The world’s newest nation, South Sudan, faces enormous challenges

June 14, 2011

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(Getty Images/Spencer Platt)
A mother and child wait in an emergency ward in a hospital in Southern Sudan, one of the world's poorest regions.

On July 9, South Sudan is expected to officially declare its independence. But the celebration -- though well-earned -- will also be short-lived.

Decades of civil war have left South Sudan as one of the poorest places on earth.  Facing famine, illiteracy and disease, the amount of work ahead for its new citizens cannot be overstated.

Joseph Bakosoro is a former soldier and currently the governor of West Equatoria – one of the ten states that make up South Sudan. As a governor in Southern Sudan, he will lead this new country into a difficult chapter. He discusses his priorities in building the new country.