Southsudanunite 

Abul Oyay : My Plate of Combo

The invitation to the exhibition came across WhatsApp, Facebook, and other social media platforms and in no time, word spread about Abul Oyay’s hosting of her first art exhibition since moving onto the compound of the Visually Impaired in Juba, South Sudan. Baobab House – named for the large baobab tree in the front yard – was the venue and everyone was excited. Both locals and internationals expressed interest in coming out to view the new pieces as well as older works by Abul. The event was a hit and the theme “My Plate of Combo” was totally fitting.

Combo, a South Sudanese food, is a staple meal that everyone knows, eats, and loves. It’s the dish that is low cost and high in nutrition. It is also very delicious and filling especially when eaten with kisra (South Sudan’s flat bread). Made with okra and local peanut butter, Combo helps people get through lean times and no one gets tired of eating it.

Abul chose the theme “My Plate of Combo” to share how her art has sustained her through very tough times in the past. She also chose the theme to express the hospitality of South Sudanese when sharing food. Fadal: An Arabic word that means welcome is one that is usually spoken especially when eating and can be a greeting to complete strangers to join in sharing a meal.  During the event, Abul not only welcomed friends and strangers into her home, she also allowed her guests to learn a bit more about her which turned out to be a special treat.

In the past, she’d been told that some of her work was too expensive so, My Plate of Combo was Abul’s way to allow those with smaller wallets afford to buy her work – just as providing a plate of Combo to one’s family is inexpensive. And in her humble way, she used some of the proceeds to uphold her commitment to her visually impaired neighbors – that being to support them in their endeavors to participate in creative activities. Abul opened up and shared why she’d chosen the theme, her commitment to her neighbors, and updated her guest on all the new artwork. There were pieces priced as low as $200 and those that cost $1500.

Each piece of art that Abul Oyay creates is one-of-a-kind and when someone purchases a piece from her, they know that no one else has a copy of it. What they also need to know is that they are not only buying art, they are supporting a young and developing nation. Abul travels all over South Sudan for inspiration and always finds a way to give back to those that inspire her. Much of her work incorporates themes from places she’s visited as well as materials like coffee, kerkede (hibiscus), and stitching by local women; techniques she shares during her monthly “Wine and Canvas” event at the Baobab House. Locals as well as internationals interested in painting join her in creating art and learning new best practices directly from Abul. Participants are invited to “paint, drink wine, and have fun” while spending time with other art-lovers and Abul. Wine and Canvas is Abul’s special way of sharing her talent with others as well as showing the uniqueness of what it is to be a South Sudanese. Just as she takes time so give to others, she also takes her time with each piece she paints and adds a personal touch ensuring that what is sold is wholly unique and satisfying – just as Combo is and has been for South Sudanese – Abul Oyay’s work is distinctive and simply beautiful.

By: Saree Mading

Good Vibes Magazine issue 1, Nov 2019