President Kiir taps UAE investors for second time

President Kiir taps UAE investors for second time
President Salva Kiir (right) greets the First Vice President Dr Riek Machar upon the former’s arrival at the Juba International Airport on Saturday, April 4, 2022. The President had travelled to UAE for an official visit. [Photo: Presidential Press Unit]

President Salva Kiir launched a second bid to woo foreign investors from the United Arab Emirates during his recent visit to the Gulf nation.

According to the Minister of Presidential Affairs, Dr Barnaba Marial Benjamin, Kiir had travelled to the UAE to extend an invitation for the second time to investors to cash in on the South Sudanese economy.

In his five day-visit to Abu Dhabi, President Kiir held discussions on several bilateral issues with his counterpart, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed bin Sultan.

Dr. Barnaba, who was part of the president’s delegation to Abu Dhabi, told the media that the purpose of the visit was to encourage investors to come to South Sudan.

“The President’s visit is to encourage more investors to come to the Republic of South Sudan, and I think that is a great signal… Peace is being implemented and there will be stability. This country will now embark on development, “Dr. Marial told the journalists.  

He added, “The encouragement of investment, especially from the United Arab Emirates and surrounding Middle East countries, [stems from the fact that] there was a lot of interest at the show Expo, which had over 160 participants, and South Sudan attracted more interest [of another country]”.

Previous visit

The President visited the Arab nation on April 18, for the second time in a span of two months. In his previous three-day visit in February, President Kiir extended a similar invitation.

By then, President Sheikh Mubarak pledged his government’s support to support bilateral relations between the two countries.

“We are determined to strengthen cooperation and exchange expertise with South Sudan across various areas of shared interest, such as education, bilateral trade, and government modernization,” Sheikh Mubarak said.

South Sudan, endowed with abundant natural resources including minerals, wildlife, and fertile arable agricultural land, could offer great opportunities to multilateral investors.

Early in South Sudan, investors were scared off by the conflict, which is not the case nowadays due to the revitalised peace agreement that has ushered in relative stability across the country since the commencement of the implementation of the agreement in 2019. 

According to President Kiir’s press secretary in February, Ateny Wek Ateny said the investors from the UAE would create employment opportunities for the jobless South Sudanese youth.

 “Our laws require that any investor that comes to South Sudan must at least have a junior partner who is a South Sudanese. So, it will provide a significant opportunity for our people with at least a small percentage of 1 to 10 per cent of locals getting employed and running those companies, “Ateny stated.