Archive for July 17, 2011

By the Numbers: A Look at South Sudan

Posted: July 17, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

By Shawn Humphrey 

On July 9, South Sudan became the world’s newest nation. Following the requirements of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement, the region voted for independence in a January referendum.

A new nation means new statistics. Here’s a look at some numbers related to the emerging African country.

1 in 7: It is extraordinarily dangerous for pregnant women to give birth in South Sudan. With only 25 percent of the population having medical access, there is a 1 in 7 chance a woman will die from causes related to pregnancy. The maternal mortality rate is 2,054 per 100,000 live births, the highest in the world.

10: South Sudan is composed of ten states, including Central Equatoria, Eastern Equatoria, Western Equatoria, Northern Bahr el Ghazal, Western Bahr el Ghazal, Lakes, Warrap, Jonglei, Unity, and Upper Nile.

27 percent: Among adults in South Sudan’s 9 million population, 27 percent are literate . Only 16 percent of women are literate.

29 percent: According to the government of Sudan, 29 percent of the country includes forests and woodlands. Teak, natural mahogany, and gum Arabic are currently being forested.

31: There are 31 ministries in the new government, including “Gender, Social Welfare, and Religious Affairs”, “Information”, and eight ministries dedicated to some aspect of the economy. A special ministry has been designated “Peace and CPA Implementation Affairs”; South Sudan and its neighbor and rival Sudan still have unresolved oil revenue and border disputes as of separation.

50.6 percent: The new country is one of the poorest in the world. From 1995 to 2005, the population of South Sudan has seen a decrease in chronic hunger from 48 to 33 percent. But 50.6 percent of South Sudanese live below the national poverty line.

500,000: South Sudan is taking the lion’s share of the old country of Sudan’s oil reserves. South Sudan took 75 percent of the 500,000 barrel-a-day oil reserves when it left. South Sudan must use Sudan’s oil pipeline to reach markets, though in the future that may change. It is estimated that $9 billion worth of oil revenue are shipped through Port Sudan.

619,745: South Sudan, which borders Kenya, Sudan, Uganda, Ethiopia, Central African Republic and Democratic Republic of Congo is slightly smaller than Libya. The total area of the nation is 619,745 square kilometers. It’s home to the largest swamp in the world, covering 30,000 of those square kilometers.

$40 billion: Sudan is stuck with a $40 billion national debt following the exit of South Sudan. Sudan will launch a new currency, replacing its old pound. South Sudan is working releasing its new currency as well, possibly as soon as next week.

Shawn Humphrey is a former contributor to The Flint Journal and an amateur Africanist, focusing his personal studies on human rights and political issues on the continent.