Pareto (2008). South Sudan Urban Development Strategy
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Developing an urban structure is critical to the economic development of Southern Sudan. Yet currently the basic building blocks needed for development – institutional structure, financial system, health and education infrastructure, human resources, active private sector and economic activities, and an operating inter‐urban transportation system – are either missing or still at an embryonic stage. While some of these shortcomings can be dealt with in short‐term, others will require a longer period to attain a satisfactory level, especially those involving human resources and social development. The lack of basic statistics and the turbulent pre‐Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) period makes it difficult to establish trends and estimate future urban growth. At present it is assumed that only 10% of the population is urbanised. Even if the overall population doubles with the return of internally displaced persons (IDP) and returning refugees (RR), and if a significant part settles in the state capitals, the population should continue to be overwhelmingly rural within the foreseeable future. Rural development is a national priority, yet it needs an operational urban system to provide essential supporting services. The estimated population growth in the 10 state capitals is expected to double in the next five years. Catering to this extraordinary influx will require substantial investment in basic infrastructure – not only to upgrade the current towns but to provide developed land equivalent to double the existing built up area. After this growth surge the cities probably continue to grow, yet probably at a substantially lower rate. The most critical period is the immediate period.