The signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005 brought about a conducive environment for business opportunities in South Sudan.
There have been massive investments in areas such as construction and infrastructure development, the oil industry, finance and banking,commercial/business enterprises,telecommunications and transport.
Since the CPA signing, the Government of Southern Sudan has largely been encouraging everyone to invest in South Sudan and exploit the opportunities it has to offer. The main focus has been and still remains the commercial and business sector.
As a result, a number of multinationals, regional and international companies have pitched tent across South Sudan and greatly contributing to the reconstruction efforts as well as provision of employment opportunities.
The investment policy and regulation is South Sudan is based on the Republic of South Sudan implementation of Investment Act 2004.
Information for Investors
Given the many years of civil war, South Sudan is literally being built from scratch. The road network, housing, banking sector, insurance, schools and other amenities in the huge country all need urgent attention and the focus is on the donor community, the government, and above all, commercial investors.
South Sudan is an emerging market. A lot has been done since the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005. Juba, for instance, has been transformed from the virtual ghost town it used to be into a remarkable commercial hub that was unimaginable just a couple of years ago. But the investors still need to be patient as the government and other stakeholders put the necessary infrastructure and systems in place. The stark reality is that Juba cannot become "a Nairobi", for instance, in just a few years. Nonetheless, South Sudan is a virgin country and a lot of businesses are currently setting shop in Juba city as well as other towns in the ten states such as Wau and Malakal.
The Government of the Republic of South Sudan (GoSS) is keen to cultivate and nurture a conducive investment environment in the country. Consequently, it has put in place necessary procedures and systems to facilitate rapid business setup in the country through the respective ministries and commissions. It also organizes trade fairs in which potential investors are able to meet government officers as well as their potential South Sudanese counterparts in Juba and other places. These have been a great success.
The government has also taken specific steps to promote investment in the country. Some of these include:
- Establishment of Southern Sudan Investment Authority (SSIA);
- Development of investments laws which spell out the investment guidelines in the country;
- Equal treatment and opportunity for local and international investors; and Enactment of specific laws that support investment by making provisions for attractive fiscal regimes, protection of industrial and intellectual property rights, credible guarantee of legal security and investment stability, repatriation of profits and dividends, custom duties exemptions, as well as reduced red tape and bureaucracy.
The specific investment policies include:
- Policy of non-discrimination - foreign investors are allowed to invest in and run businesses in any sector in Southern Sudan;
- Guarantees against expropriation - The government shall not nationalize any enterprise. Further, no investor will be compelled (by law or otherwise) to cede any part of investment capital;
- Protection of Intellectual Property laws - The government shall protect all intellectual property and rights of all persons and investors. All trademarks, copyrights, patents, etc will be enforced;
- Access to Public Information - Investors have open and direct access to all laws and decisions of courts, other adjudicative bodies and to any public information;
- Repatriation of capital, profits and dividends - investors have the right to freely repatriate their money in freely convertible currency or dispose of it in any manner they deem fit, subject to tax and other lawful obligations; and
- Dispute Resolution - Any aggrieved investor has recourse to the courts of Southern Sudan which has jurisdiction over business disputes. Parties to a dispute are also free to specify alternative dispute resolution mechanisms they may agree upon. Any investor in dispute with the GoSS has recourse to internationally accepted dispute resolutions mechanisms.
Investment Opportunities in South Sudan
To anyone who has never been to South Sudan, its mention brings to mind a dry, harsh and rough terrain with extreme climatic conditions that are exceptionally unfavorable to any agricultural activity. The opposite is true of the shallow vast field in South Sudan. From the rich larger Equatoria to the greater Bahrel Ghazal region lies the immense agricultural potential. The tranquil Nile River that glides through South Sudan adds to the beauty that is agriculture owing to its permanent water supply.
Central Equatoria land is generally fertile for agriculture. Yei, Kajo-Keji, Terekeka Zezira across the Nile are fertile areas for production. Food crops and vegetables like tomatoes, onion, cabbage, okra and others do well in the state. Others like groundnuts, sorghum, maize, millet, cassava sweet potatoes do well in Yei, Kajo-Keji, Lanya, Morobo, Lobonok and Rajab.
You have lots of pics of agriculture …let’s do a pictorial on agriculture in South Sudan with pics.
In Eastern Equatoria, Crops grown in the area include: Sorghum, millet, cassava, ground nuts and simsim.
