Country - South Sudan

South Sudan

South Sudan Country Information

South Sudan which was separated from the Republic of Sudan in 2011 is a landlocked country surrounded by seven nations in the African continent. Ethiopia lies to the east of South Sudan, Kenya to the southeast, Uganda and Congo the south, Central African Republic in the west and Sudan in the north.  Juba is its capital city and English is the official language. Arabic is widely spoken and more than 200 local languages are in use in the country.

The total population of South Sudan was estimated as more than 12 million in 2016.  The estimates of 2018 reveal that the per capita GDP(nominal) was US$246. Although the Republic of Sudan was the first nation to recognize independence of South Sudan, the relations between both nations continue to be under strain. With the separation from Sudan, the logistics of South Sudan became stagnant and more passive. While South Sudan alleges that its oil is stolen by Sudan from the pipeline en route, Sudan defends that the quantity of oil garnered is in lieu of the transshipment fees levied for using its territory for transporting oil to the oil refineries and shipment facilities at Port Sudan. Consequently, South Sudan suspended production of oil for 15 months which spelt a major blow to its own GDP that fell down by 48% in 2012. Oil production was resumed resulting in resurgence of GDP by 30% in the second half of 2013. However, the extent of production was still lower compared in 2011, before the shutdown. Recurrence of dispute in December 2013 led to low production of oil and the GDP touched the bottom levels from 2013 to 2017.

Considering the lengthy period involved and the cost of laying another pipeline, if at all South Sudan decides to implement, it is inevitable for South Sudan to remain connected to Sudan for some more years.  

In spite of being in possession of fertile terrains and abundant water resources that can cater 10-20 million cattle, South Sudan had to bear the brunt of poverty due to excessive spending on military and deceased output of oil. The country had to rely on external foreign debt of more than US $4 billion since 2005, mainly from the countries the UK, the USA, Norway and Netherlands. Heavy indebtedness and low production of oil led to alarming proportions of high inflation at 800% in October 2016.

The main components of exports from South Sudan were crude petroleum, oil seeds, oil flowers, dried legumes and scrap vessels in 2016. The chief imports were raw sugar, packaged medicaments, cars, rice, and palm oil. The total value of exports was US $ 1.34 billion while that of imports was US $ 348 million, with a trade surplus of US $ 994 million.

The shift-over from the fixed rate system to floating the South Sudanese pound in December 2015 did not yield any positive results in the short term. The chronic long term problems include exploring alternate channels of production, poverty alleviation, achieving consistent macroeconomic stability, improving the conditions for EOB (ease-of-doing business) and fuller utilization of human and natural resources.

Tourists to South Sudan find the capital city of Juba as a fast-growing metro with new buildings coming up every week. The memorial built in honour of John Garang,  the leader of Sudan People’s Liberation Army is an important site to visit.

South Sudan is also home to places which are unaffected by modern times. Almost all the people of Dinka tribe perpetuate the ancient nomadic style of living even today and their kids too are actively engaged rearing milch animals.

The city of Kodok, earlier known in ancient times as Fashoda, was closed for almost 500 years on account of its sanctimonious nexus for the kings of Shilluk was a casus belli for Britain and France which were at loggerheads in the 19th century.

Some species of animals in South Sudan seem to have more serious issues than humans do. The massive hectic migration by millions of white-eared kob and tiang antelope in every October at Boma National Park is the biggest animal exodus in the world which should be seen in person to discern the strong obsession of animals to embark on the frantic odyssey. Apart from antelopes, the park is a favourite habitat for elephants, zebras, giraffes, cheetahs and lions along with several other forest mammals.

The White Nile basin in South Sudan has picturesque locations that have plenty of oomph to entice foreign tourists and local visitors alike.