January 31, 2011

Birth of a Nation: Welcoming South Sudan

If you have ever wanted to buy a map, now may not be the time. On Sunday, Southern Sudan's referendum commission said that nearly 99% of voters had chosen to secede from the North in this month's referendum, paving the way for the establishment of a new nation in July.

Officials hope that the transition, like the vote itself, will remain smooth and peaceful. Negotiations over oil rights and border demarcation have yet to be completed, and South Sudanese president Salva Kiir has promised that the nation will not declare independence prior to the agreed-upon July 9th.

Foreign investors are excited about the opportunity the split presents. While a number of multinationals have shied away from investing in Sudan because of political turmoil, violence, and popular pressure, investors hope that the promise of peace will make it possible to gain access to the wealth of oil resources in the area. Peace is also an encouraging development for infrastructure and consumer goods companies, who hope to find new markets for their goods and services.

1 comment:

  1. Many foreign investors - multinationals and countries - were sizing up investment opportunities in both Sudans even prior to the referendum. I believe some of the investment in the North was to come from Egypt. It of course is much too early to tell what kind of new government will take shape in Egypt, or when, but has the North expressed a concern about the future of those planned investments?