In Jonglei State, different crops are grown in the area for domestic and commercial purposes. They include: Sorghum, groundnut and maize.
In Western Bahrel Ghazal, Different crops are grown in the area for domestic and commercial purposes. They include: Cassava, Dura, groundnut, maize, sweet potatoes and peanut.
Western Equatoria has the most fertile and arable land. The state is composed of agriculturalists and supplemented by some hunting. It also produces the highest quality timber in Sudan and Africa. The state is known for its fruits production particularly mangoes, pineapples, citrus fruits. There is great potential for fruit and juice processing industries, cereal milling industry, edible oil milling industry and subsidiary industry.
The state is also conducive to sugarcane and coffee production as cash crops.
The Nzara- Agro Indusrtrial Complex could stimulate cotton production.
In Northern Bahrel Ghazal, the Aweil Rice Scheme and Toch-chol Sorghum Schemes.
The following industries were operating in Southern Sudan before the war:
- Saw mills, fruit canning factory and brewery in Wau, Western Bahr el Ghazal state;
- Kenaf project for making packaging Hessian cloth in Tonj, Warrap State;
- Nzara Agro Industrial Complex, Western Equatoria State; and
- Mongalla Cotton Spinning and Weaving factory, Central Equatoria state.
Three industrial projects were identified but the feasibility studies were not completed before the war started:
- Paper making project from papyrus that grows in the Sudd or swamps of the states of Warrap, Unity, Upper Nile, Jonglei and Lakes;
- Shea Butter project in greater Bahr el Ghazal; and
- Palm Oil project in Western Equatoria.
Transport and Communication
Over the past two and half years after the signing of the CPA, major roads liking major towns have been cleared of landmines and repaired. Air transport is available between the ten states capitals and the national capital Khartoum. Three mobile telephone companies serve the Southern Sudan.
Tourism and Hotels
During the war most of the wildlife migrated to Uganda and Kenya. However, since 2006 they have all returned. The Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife Conservation and Environment has rehabilitated tourist camp sites. The number of hotels in Juba exceeds 50. Most of them are constructed with prefabricated materials. A few have conference facilities with limited capacities. The other major towns need hospitality services.
Energy and Mining Sector
Oil reserves have been discovered in five states: Northern Bahr el Ghazal, Warrap, Lakes, Upper Nile and Jonglei. The concessions to explore and extract the oil have been granted to a number of oil companies from Europe and Asia. No significant extraction has started yet. However, there are investment opportunities in oil refineries and other related amenities.
The source of electricity in all the towns is from thermal generators, which is usually insufficient for the needs of everyone living in those towns. The fuel used to power the generators comes from the North and East Africa, and is expensive. Blackouts are common. Hydro-electricity is the only hope for cheap, clean and abundant electricity. Two rapids have been identified on the Nile south of Juba. One is Fula Rapids near the town of Nimule and the other is Baden Falls, 35 km south of Juba. Earlier studies estimated that Fula Rapids could produce 1,440MW while Baden Falls could produce 940MW. In Western Bahr el Ghazal, about 20 km south of Wau town, there are rapids near Rafili village that could be harnessed to produce enough electricity for the greater Bahr el Ghazal region.
The south is still virgin in terms of geological survey and mineral exploration. A few international companies started geological surveys which were interrupted by the war. However, there are areas where some minerals have been identified to exist:
- Gold is panned by the locals near Kapoeta, Eastern Equatoria state;
- Diamonds are found in Namatina, Western Bahr el Ghazal, close to the border with Central Africa Republic;
- The iron stone plateau, which stretches across the states of Northern Bahr el Ghazal, Western Bahr el Ghazal, Western Equatoria, Warrap and Lakes was the source of iron before colonization. This abundant iron ore could sustain many iron smelting factories for several years;
- Copper used to be mined in Hofrat E'nahas, Western Bahr el Ghazal state;
- Limestone deposits exist in sufficient quantities to sustain cement and glass making factories in Kapoeta, Eastern Equatoria; and Raga, Western Equatoria.
Real Estate & Construction
Information to be updated soon.
Government Investment policies and regulations
The investment policy and regulation is South Sudan is based on the Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS) implementation of Investment Act 2004.
To further assist those wishing to conduct business within Southern Sudan, the Government of Southern Sudan has now clarified the procedures as indicated below through UNJLC snapshots.
Duties and Tax Exemption and Customs Procedures in Sudan - 2008
UNJLC Customs Study 2008