The Shmooze

Israeli Entrepreneurs Flock To South Sudan

By Renee Ghert-Zand

  • Print
  • Share Share
Wikimedia Commons

Israelis are known to be impatient, and when it comes to how fast they are moving to establish business relations with the new country of South Sudan, the stereotype is holding true.

Israeli companies seeking contracts in industries such as agriculture, security, medicine and infrastructure are being welcomed by the leadership of the world’s newest nation. Under-the-radar support given to the Christian South Sudanese rebels by Israel in recent years is helping to smooth the way to the quick establishment of economic ties. South Sudanese rebel leader John Garang was even treated for an eye injury in an Israeli hospital.

South Sudan has turned to Israel for security advice as well as for expertise in how to train its new army and police force. A company based in Ramat Hasharon has reportedly been asked to put in a bid for the contract to provide protection to the new president of South Sudan.

Solel Boneh is examining the possibility of paving roads and building infrastructure in South Sudan, and the medical supply company Sarel is looking into opening operations there or entering contractual agreements to help with setting up the country’s health care system.

And it’s not just big companies that are getting in on the economic opportunities in the nascent state. Israeli entrepreneurs who had been already operating quietly in the area of South Sudan for a couple of years are going above ground now.

Tamir Gal of the Kfar Vitkin moshav and his business partner Rafi Dayan, owner and CEO of Yarok 2000, are planning to assist the South Sudanese government with major agricultural projects. These include fruit and vegetable farms and poultry operations that would enable the country to begin producing its own food. South Sudan currently imports 99% of its food, following the destruction of its agricultural capabilities by the northern Sudanese army and Muslim militias.

Israeli entrepreneurs will also be helping to put in place farming communities of South Sudanese soldiers along the border with North Sudan, recalling the kibbutzim along Israel’s borders with hostile neighbors.

South Sudan’s first Internet provider, Bilpam Telecommunications, was set up with the assistance of Israeli entrepreneurs.

The Marker reports that Gal expects his company alone to work on projects worth $20-25 million by 2012. Many believe there are hundreds of millions of dollars more to be made by other companies, with payment guaranteed by the international community.

And it’s not all work and no play, either. Israelis are also known for their desire to travel outside of their own small country. With South Sudan as the newest potential destination for Israeli tourists, Aharon Efroni, of the Jewish-Arab institute at Beit Berl College, is putting together vacation packages to South Sudan for Israelis who can’t wait to go there.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Tamir Gal, South Sudan, Rafi Dayan, John Garang, Israel, Business

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • "Mark your calendars: It was on Sunday, July 20, that the momentum turned against Israel." J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis on Israel's ground operation in Gaza:
  • What do you think?
  • "To everyone who is reading this article and saying, “Yes, but… Hamas,” I would ask you to just stop with the “buts.” Take a single moment and allow yourself to feel this tremendous loss. Lay down your arms and grieve for the children of Gaza."
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.