Investing in southern Sudan was the topic of a two-day conference in Nairobi this week. The conference, which ended Thursday, explored business opportunities to help the region rebuild following a long civil war.
Malei Nphiwa is the program director for the NGO Bread of Life for Africa (BOLA), which sponsored the conference. From Nairobi, Nphiwa spoke to English to Africa reporter Joe De Capua about the investment meeting.
He says, “This was a very critical conference given that south Sudan is now at peace and it’s almost one year since the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. And the government of southern Sudan infrastructure and institutions are now almost in place. So we wanted the private sector and the government decision makers, the government of southern Sudan, to meet and share the way forward on investment and development.”
Nphiwa says besides officials from the United Nations, European Commission and the Kenyan government, international investors and business people attended the conference.
Asked about the problems facing southern Sudan, Nphiwa says, “I would not call them problems, I would call them challenges. And the first challenge of course is lack of infrastructure. This is a problem which was addressed during the conference and it was agreed that resources and ideas must be put to make sure southern Sudan gets the infrastructure to kick start development and other institutions in that region.” Energy resources were a main topic of discussion.