The economy of South Sudan has been predominately rural-based and subsistent in nature.
There are 30 commercial investment and agricultural banks operating in South Sudan under regulation of the Bank of South Sudan (BoSS). Commercial banks include Ivory Bank (1993), Nile Commercial Bank (2005), Buffalo Commercial Bank (2007), Bank of Ethiopia (2009), KCB Bank Group (2005) and Equity Bank (2009).
Still a growing sector, microfinance and microcredit institutions include Sudan Microfinance Initiative, Bangladesh Rural Cooperation (BRAC), Savannah Farmers’ Cooperation (SFC) and Finance Sudan.
South Sudan has great agricultural potential. Of its 82 million-hectare land surface, more than half is estimated to be suitable for agriculture. Some common agricultural products include pineapple, cotton, groundnuts, sorghum, millet, wheat, cotton, sweet potatoes, mangoes, pawpaw, sugarcane, cassava and sesame.
The majority of indigenous communities are pastoralists with an estimated eight million cattle. Additionally, there are millions of poultry, goats, pigs, horses, donkeys, sheep and other animals.
Despite huge water bodies in South Sudan, commercial fishing remains largely unexploited. Fish species include Nile perch, tilapia, catfish, mudfish, lungfish, moon fish (opah) and electric fish.
Natural forests and woodlands cover 29 per cent of the total land area of South Sudan. Currently, commercial exploitation is limited only to teak, natural mahogany and gum Arabic.
Currently, the largest manufacturing plant is Southern Sudan Beverages Ltd, which produces beer and soft drinks. Manufacturing sectors, including sugar, textile, cement, fruit, vegetable and timber, were wiped out during the war. The Ministry of Commerce and Industry has prioritized agro-based industrialization, with a focus on fruit processing, cereal processing and production of livestock commodities.
Sample notes of the currency:
This article was updated on Jul 12, 2011
This article was updated on Aug 19, 2011