UAE investors earmark sectors for cash injection

UAE investors earmark sectors for cash injection
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 Mayardit yesterday addressed the council of ministers where he unveiled detailed plans by the investors from the United Arab Emirates to cash in on the country’s economy following his diplomatic visit last month.

At the end of the meeting of the council of ministers, the Minister for Information, Communication Technology and Postal Services, Michael Makuei Lueth, said the investors from the United Arab Emirates had earmarked certain areas of investment in the country. 

He said target areas were road construction, agricultural production and animal husbandry among other key projects.

“The purpose of the visit was to discuss first bilateral relations between the two countries,” he explained.

“There was a meeting for investors and companies, investors and business people in the United Arab Emirates concentrated around three areas of investment and probably, they will be more than that.”

The information minister said the projects include road construction, agriculture and animal husbandry among others.

“These people are interested in investing inroads, and then they have also interest in investing in agriculture because in agriculture they will be in a position to produce their food that they will be exporting to their countries instead of buying from other places,” Makuei stated.

He noted that the delegation from the UAE would soon visit the country at the soonest time possible.

“This is in addition to other investments. It is worth mentioning that a delegation from the United Arab Emirates will be coming to South Sudan. A delegation of businesspeople from there is expected to arrive any time from now,” he concluded.

Investors wooed

Last month, President Kiir enticed investors on his visit to the United Arab Emirates.

“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 media.

Dr Marial revealed that the president’s participation in the Dubai Expo 2020 evoked investment prospects from around 160 participants.

“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]”, Marial added.

This was the second time the President had raised his voice to investors in the country following the initial call during the Dubai Expo.

The spiralling wave of conflict across the country had been scaring the investors. But in this case, the leader of the United Arab Emirates, Sheik Mubarak, revealed in bilateral talks with South Sudan through education, trade, and modernisation.

“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.

In February, the President’s press secretary, Ateny Wek Ateny, said investors from the UAE would create greater avenues to employ 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 said.