Nouvelles occasions d’affaires dans la plus jeune nation de l’Afrique attirent des entreprises de partout dans le monde …
WSmart investors, savvy analysts and individuals familiar with emerging markets know that southern Sudan is poised to become Africa’s next best bet. So says David Raad and Associates (DR&A) who helps businesses explore and undertake opportunities in southern Sudan.
With few industries outside the oil sector and almost non-existent infrastructure, many international and regional investors are eyeing business opportunities in a newly independent southern Sudan.
Cement manufacturers are hoping for an increase in demand from the south as the region develops its infrastructure.
Pradeep Paunrana managing director of Kenya’s Athi River Mining, producer of the Rhino cement brand, says that southern Sudan will see considerable economic development over the coming years and that cement will be central to improving infrastructure.
East Africa Portland Cement managing director Kephar Tande said his company is also very interested in the southern Sudan market but that any investment is dependent on the outcome of the referendum.
Recent reports suggest that Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) expects to double its branches in southern Sudan in the coming years. One of the few major foreign investments in southern Sudan over recent years has been SABMiller’s Southern Sudan Beverages Ltd (SSBL) brewery in Juba.
The brewery produces White Bull lager and Chairman’s Extra Strong Beer as well as the Club Minerals Sparkling Soft Drinks range and Source Pure Drinking Water. SSBL has also announced it will also start production of two of SABMiller’s existing brands Nile Special Lager and Club Pilsner.
“The decision was taken to produce in southern Sudan primarily for two reasons. One, the market size had the potential to support local production of beverages, and two, the investment climate was right for us to invest in southern Sudan. We are the first major multinational company to invest in southern Sudan and we have thus become the case study for anyone else to base their investment decisions on,” Ian Alsworth-Elvey managing director of SSBL said.
Kenya’s East African Breweries Ltd (EABL) is also set to establish a brewery in southern Sudan. EABL said that it plans to build a 700,000 hectolitre (hl) plant in Juba, which can be expanded to 1 million hectolitre.
Many business people are, however, adopting a wait-and-see approach. Uganda’s Daily Monitor reports that many Ugandan traders will not return to southern Sudan until they can be assured of their safety. According to the newspaper, Ugandan traders in southern Sudan have reported cases of harassment and human rights abuse by security officers and influential people in the region.
Adel Ali chief executive of United Arab Emirates-based Air Arabia believes that southern Sudan needs significant infrastructure development before the region’s aviation industry can really be developed.Air Arabia has been operating flights to Khartoum since 2004 but has no immediate plans to service the south.
Ali added that although southern Sudan’s aviation sector holds possible potential for investment, more clarity is needed on the new government’s investment plans.