Published On: Wed, May 15th, 2013

Dominique Strauss-Kahn comes out of the cold into South Sudan

Strauss-Kahn the former head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is set to make a return to the financial world, which he left in considerable disgrace after being falsely implicated in a sex scandal two years ago. Now he is ready to place his considerable experience in the world of international finance at the disposal of the South Sudanese government, firstly by opening his own bank in Juba, the capital city of South Sedan, which will trade under the title of the National Credit Bank (NCB).

Dominique Strauss-Kahn

Dominique Strauss-Kahn/ Getty

/ By Stanley Green /

Despite the fact that Strauss-Kahn at one time regarded as being a possible candidate for the French presidency was cleared of all criminal charges after New York hotel maid Nafissatou Diallo accused him of sexual molestation, after all of the criminal charges were dropped after prosecutors reached the conclusion that Diallo was not a credible witness, there still remained a question mark over his head.

A question mark that the Frenchman is now attempting to dispel by restarting his career in a country that has been ravaged for decades by the Civil War and is now one of the least developed in the World.

According to Strauss-Kahn, as well as opening the National Credit Bank, the purpose of his visit to South Sudan was to make a first-hand assessment of the investment opportunities that the country may provide to foreign investment, knowing that  a period of stability has hopefully arrived.

At the start of his visit,  which lasted two days, Strauss-Kahn stated that South Sedan is a new country and beset with a number  of economic and political problems. Despite that fact the country is intended to enjoy a full opportunity for development and business, ” he summed up.

For the time being at least details of who is behind the establishment of the NCB bank remain sketchy, although government officials have let it be known that the bank is basically a private venture enjoying backing of a Switzerland-based organization with locally based South Sudanese partners also involved.

South Sudan enjoys the starters of being the world’s youngest country, after splitting North Sudan in July 2011, after the cessation of a vicious civil war, which was immediately followed by the country voting for independence, which was passed by an overwhelming majority. However since South Sedan achieved its independence, infrastructure and financial development is largely stagnated after the South Sudanese government called a halt to oil production after a furious dispute with Sudan. Since production resumed last month, capital has begun to flow back into the country with Strauss- Kahn seeing himself in the role of someone who can help the country to rebuild itself after close to five decades of civil war.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn was born and raised in Paris, France although he spent most of his childhood firstly in Agadir, Morocco, and later Monaco. Strauss-Kahn gained a degree in public law, a PhD and a Masters in economics at the Université Paris where he graduated in 1977.

After a period as a lecturer at the University of Nancy, Strauss-Kahn entered into the world of politics and in 1986 was elected as a Member of Parliament for the first time eventually going on to become chairman of the National Assembly Committee on Finances.

In 1991, Strauss-Kahn was nominated by President Mitterrand for the post of Junior Minister for Industry and Foreign Trade where he was to remain until his party’s  defeat in the elections of 1993. Deciding that the time was right to move into the private sector,  Strauss-Kahn founded his own law practice under the title “DSK Consultants”, handling clients mostly from the business sector.

With his legal practice flourishing, Strauss-Kahn move back into politics becoming mayor of Sarcelles, a small town in the northern suburbs of Paris.

After the elections of 1997 Strauss-Kahn was nominated to become Minister of Economics and Finance,  a post that he held till Jacques Chirac’s success in the 2002 presidential election, moving back into legal practice until seeking nomination for the Socialist candidacy in the 2007 presidential election in which he finished as runner-up.

During July 2007, Strauss-Kahn became the consensus European nominee to be the head of the IMF, with the personal support of the French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

The 24 executive directors, who make up the board of the International Monetary Fund, selected Strauss-Kahn to be managing director replacing Rodrigo Rato of Spain, which he did at the end of September 2007.

After his resignation, John Lipsky, Strauss-Kahn’s second-in-command at the IMF was named acting Managing Director on 15 May 2011, a post he has held ever since.

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