South Sudan’s Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) has proposed a development plan for 2020-2022 that seeks to reduce the country’s dependence on oil – which accounts for 98% of government revenues and 60% of GDP – and alleviate poverty. According to a published report by the Ministry last June, the proposed plan introduces a set of Prioritized Public Investment Projects (PIPs) that aim to rehabilitate basic industrial hubs as a sustainable means of export and investment promotion. Through industrialization and the re-commissioning of several large-scale projects, the MTI aims to address the country’s trade deficit, maximize its diverse range of national resources and transform South Sudan into a sustainable, export-led economy.
According to the MTI, the industrialization process will be free-market led, in which private sector participation will be prioritized in driving development and economic growth. The MTI plans to revitalize several defunct industries, which had become non-operational due to the war, with the following industries to be rehabilitated and reassessed for viability:
- The Nzara Agro-Industrial Complex: Established in 1946, the Complex targets the development of the associated rural area through improvement of living conditions, creation of employment, encouragement of settlement in the area and provision of raw material for industries. If developed and rehabilitated, the Complex is expected to become financially viable, with an influx of investment able to spur related economic growth.
- The Yirol Oil Mill: Feasibility studies of the facility were conducted – phase one in 2011 and phase two in 2012 – in which the results proved the feasibility of both the area and labor force to produce raw materials. If revitalized, the project could become financially viable, presenting a Net Present Value of approximately $4.1 million and a possible rate of return of 15% for the first two years and a payback period of eight years. The project requires $5.5 million in operational costs for the first six months and is expected to create jobs, improve living conditions and grow the economy.
- The Kapoeta and Kajo-Keji Cement Factories: This project does not represent a defunct industry, but rather a viable opportunity for the extraction of limestone, which can be used as a raw material for cement manufacturing. However, full-scale scale feasibility studies still need to be conducted in order to establish costs and viability.
Additionally, the MTI plans to review and finalize the legal and institutional framework – the existing 26 mercantile laws – to suit both regional and international policy regime and boost trade benefits within the country. To promote and attract investment, the Government is establishing a variety of incentives and investor friendly-regulation – of which several policies, laws and regulations for trade and industry have already been enacted. Accordingly, the MTI is seeking to create an enabling environment with the intention of attracting regional and international investors and spurring economic growth nation-wide. What’s more, the MTI is prioritizing capacity building regarding the workforce through investment in the development of human resources to enhance skills and facilitate knowledge transfer. Through these initiatives, South Sudan is cementing its reputation as an ideal investment destination, driven by government commitment and high reward opportunities.
The Ministry has clear-set objectives for the country, in which economic growth, poverty eradication and the achievement of national development plans – including the South Sudan Vision 2040, African Union Agenda 2063 and Millennium Sustainable Development Goals – are at the forefront of a sectoral revival. Despite global challenges facing the energy sector, the Ministry is confident that the reconstruction and development of the country will be achieved due to strong government will and a national commitment for recovery. Accordingly, South Sudan is open for investment, in which the upcoming South Sudan Oil & Power 2021 (SSOP) Conference & Exhibition serves as the official meeting place and networking event for industry stakeholders.
South Sudan’s MTI is inviting all organizations and investors interested in the range of opportunities that South Sudan has to offer – across energy, infrastructure, power, agriculture and manufacturing sectors, and more – to attend the SSOP 2021 Conference & Exhibition (June 29-30). Under the theme Build the Nation: Capital Raising and Innovative Financing to Build Critical Energy and Infrastructural Projects, the fourth annual event – hosted by Africa Oil & Power – will unite industry leaders and stakeholders to drive growth across diverse sectors of South Sudan’s economy.