By Larco Lomayat

Prior to his appointment as the Deputy Commissioner General of Revenue Authority on Wednesday, September 16, 2020, Brig. Gen. Africano Mande Gedim was the Governor of the defunct Maridi State in Western Equatoria State.

Africano served as an active duty Colonel and later promoted to the rank of a Brigadier General in the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (Now South Sudan Peoples Defense Forces) until his appointment as Governor of defunct Maridi State on the 24th December 2015.

While in the Military Africano contributed significantly to the ideas and frameworks aimed at the transforming of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) into what he referred to as “professional, accountable, affordable and operational effective military”. Africano is known in the South Sudanese Military General Headquarters for his dictum that “the best soldier is one who talks about the next war that he is going to fight not about the war he has already fought.” Africano served in the SPLA in various capacities such as an Instructor, Director of Military Research, Director of Planning and Strategy, Secretary for Military Transformation and in other classified positions. While in the Military, Africano Mande has also served as a part time lecturer at the University of Juba among others.

Africano with president Kiir

Africano with president Kiir

Africano holds a Master’s Degree in National Security Studies from the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California, USA where he also won the Hans Jones Award for excellence in thesis Research in Special Operations & Irregular Warfare or Security. Africano also holds a BA (Hons.) in International Relations from the United States International University – Africa. In addition to the various Military trainings, Africano also attended other trainings to include trainings at the Institute for Security Studies in Pretoria (South Africa), International Institute for Humanitarian Law in San Remo (Italy) to mention but a few.

Africano Mande participating in Bicycle riding activities in Maridi, 2018

Africano Mande participating in bicycle riding activities in Maridi, 2018

Right after his appointment as the Governor of the defunct Maridi State at the time when South Sudan faced a raging civil war and collapsing economy, Africano automatically began to diagnose the problems and challenges of the new State. In order to address these problems and challenges, Africano not only embarked on the establishment through a systematic thought process of the State institutions such as the State Assembly, State Executive, Justice system, Public Services and the law enforcement, he also set out a well spelled vision for defunct Maridi State which is: “a peaceful, secured, healthy, skillful, productive, informed, cultured and ultimately economically prospered Maridi State with good accessibilities and whose populations are availed access to social services and opportunities to become innovative and progressive.

In order to work towards achieving this vision, while he was a Governor, Africano set out eight sector specific policy priorities that form Maridi State Government’s programs for implementation. Within these sector specific priorities, security, peace, Rule of Law, establishment of the new counties, enhanced capacities for production and for economic rehabilitation and growth, building capacity to deliver physical infrastructural services remain high on the agenda of the Government of Maridi State. With the huge economic challenges that South Sudan has been going through, Africano Mande began preaching that: “We must do more with less”.

Africano Mande giving speech at Maridi Freedom Square

Africano Mande giving speech at Maridi Freedom Square

In conclusion, despite Africano Mande’s commitment in serving in the Republic of South Sudan, he is also a family man. Africano is married to Madam Joyce Tindilo and has five children.

Africano’s passion is in farming, wildlife conservation, Art and music and poetry. Among some of the poems by Africano are Walking the Print of Lord, Ana Zalaan, The Color Deserved, The Sacred Children, We the People, My story, The Warrior’s Hymn, Letter to my Dad, Silent Departure, and Woman’s World. Africano has also produced two unpublished book manuscripts which he hopes to publish in the near future.

Brig. Gen. Africano who hails from Maridi County is a Baka by tribe belonging to the Mukú clan.