The Central African country of South Sudan is the world’s newest country. The population has one of the world’s lowest life expectancies and is also one of the world’s youngest. Once part of Sudan, the country is rich in culture but doesn’t have is any UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Curious to know more? Here are some of the most interesting facts about South Sudan in Africa.
7 Interesting Facts about South Sudan
1. South Sudan is landlocked
South Sudan is a landlocked country – a country surrounded by land with no access to the sea – in Africa. There are 45 landlocked countries in the world, 17 of them are in Africa. South Sudan was once part of Sudan, which was Africa’s largest country and the world’s 10th largest country. Since Southern Sudan gained independence from Sudan in 2011, Sudan is now the third-largest country in Africa. South Sudan is Africa’s 19th and the world’s 41st largest country. It is also the newest/youngest country in the world.
2. South Sudan is located in Central Africa
South Sudan, officially the Republic of South Sudan, is located in Central Africa. Seven countries border it: Ethiopia, Sudan, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda and Kenya. As of 2022, its population is 11,452,474. This is equivalent to 0.14 per cent of the total world population. Out of 235 countries (and dependencies) by population, it ranks at 84. Juba is the capital and largest city.
3. South Sudan has one of the world’s youngest populations
According to the CIA World Factbook, the median age of South Sudan’s population is 18.6 years. By way of comparison, the median age of the population of Monaco, the world’s most elderly country, is 55.4. In South Sudan, more than 62 per cent of the population is under the age of 25. Niger is the country with the lowest population median age at just 14.8 years. South Sudan also has one of the world’s lowest life expectancies. As of 2021, it had the seventh-lowest at just 59.16 years.
4. The River Nile flows through South Sudan
The Nile, the longest river in the world, runs through South Sudan. One of the Nile’s two main tributaries, The White Nile, runs through the capital city Juba. It joins the Nile’s other major tributary, the Blue Nile, at Khartoum in Sudan.
5. South Sudan has no UNESCO World Heritage sites
South Sudan is one of 27 countries that does not have a single UNESCO World Heritage Site. It does, however, have three properties on the Tentative List of sites to be submitted for nomination. The three sites are the Deim Zubeir – Slave route, the Sudd wetland, and the Boma-Badingilo Migratory Landscape. According to UNESCO, the Deim Zubeir is a site that has witnessed first-hand the slave market and provides a living testimony to the history of slavery and the slave routes in the middle of the 19th century. The Sudd wetlands contain rich biodiversity, for instance, unique wildlife assemblage and habitats, and as such, it is home to some of the world’s most endangered or threatened large mammalian and bird species. The Boma-Badingilo Migratory Landscape serves as a key habitat for a variety of communities of plants and animal species.
6. South Sudan is a linguistically diverse country
With several hundred language groups, South Sudan is one of the most linguistically diverse countries in Africa. Before it gained independence from Sudan, the official languages were English and Arabic, however, after independence, only English is recognised as an official language. There are, however, lots of recognised national languages, for instance, Dinka, Nuer, Murle, Luo (Anyuak, Acholi, Shilluk, Pari, Jur-Luo, others), Ma’di, Otuho, Zande, and around 60 other languages.
7. The South Sudan flag is full of symbolism
The national flag of South Sudan features horizontal black, red and green stripes, separated by two white lines. The colours are very symbolic, for instance, the thick black stripes represent the people. The colour red represents their blood and the colour green symbolises the country’s fertile land. White symbolises peace. The blue triangle symbolises the River Nile and the yellow star represents hope for the people.