Juba — South Sudan has received a $500m financing facility from African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), the continental multilateral trade finance institution, to fund power transmission, infrastructure and farming projects, it said on Monday.

South Sudan, the world’s youngest country after its split from Sudan in 2011, has some of the largest reserves of crude in sub-Saharan Africa, only one-third of which have been explored so far.  It is emerging from years of conflict after a peace deal in September.

“We want to help South Sudan make the investments it needs to develop,” Benedict Oramah, the bank’s president, was quoted as saying in a statement issued on behalf of the government. “We are seeing a country beginning to rise from the ashes and offering opportunities to its people. Afreximbank will support those who want to go to South Sudan.”

Cairo-based Afreximbank had assets of $12.46bn in 2017, of which $10.84bn is in loans. It is owned by a range of shareholders including SA, which became the 47th African government to join in 2017, as well as central banks.

The bank has provided another $200m in financing to South Sudan in the previous two years, Oramah said.

Melissa Cook, the MD of African Sunrise Partners which has clients doing business in South Sudan, including banks, said the business climate had started to improve.

“It is not the easiest place to go into, but worth it,” she was quoted as saying in the statement.

Energy minister Jeff Radebe was recently forced to defend SA’s separate $1bn involvement in an oil exploration deal in South Sudan. The Sunday Times reported that the minister may have flouted government processes as the deal had not come before the cabinet and did not have approval from the Treasury.


With staff writer