The governor of the Bank of South Sudan has warned that the coronavirus pandemic means the country needs to find a “plan B” for making money.
Oil is South Sudan’s major export. South Sudan used to produce 350,000 barrels of oil per day before the outbreak of conflict in 2013. In February this year, the country’s ministry of petroleum said it was aiming to produce 200,000 barrels per day.
But, in the wake of the pandemic spreading across the world, the global oil prices plummeted earlier this year.
The Governor of the Bank of South Sudan Gamal Abdalla Wani on Tuesday said the country’s economy has been severely hit by coronavirus pandemic because the government did not have “Plan B” and “Plan C” apart from oil revenue.
He said the coronavirus pandemic has forced South Sudan to try and work out where else to make money apart from oil.
He said that the central bank could buy and refine gold.
He also said South Sudan could also increase exports of gum arabic – the ingredient found in Acacia trees in the country which puts the fizz into fizzy drinks.
Mr Wani said money had already been allocated for the central bank to begin this diversification.