Economically struggling south Sudan is determined to restore security in the country in order to resume normal business and crude oil production and attract investments. The oil sector has been battered since south Sudan’s civil war started in December 2013. With the founding father on this monument still keeping the faith and trying to point the country in the right direction. One other kenyan subsidiary uap old mutual south sudan is also keeping the faith for a brither future for s.sudan.
James Wambungo, MD, general insurance UAP old mutual South Sudan has seen the good, the bad and the ugly of south sudan’s business landscape in its short history of 11 years as an independent state. But even with that uap has continue with its investments in this country the construction of uap equatorial tower, the tallest building in the country at 15 story’s high, and now contributing uap’s profits.uap was among the first companies to venture into South Sudan at independence, and invested $30 million in putting up the building in 2011 to provide foreign investors with ultra-modern office space. Currently, the tower — with only 23 per cent occupancy is expecting it to rise to 35 per cent when the Kenyan embassy in juba relocates to the building early this year. Although it generates minimum revenue, the building generates costs. Every month, Uap spends $15,000 for diesel to power the generator, which is the only source of power, and $5,000 for satellite internet. In Kenya, it would cost only $400 for the same internet capacity. However, the building also represents the long term view of south Sudan opportunities. With the building representing the mantra of high risks, high returns for a business. Wambugu insists uap believes in the potential of south Sudan, other companies have fled because of insecurity, political uncertainty and a struggling economy. Considering that south sudan largely depends on imports, the cost of living and of basic commodities is high due to the poor state of roads and lack of electricity. The country has only 400 km of paved road. Juba has one mall, city mall, which is a pale shadow of those found in other east African capitals. Unemployed young people crowd the streets in juba, idling away and drinking strong tea; motorcycles are the main source of earning a living for many. The unemployment crisis has been exacerbated by the exit of numerous foreign companies while others have scaled down their operations after experiencing losses. Other Kenyan multinationals like KCB group, Stanbic holdings, equity group, co-op bank and cic insurance are some of the businesses that have significantly reduced their operations in the country. The hopes of prosperity and opportunities that came with the signing of the peace accord in 2006 have been diminished by three years of political instability and prolonged fighting between government forces and rebels, particularly in the oilfield states of paloch, upper nile and maiwut, have crippled the economy that is highly dependent on oil
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