Mineral Wealth

The vast majority of South Sudanese mineral and oil wealth has not yet been developed. Several international investor groups are, however, already engaged in South Sudan’s largest export industries. With independence and the lifting of sanctions, new opportunities for investors in oil exploration and production companies have emerged with the prospect of expanded business activities and the discovery and use of other natural resources:

1. Development of local refineries and tank storage capacity.
2. Oil and gas exploration and production: less than 50% of the presumed oil reserves currently used.
3. Construction of oil and gas refineries and oil pipelines with connections to neighboring countries (Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia).

Geological studies and prospecting has shown that the South Sudan has substantial deposits of various minerals: ferrous and non-ferrous metals such as gold, iron, uranium, copper, limestone, marble, granite, chrome, zinc, tungsten, mica, and magnetite, as well as diamonds and precious stones, oil, and other chemicals.

Agriculture as an Essential Pillar

Traditionally, the South Sudanese economy has been shaped by agriculture. Abundant water and land as well as a vast, insufficiently met local and regional demand create excellent opportunities for further development of the country in many sectors, such as agriculture, fishing, cattle-breeding and forestry. Some examples and figures can illustrate this:

• At least 30 million hectares are arable farmland, but less than 5% of the agriculturally usable land is actually used. The larger part consists of flat alluvial land and rolling hills.

• The Nile and other rivers represent one of the greatest opportunities worldwide in renewable water resources.

• Rainfall of 500 mm to 2000 mm per year allows for extensive agriculture. Thanks to intensive solar radiation in some areas such as the “greenbelt”, two harvests per year are possible.

• The introduction of products worth more than $100 million annually in the local and regional market.

• Neighboring countries with a total population of over 250 million people which import for more than $ 4.5 billion in food and agricultural products.

Agriculture and secure food supplies have the highest priority for the government in Juba. Investors can lease public and private land for up to 99 years. There are also duty-free imports and tax breaks for agricultural projects.

A Selection of Some Areas of Agricultural Resources:

Cereals
• Large quantities are imported from South Sudan and neighboring countries, while global demand and prices are rising.
• Large, relatively little-used areas with sufficient rainfall and abundant sunshine in the floodplains along major rivers open new market opportunities.
• Several local and regional investors are already developing commercial farms, especially in the state of the Upper Nile.
• The main challenges are transparent and fair distribution of land, full involvement of local communities, and sufficient transport infrastructure with optimum access to markets.

Oil Seeds
A boom in global demand as well as rising prices, along with large local and regional demand for edible oil, animal feed, and fuels.
• Ideal for palm oil production in southern equatorial belt and the oil-seed crops along the northern river valleys.

Sugar
• Less than 20% of local demand: most of the neighboring countries are net importers, while global demand and prices go up.
• Former plantations and mills are suitable for rehabilitation. Precedents exist for successful foreign direct investment in the countries of the southern Sahara region.

Horticulture and Floriculture
• High rainfall in the “green belt” along the border with Uganda, which speaks for attractive gardening and profitable floriculture, in a cost-effective distance of only about 100 km from the international airport of Juba.
• Comprehensive cultivation of tropical fruits available: mango, pineapple, avocad, …

Coffee/Tea
• Coffee and tea plantations, which originated in the 1970s in the “green belt” and were abandonend during the Civil War, can be revitalized
• There is potential for investors to restore plantations, and for investment in coffeewashing stations and tea factories as well.

Other Crops
Sudan as a whole is a leading exporter of sesame seeds and acacia-quality crops, especially in the Middle East.

Fisheries
• Many large rivers, lakes and wetlands provide an ideal environment for fishery products of all types, with a capacity of producing up to 300,000 tons annually
• Since traditional stocks are depleted, there is a growing global demand for lake and farmed fish

Cattle Breeding
• 12 million cattle and 11 million sheep and goats in the states of Upper Nile, Western Bahr el Ghazal and Eastern Equatoria.
• Very large export opportunities in sheep and goats with a goods and trade worth of more than $ 40 million, primarily in the area of live animals (exports to the Middle East), one of the largest export categories (after oil)
• Traditional labor for large sections of the population (with sufficient skills)
• Large areas of previously- unattended land: ideal for the operation of ranches and for fodder production

Forestry
• A rich biological diversity (biodiversity) and forest plantations have led to the establishment of small but growing sawmill
• Natural forests and woodlands cover 29 percent of the total land area of Southern Sudan