South Sudan moves ahead with $700m highway plans
Construction of a US$700m, 400-km-long highway from Juba to Rumbek, is set to proceed following the ground breaking of the project and the affirmation of the plans to go ahead with construction earlier this week by the country’s President Salva Kiir.
The project will be undertaken by Shandong Hi Speed Construction Group from China. Construction of the road is in line with the government’s plan to develop a safe, efficient and secure transport system to foster economic development in the country.
No timeline for the construction of the Juba to Rumbek highway has been given. The duration may be longer since construction materials will be ferried by road from Mombasa and extreme weather conditions may cause other delays.
The country is also planning on undertaking other road construction projects including the Juba to Nimule road at its border with Uganda. According to reports, another project which has just begun is the Juba-Bor road after an agreement signed between Jonglei state government and Korea’s UNMISS.
South Sudan is the youngest nation in Africa gaining its independence from Sudan in 2011. Good infrastructure is important to the development of any economy and in Southern Sudan, only 2% of the roads are paved and the rest are impassable especially during the rainy seasons. This raises the cost of transportation, hindering the movement of goods from rural to urban areas and vice versa. The Government is therefore committed to improving road networks in the country.