China Loans South Sudan $2.5 Billion for Universities

South Sudan has struggled to build its infrastructure since gaining independence from Sudan last year after decades of civil war. The country relies on oil exports for 98% of its revenue, but the oil industry has been shut down following a dispute with Khartoum. Most of South Sudan’s oil is sold to China, which has offered a $2.5 billion loan to build five new universities in the country. From Reuters:

Despite netting billions of dollars in oil revenues between 2005 and 2011, the government has struggled to build up state institutions and provide basic services.

The country is now planning to move its five public universities to new, modern campuses with the Chinese loans backed by oil, Higher Education, Science and Technology Minister Peter Adwok Nyaba said.

The project was due to start this year and was scheduled to finish in 2017, but has been delayed since South Sudan closed off its oil output in January in a dispute with Khartoum over how much it should pay to export crude through pipelines in Sudanese territory.

The South depended on oil for 98 percent of state revenues.

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