Economic situation Lack of stability prevents development

South Sudan is rich in natural resources (oil, gold, diamonds, silver, various ores, water resources, luxury timber, fertile land, and many species of wild animals). However, the absence of government institutions, political instability and massive mismanagement are preventing the use of these resources for the benefit of the people. The majority of the people live below the poverty line, that is, on less than the equivalent of 1.90 US dollars a day.

Straßenzene in Dschuba, der Hauptstadt Südsudans

Street scene in Juba, the capital of Southern Sudan

Street scene in Juba, the capital of Southern Sudan

The economy of South Sudan depends to a large degree on the oil sector. It accounts for more than half of gross domestic product (GDP), 95 per cent of exports, and about 90 per cent of government revenue. During the civil war, the decline of oil production, the drop in oil prices and rapidly rising inflation led to a severe further deterioration in the country's economic situation. The peace agreement signed in September 2018 and the ceasefire improved the chances of economic recovery. Initially, oil production began to rise again after these steps. However, this development has been affected by the global slump in oil prices.

Due to the political uncertainty, it has not yet been possible for a private sector to develop nationally. Almost all products are imported from South Sudan's neighbours Uganda, Kenya and Sudan. The decades of fighting and the resulting displacement mean that fundamental agricultural knowledge has been lost. Many fields cannot be used because armed attacks continue and because there are still many mines. Moreover, the country is suffering under climate-related challenges such as droughts, floods, and crop pests.