By Deng Kiir Akok
According to Investopedia, black market is an economic activity that takes place outside government-sanctioned channels. In the financial context, the biggest black market exists for currencies in nations with strict currency controls, the website added.
Last week, a friend of mine told me he had $100 USD (United States Dollar) and he wanted to sell it. He was busy with his office and couldn't make it to Juba town where he can get a dealer in dollar to buy his item. Since he himself could not come to town, he told me he would send someone with that money so I could sell that dollar for him.
But before I do anything about his dollar, I have to tell him the exact price on that day black market exchange rate who later I didn't do so. After he instructed me what to do and what not, I left a certain place I was taking tea and rush to black marketers that used scatter around Ivory bank, Buffalo bank, Jubadit store, just to mention the few. I was there to acquaint myself with how much $100 USD can be sold.
While I reached the place, the members of shadow market engulfed me hoping I will either buy or sell to them any dollar. It's their usual practice to come and round around any person passing by them in those listed places. I could not know how many of them were around me by then because the number was so big and can't count them. That environment confused me and didn't know what to do then.
Good enough, one from the group told me to be normal and name myself with them whether I was a buyer or Seller in which they assured me they were ready at any side (buyer or Seller).
Despite the fact that I was in the dealers' circle, I asked one short guy among them whom seem to be 16-year-old boy that later I was told by his colleagues to be even older than me, to tell me how much was $100 USD in South Sudanese Pounds. " Are you a buyer or Seller? " Asked one dealer whom I didn't ask. I have $100 USD, how much would you buy it for me, I asked him " It's 4,700 Pounds, " he said. Because I doubt them since they are in black market, I quited them for another group nearby our side.
And again asked them and was even lowering than the one before which was 4,600 South Sudanese Pounds.
Because I wanted to know how much they would sell that $100 USD after leaving them, I pretend to be a buyer and asked if they could sell for me $100 USD and they said it's 5,300 South Sudanese Pounds. A thing that would make one wonder on this huge amount differences between buying and selling.
No matter what you would persuade them to make a discount for you while buying, they will never drop even a coin on that price. That is one thing I have learned about this mono-sex business in which males are the only participants. Thank God for not letting South Sudanese women to take part in black market business.
I am afraid that in the nearest future, one would look for a porter or wheelbarrow operator to carry such huge amount of pounds when one is in position to buy or sell dollars.
Last but not the least, we are just waiting for black marketeers to tell us how much we would buy $100 USD tomorrow, nothing can prevent them to sell $100 USD at 10,000 South Sudanese Pounds or more than that amount. The amount at which one hundred dollar can be sold in South Sudanese Pounds can't be estimated at coming days if good economic measures are taken by ministry of finance and economic planning to jumpstart the ailing economy.
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