Vast investment opportunities beckon potential investors in the world’s newest Republic of South Sudan, the Undersecretary in the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Ms Elizabeth Majak Manoah has announced.
Speaking during the opening of a three-day trade fair at the Nyakuron Cultural Centre in Juba on Friday, Ms Manoah who represented her minister Hon. Garang Diing Akuang who is on official duty to Khartoum said South Sudan provides great potential investment opportunities in all areas of the economy. She mentioned areas like education, health, infrastructure, electricity, ICT, and agro business like fishing, poultry and cash crop farming as some of the areas.
“There are lots of investment opportunities in South Sudan. Whatever you do as a business person in South Sudan being small or big, it will get market and you will reap profits”, she said.
The undersecretary said that South Sudan as a new nation depends on imports. She said depending on imports is costly, denies the local people job opportunities and also takes away resources. She said the government is committed to attracting private investment in South Sudan. She said the country has all the resources and the potential to produce essential commodities and services rather than going across the borders for the same.
Ms Manoah said another potential area for investment in South Sudan is mining. She explained that apart from oil which constitutes 98 percent of the total revenue for the new nation, the government wants to diversify the economy. She said the country is blessed with lots of minerals that include gold, which is proven to be in Kapoeta in Eastern Equatoria, copper, iron, limestone and cement are available in the country.
She added that there are about seven government factories in the country that are currently non functional due to the consequences of the long civil war and. She explained that the government would like to privatize them. She said these factories include sugar factories, oil seed factories, and fruit factories that were run by the then government of the Sudan.
She said another potential area of investment is the building of the new capital of the country at Ramciel. She said it is now public information that the government is moving the capital to Ramciel from the current capital in Juba. She said building a new city presents a lot of investment opportunities ranging from housing, health, transport, and power generation to mention but a few. She said that the master plan is already drawn and will be out soon.
Ms Manoah explained that the central location of the Republic of South Sudan in the continent of Africa enables it to provide ready market for investors who would wish to invest in the country. She said South Sudan is bordered by six countries that include Ethiopia, Kenya in the East, Uganda in the South, DRC and the Central African Republic in the West and Northern Sudan in the North.
She also said South Sudan has vast land compared to the official population of eight million people. She said the population may be around ten million people but even then the country’s area of about 619,745 square kilometers is still big enough. She said of this area 70 percent is conducive for agriculture.
The undersecretary explained that as the government moves to attract investors, it is planning to carry out big investment conferences in Washington, Europe, Middle East, Far East, and in Africa. She called on investors not to be scared by land issues and other prerequisites for investment. She said that the issue of land that has been making headlines in Juba has been reviewed.
She also said there are institutions such as the South Sudan Investment Authority, South Sudan Business Forum as well as legal frameworks such as the Land Act, the Taxation Act which facilitate the investment operations. She also said there are other bills such as the Import and Export licenses, Consumer Protection, and South Sudan Bureau of Standards which are already in Parliament and will soon be passed in to law.