Rebuilding the Economy in Southern Sudan

The World Bank Group, backing private sector growth in the world’s most challenging environments, is helping rebuild the economy in Southern Sudan, a region of Sudan gripped by poverty and still suffering from a destructive 20-year civil war.


At the invitation of Southern Sudan’s government, the World Bank Group's Investment Climate Advisory Services Program is supporting reconstruction from the ground up, helping establish a legal framework for business registration and other economic activity in a region where jobs are scarce, opportunities limited, and the informal sector dominates. 


Southern Sudan’s government, working with the World Bank Group since 2006, a year after a ceasefire ended Sudan’s long-running civil war, recently published four investment laws that will improve the region’s business environment and encourage private sector growth.



Southern Sudan factbox
Southern Sudan became a region of Sudan following the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in January, 2005 that ended a long-running civil war. The region is home to 8 million people, with a substantial force of UN peacekeepers. The business environment suffers from little or no access to power, water and other services. Lack of Infrastructure is a major hurdle to economic growth.

With the World Bank Group's help, the region has enacted 30 new laws in the last 18 months as it builds its own distinctive legal framework.The World Bank Group is also helping establish the Southern Sudan Investment Authority to promote investment and is backing a consultation mechanism for increasing public-private dialogue.

An investor conference supported by the World Bank Group – the first of its kind in Southern Sudan -- is scheduled for the near future.



Thanks to IFC’s support, Southern Sudan has attracted and registered about 1,600 new businesses in the past 18 months, about half of these in the important construction and services sectors. These businesses are expected to bring jobs and opportunity to thousands. 


Catherine K. Masinde, the Investment Climate Advisory Services team leader in Sudan, said: "Re-establishing the rule of law in a post-conflict environment is essential to building investor confidence, and attracting new investment to a country battered by war. The World Bank Group's support to the Southern Sudan’s government to develop and disseminate its commercial laws is, therefore, critical for economic growth, jobs, and poverty reduction in the region.” 


Poorest and Most Fragile Countries


Supporting growth and poverty reduction in Southern Sudan highlights IFC and the World Bank Group’s increasing commitment to the poorest and most fragile regions and countries in Africa, including those recovering from conflict, where formal economic activity has all but dried up. 


In the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and other extremely poor and fragile African countries, The World Bank Group is working with governments and other partners to help build a legal foundation for businesses -- small and large -- to establish and grow. 


Following the implementation of recent reforms that have simplified and sped the process of registering a business, the World Bank Group is now exploring investment opportunities in Southern Sudan, in sectors including energy, construction materials, hotels, trade finance, and microfinance. 


For more information contact:
Sabrina Hadjadj-Aoul
Communications Officer
Johannesburg, South Africa
Phone: +27 11 731 3175