South Sudan Seeks $1.9 Billion Loan from China

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South Sudan says it is seeking a $1.9 billion loan from China to develop its oil fields and roads.

The war-torn country fought its way into an economic crisis after more than two years of civil conflict. And despite South Sudan’s riches in natural oil supplies, it lacks the necessary infrastructure to maintain the industry. The huge loan will be used to develop the country’s oil fields and improving infrastructure.

 

South Sudan turns to China

“The oilfields need to be working,” Foreign Minister Deng Alor Kuol says. Which has been the case since South Sudan became an independent state in 2011. The world’s youngest nation held on to its natural oil reserves but lost the means to effectively produce it during the divorce from Sudan.

Civil war crippled the country’s modest economy and international donors appear to have lost patience with the country’s political soap opera. Luckily for South Sudan, China’s hunger to invest in African nations shows no signs of abating and it comes without the political small print of Western sources.

 

Infrastructural development

Aside from rebuilding South Sudan’s oil industry, the loan will be used to develop road and bridges to improve the country’s overall infrastructure. It’s reported $700 million will be used to rebuild a road between Juba and Wau, which was damaged in heavy fighting over the last month.

Much of the remaining funds will be used to reopen oil fields in Unity State that were shut when the civil war broke out in December 2013. China is also expected to develop existing oil field and new infrastructural projects as part of the deal.

 

Featured image:
flickr photo shared by Ervins Strauhmanis under a Creative Commons ( BY ) license

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.