South Sudan embarks on investment roadshow after Pope’s kiss
By Toby Prince
The government of the Republic of South Sudan is dispatching a high-level ministerial delegation on an international investment roadshow in April.
This comes after Pope Francis kissed the feet of some of the country’s leaders.
Beginning with government-to-government meetings in Washington, DC, the delegation will also travel to New York, Dubai and Johannesburg.
The aim is to give the administration an opportunity to help the world better understand its vision for South Sudan while showcasing investment and trade opportunities in the country.
The roadshow will allow potential investors the chance to meet policymakers and business leaders face-to-face, to discuss the value proposition on offer in South Sudan.
Mandated by Salva Kiir Mayardt, the president of the republic, the visiting ministers will be open to discuss ideas and projects that will boost the economy, and position South Sudan as a regional growth and investment partner.
In extending his invitation to businesses and media, Nhial Deng Nhial, minister of foreign affairs and international cooperation, said, “We have come through the test of strife. Now we must rebuild, maintain peace, and create. With help, we are ready to show the world that we are capable of being a nation that works. This is an opportunity to partner with us to build an economy and the country.”
Past conflict curtailed oil production in South Sudan, but since the peace accord was signed, the country has resumed production, generating increased revenues to fund development. The purpose of the Invest in South Sudan roadshow is to find partners who will help grow the economy and create jobs.
Minister Deng Nhial added, “We want to build on the peace dividend to build a diversified sustainable economy that will benefit all South Sudan’s people.”
The delegation will be discussing opportunities and incentives that make South Sudan an attractive investment destination, highlighting the country’s importance as a gateway to markets in east and central Africa. South Sudan’s mineral deposits, fertile land, and infrastructure and industrial needs all offer potential investors opportunities outside the petroleum sector. Ministers participating in the roadshow represent multiple sectors of the economy.
“Opportunities exist beyond the petroleum sector. We want to build a world-class education system, an agricultural sector to feed our people and contribute to regional food security, a tourism industry to appreciate our natural heritage and a mining sector that helps us reap the rewards of our own wealth,” he explained.
The investment roadshow aligns with the government’s drive to raise awareness about progress in the country, and investment to re-ignite its economy. It hopes to build on the potential of its diverse underdeveloped sectors and industries.
“There is an African proverb: A man cannot sit down alone to plan for prosperity. We understand this to be true. So we would like to invite you to join us, find opportunities to invest in and have your questions answered,” he concluded.