15 November, 2012

The last thing Southern Sudan needs is beer

Near Jebel Kujur, on the outskirts of Juba is South Sudan's most efficient and most advanced factory. The mass production of beer, is what the Southern Sudanese manufacturing sector has started with in a big way:
On the outskirts of Juba proper is a brewery. "That's too far," said the motorcycle taxi, before charging me double to get there. He knew where it was, of course; everyone knows where the beer is made. As we drive, the new concrete roads of the city become rough dirt tracks, and the cheap single-story constructions turn into iron shacks and straw huts. And then, like some incongruous science fiction fantasy, it looms ahead of us: a giant warehouse of pipes and vats and bottling lines; a fully mechanized, fully modern beer factory in a country that makes almost nothing else of its own.......The Guardian
The last thing South Sudan needs is beer. It urgently needs proper, working infrastructure and institutions. Many, if not most Southern Sudanese take too much alcohol. Apart from the beer produced from the factory, it has other locally, some times dangerously made brews - like the suku-suku (siko) and the destructive arege. Uncontrolled alcohol consumption destroys families and societies. Apart from the rampant corruption  that stalks the country and conflicts, both internally and with its northern neighbor, alcohol consumption  is what is likely going to keep this very fragile country backwards and most of its citizens in poverty. 

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