Before we begin with some amazing facts about South Sudan, make sure you read our blog on “10 Interesting Facts About Uzbekistan” for some wonderful insights.
1. South Sudan is the world’s newest country having gained independence in 2011. The independence of South Sudan was achieved after almost two decades of struggle against the Sudan regime that imposed draconian religious laws against the southern people after scrapping off their autonomy. It is a large land with most parts remaining uninhabited.
2. South Sudan offers practically zero tourist infrastructure, no paved roads and the communications infrastructure is almost non-existent. As such, South Sudan never had infrastructure worth talking about. In fact, only 5.1% of the population has access to electricity, which is the lowest in the world.
3. Cows are often used as a form of currency for barter in South Sudan and are thus a sign of wealth. It is not uncommon to guard cattle with guns in South Sudan to prevent potential thieves from stealing them!
4. South Sudan has extensive oil fields that form the basis of the country’s economy. However, since the country is landlocked, it runs most of its pipelines through Sudan. However, after a 2012 dispute with Sudan, there is a temporary suspension in production of oil which has shaken the economy.
5. Eighty percent of the population has no access to any toilet facility. The country also suffers from a poor education and healthcare system. South Sudan has the highest illiteracy rate in the world. Only 16% of South Sudanese children ever go to school and only 1.9% complete primary school.
6. The first child born in the country after independence was a boy who was given the name ‘Independent’. However, the child died one year after his birth.
Number 7. South Sudan has an abundance of wildlife including giraffes, buffaloes, lions, elephants and large antelopes. Boma National Park is home to one of the world’s great wildlife migrations where an estimated 1.3 million antelope move across the landscape in search of good grazing. This discovery has brought the country into the limelight.
8. Many agencies rank countries according to happiness and global peace, among many other barometers. Sadly for South Sudan, it is almost always at the bottom of the list. In 2019, the United Nations World Happiness Report ranked it as the lowest state. That same year, it was listed second to the last in the Global Peace Index list.
9. Reporting in South Sudan without the proper documentation from the South Sudanese Media Authority is considered illegal, and any journalistic work there is very dangerous. Violent crimes, such as car hijackings, shootings, ambushes, assaults, robberies, and kidnappings are common throughout the country. According to the Global Peace Report published by the Institute for Economics and Peace, South Sudan is the fourth-most dangerous country in the world.
10. Communal meal sharing is a common practice among most of the communities in the country. People prefer to live in close proximity to their families and relatives.
11. The preferred form of currency in South Sudan is not cash, but cows. So if you want to buy a house or pay a dowry, a groom will have to pay his bride’s father in cows. It is a common practice in the country for a man to pay dowry in cattle to the bride’s father for the opportunity to marry his daughter.