South Sudan Country Overview

South Sudan is a country located in Central-East Africa with a population of 13.03 million people. The official language is English, but Arabic and other local languages are also widely spoken. Despite being officially secular, the majority of the population practices traditional indigenous beliefs or Christianity.

South Sudan General Information

Capital: Juba

Language: English is the official language. Other widely spoken languages include Dinka, Nuer, Murle, Luo, Ma’di, Otuho, and Zande.

Religion: The majority of the population adheres to Christianity or traditional animist beliefs.

Currency: South Sudanese Pound (SSP)

Cryptocurrency: There is no official cryptocurrency in South Sudan.

Time Zone: UTC+2 (2 hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time)


About South Sudan

The Republic of South Sudan is located in Central-East Africa, bordering Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, the Demo Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Central African Republic and Chad.

South Sudan has a population of 13.03 million and the capital, Juba, forms the largest population centre with 321,000 inhabitants. The official language is English, although Arabic dialects are also widely spoken alongside the languages of the major ethnic groups, such as Dinka and Nuer.

The state is officially secular, but the majority of the population follow traditional indigenous, or animist, beliefs or Christianity. 

South Sudan is a high-risk country in security terms owing to the ongoing civil war, between the government and opposition forces, backed by a number of armed militias. The conflict has ethnic undertones: the government and armed forces are seen as being dominated by the Dinka ethnic group.

Corruption is endemic across all sectors of the economy, judiciary and government.

Indeed, South Sudan is ranked at 175 of 176 in Transparency International’s 2016 Corruption Index. Anti-corruption legislation exists but owing to the state of the judiciary it is rarely enforced and impunity is common. South Sudan’s GDP is currently measured at US$2.92 billion, having crashed from US$15.1 billion in 2014 owing to the civil war’s onset in December 2013.

GDP is forecast to expand to US$3.9 billion by 2022, whilst real GDP growth, currently negative, is forecast to peak at 12.3% in 2021. The official currency is the South Sudanese Pound.

South Sudan is a presidential republic. Executive power is held by President Kiir and the vice presidents Taban Gai and James Wani. The president is both head of government and chief of state. The president is directed elected by majority vote for a five-year term, however the 2015 election was postponed to 2018 owing to political instability and violence.

Legislative authority rests with the bicameral National Legislature, split between the Council of States and the Transitional National Legislative Assembly, the latter of which was created in accordance with the August 2015 Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan. Owing to the ongoing violence and political instability the current parliamentary term has been extended until July 2018, when the next elections are scheduled.

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