Citadel Capital/Concord Irrigated Crops in Unity State, South Sudan


Citadel Capital is Egypts largest private equity company. In 2007 it launched the Wafra Fund to invest in agriculture in Sudan, in which the company's holdings have since increased to three distinct sites and companies. In South Sudan, Wafra acquired a 25-year lease on 105,000 ha through its subsidiary, Concord, previously known as the Sudanese Egyptian Agricultural Crops Company (SEAC). The land was community land which, according to the 2009 Land Act, is to be state-recognized, but the area was nonetheless treated as state-owned and the lease was negotiated directly with the state government; entirely without involvement of the local people. The annual US$125,000 in rent is paid directly to the state government as well, with none of the investment benefiting the local community. Concord executives said their investment has brought health care, jobs, and increased food security to the region, but locals disagree, citing a mostly closed health clinic with a single nurse, 15-20 sporadic jobs, and no sign of produce remaining in the local market. In 2011 the Oakland Institute (OI) recorded locals threatening protest if more jobs did not materialize as promised, but no follow-up studies have documented actions. Although Concord told the OI that the company would develop land around populated areas, in a 'checkerboard pattern' without resettling the existing community, there is no legally binding contract to hold the company to their promise, nor was a proper ESIA completed. In November 2011, the US governments Overseas Private Investment Corporation provided Citadel with a US$150-million loan package to help expand its subsidiaries – $115 million of which was earmarked for crop production in South Sudan. Due to heavy flooding in 2012 only 1050 ha were planted for the 2013 season – and bad weather severely impacted this harvest. Regardless, the project expects to expand by implementing a large-scale irrigation/drainage infrastructure mechanism, and increasing the amount of land planted in the 2013-14 season.

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Basic Data
NameCitadel Capital/Concord Irrigated Crops in Unity State, South Sudan
CountrySouth Sudan
ProvinceUnity State (Welayet Al-Wehda)
SiteGwit and Pariang counties
Accuracy of LocationMEDIUM regional level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Biomass and Land Conflicts (Forests, Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock Management)
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Agro-toxics
Dams and water distribution conflicts
Intensive food production (monoculture and livestock)
Land acquisition conflicts
Specific CommoditiesFruits and Vegetables
Sunflower, Sorgum
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsCitadel pays the state government US$125,000 a year to rent the land. The acreage is under a no-tillage agriculture system, using large amounts of Roundup ™ to control weeds. The 60 or so staff are mostly Zimbabwean, not South Sudanese; 15 or 20 local people are employed as casual laborers on an as-needed basis and without contract.

Project Area (in hectares)259,500
Level of Investment (in USD)24,000,000
Type of PopulationRural
Potential Affected Population1,250
Start Date2009
Company Names or State EnterprisesCitadel Capital (Citadel) from Egypt
Concord Agriculture
El Nahda for Integrated Solutions
Sudanese Egyptian Agricultural Crops Company (SEAC)
Relevant government actorsState Government of South Sudan
International and Financial InstitutionsOverseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) from United States of America
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersOakland Institute,, Norwegian People’s Aid,
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)UNKNOWN
When did the mobilization beginUNKNOWN
Groups MobilizingInternational ejos
Forms of MobilizationCommunity-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion
Health ImpactsVisible: Malnutrition
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Land dispossession
Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseIn operation
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.The project continues.
Sources and Materials

The Land Act, 2009


Norwegian People's Aid, 2011, 'The new Frontier'

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Oakland Institute, 2011, 'Understanding Land Deals in Africa – Country Report: South Sudan'
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, 'South Sudaneese fear impact of farming deals'
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, 'OPIC approves $150 mln in financing for Egypts Citadel'
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, 'Wafra Portfolio Company to build Sudans first large-scale commercial rice farm'
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Citadel Capital, 'WAFRA'
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Other CommentsCitadel Captial Holdings lists some 19 companies on their website, ranging from energy to shipping to agriculture to mining. The site in South Sudan uses the local port for export, which is owned by Keer Marine, A Citadel Capital company. The local population is 1250 (pastoralist populations) according to Concord, but the total population in Gwit is 33000 according to Norwegian Peoples Aid and 82000 in Pariang.

Wafra intends to expand. From their website (October 7, 2013): 'Wafra continues to explore complementary regional development initiatives and expects to develop into a significant player in the agriculture sector.' However, also from their website: 'Management bandwidth has been under strain since the events of the Arab Spring as the region copes with increased social unrest and a less-troublefree environment.' Communication regarding the project has been sporadic since the events in 2011.

Meta Information
ContributorAliza Tuttle
Last update24/06/2014