South Sudan news update – New money for new country


Next Monday will see the launch of the South Sudan Pound – yes, not the hoped for South Sudan Shilling as was anticipated in East African circles – which will become the legal tender for the new Republic of South Sudan just as soon as the new notes and coins ‘hit’ the commercial banks, foreign exchange bureaus, shops and markets.

The move was long expected to avoid the North swamp the South with paper money, driving inflation up and disturbing the money markets, but also to give the citizens of Africa’s youngest nation a sense of belonging, a sense of pride and a sense of true independence from the former slave masters.

The value of the new currency was initially pegged at 3 South Sudan Pounds to 1 US Dollar, and the exchange with the ‘old’ currency will be taking place at a ratio of one to one. No deadline for the end of the validity of the old notes was given but it is expected to be relatively short to avoid the North messing with the process.

In a related development it was also understood that the formal request to become an applicant member to the East African Community, by the new government of the South Sudan, is expected to be submitted in the very near future, triggering a period of harmonization and consultations with the EAC head quarters in Arusha but also with governments of the present five member states of Uganda, Kenya Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi. Joining the EAC is an expressed objective of the new government in order to reduce the cost of trading and to attract investments from neighbours, but the process, as was the case with Rwanda and Burundi, can be lengthy and complex as all key sectors of the economy of the South Sudan need to be aligned to the regulations and legislative frameworks of the EAC as it now stands.

Watch this space.