As South Sudan’s independence date draws nearer many South African companies see opportunity where others see hardship. The South African Minister of Defense and Military Veterans, Lindiwe Sisulu, is encouraging South African businesses to “take advantages of opportunities in Southern Sudan as soon as possible.” A new market that was once significantly stifled by sanctions and debt is suddenly emerging and has plenty of room to grow. South African officials have identified “agriculture, minerals and energy, infrastructure development, information technology and telecoms, water purification and supply, as well as forestry and banking” as “key opportunities.” Sisulu sees the reconstruction of South Sudan not only as a humanitarian responsibility but also as economic opportunity for South African businesses.
Many have already begun to take the unique opportunity. For instance, SABMiller (a South African brewery) completed its construction of a $30 million plant and began production in the budding country over a year ago. The South Sudanese can now enjoy their first locally produced beer, White Bull Lager. South African owned and operated, Kwezi V3 Engineers, have also joined the movement, sending consultants to South Sudan to assist in the restoration of public buildings. The South African based, but pan African mobile phone service provider, MTN, has recently begun investment in the information technology infrastructure of South Sudan. While all of these investments certainly aid in the development of South Sudan’s economy, the companies involved are counting on profitability as well.
The integration of South Sudan into the African economy is one piece of a larger effort to…
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