JUBA, April 23– South Sudanese government and business officials will on Wednesday meet with South African businesses community in Johannesburg in an effort to woo investment into the east African country.
The event, part of the country’s four-city global investment drive that began early this month in Washington, New York and Dubai, seeks to persuade South Africa investors and businesses that the world’s youngest country is at peace and safe for investment, organizers said in a statement on Tuesday.
Onyoti Adigo Nyikwec, South Sudan’s minister for agriculture and food security, said a recently signed peace deal would stabilize the conflict-torn country and boost investment.
“It is now time for development in South Sudan. This is why we visited Washington DC, New York, Dubai and now Johannesburg. These are investor hubs and with the returning of the peace we are looking for investors to help us build,” Onyoti said.
Mining minister Gabriel Thokuj Deng said the investment drive will provide opportunities to find partners to build a strong mining sector in South Sudan.
“South Sudan offers opportunities in all phases of the industry, from mapping to infrastructure. Mining is a virgin investment in South Sudan, so the infrastructure is nonexistent,” added Deng.
According to the World Bank, South Sudan is the most oil-dependent nation in the world, with oil accounting for almost the totality of exports, and around 60 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP).
But after the young nation descended into civil war in late 2013, oil production declined from 350,000 barrels in 2011 to less than 130,000 barrels per day in 2014 amid soaring inflation and economic crunch.
Outside the oil sector, the world’s youngest nation has high potential in agriculture which largely remains unexploited as only four percent of South Sudan is currently under cultivation, according to a report by KPMG in 2017.
The east African country is also home to over 30 million livestock such as cattle, goats and sheep and huge mineral deposits. – XINHUA