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The Macalester Review

Abstract

Post-independence South Sudan faces numerous development obstacles and many consider oil to be a redeeming factor for the new state. This paper discusses the resource curse related to the country’s oil industry and how with proper management, the oil can largely benefit the new state. It explores Norway’s history of oil development and examines ways in which Norway can assist South Sudan in managing their oil, making it the most effective for the people. Key elements of the assistance are the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, technical support focusing on increased oil recovery, and building stronger state capacity. But given that the time span of oil is shorter than first predicted, the heavily oil-reliant South Sudan must utilize incoming revenue as a part of an economic diversification process. Suggested areas of diversification are agriculture, mining, and hydropower, and the latter is an area that could significantly benefit from Norwegian expertise. A shift from oil to hydropower is in the interest of both states since it will provide South Sudan with clean energy while allowing Norway to promote environmental sustainability.