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Juba is located in South Sudan
Location of Juba in South Sudan
Coordinates: 4°51′N 31°36′E / 4.850°N 31.600°E / 4.850; 31.600Coordinates: 4°51′N 31°36′E / 4.850°N 31.600°E / 4.850; 31.600
CountrySouth Sudan
 • TypeMayor-council government
 • MayorStephen Wani Michael
 • Capital52 km2 (20 sq mi)
 • Metro
336 km2 (130 sq mi)
550 m (1,800 ft)
 (2017 Estimate)
 • Capital525,953
Time zoneUTC+3 (EAT)
Juba Hotel in 1936

Juba /ˈbə/[1] is the capital and largest city of South Sudan. The city is situated on the White Nile and also serves as the capital of Jubek State.[2]


Equatoria Tower
Historical affiliations

In the 19th century, a trading post and Christian mission, called Gondokoro, was located in the vicinity of Juba.[3] It was the southernmost outpost of the Egyptian garrison, supported by a handful of soldiers, mostly ill due to the malaria and blackwater fever that was dominant in the region. Gondokoro was also the base of the explorers and campaigners (Sir) Samuel and Florence Baker during their expeditions to what is now South Sudan and northern Uganda from 1863 to 1865, and from 1871 to 1873.[4]

The present city of Juba was established on the site of a small Bari village, called Juba,[5] where the Church Missionary Society (CMS) had established a mission and the Nugent Memorial Intermediate School in 1920-21.[6][7][8] In the late 1920s, Anglo-Egyptian officials ordered Bari residents to relocate to make way for a new town, also called "Juba," to serve as the capital of Mongalla Province.[9] The site was chosen by Anglo-Egyptian officials, in part, because of the presence of the CMS Nugent Memorial Intermediate School there.[10] Major construction on Juba was underway by 1927.[9] Traders from Rejaf relocated there in 1929, and the Governor's office of Mongalla moved there in 1930.[11]

Greek merchants, who were mostly supplying the British Army at the time, played an early and central role in the establishment of Juba in the early 1920s.[12] Although their number never exceeded 2,000 inhabitants, together with a much larger number of the native Bari tribe with whom they had an excellent relationship, the Greeks contributed in what is today visible structures in the downtown Juba Market area as well as the Greek Quarter (named by the British), a small suburb that today is called Hai Jalaba. Examples of the development by the Greeks are public buildings such as the beautiful stone buildings of Ivory Bank, Notos Lounge, the old Sudan Airways Building, Paradise Hotel, Nile Commercial Bank and Buffalo Commercial Bank, among others. The Central Bank building was also built at a later stage in the mid 1940s as well as the famous Juba Hotel in the mid 1930s.[13]

Until 1956, Juba was in the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, which was jointly administered by the United Kingdom and Egypt. British hopes to join the southern part of Sudan with Uganda were dashed in 1947 by an agreement in Juba, also known as the Juba Conference, to unify northern and southern Sudan.[14] In 1955, a mutiny of southern soldiers in Torit town sparked the First Sudanese Civil War, which did not end until 1972. During the Second Sudanese Civil War, Juba was a strategic location that was the focus of much fighting.[citation needed]

In 2005, Juba became the interim seat and the capital of the Autonomous Government of Southern Sudan, although the proposed interim capital before the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement was Rumbek. With the advent of peace, the United Nations increased its presence in Juba, whereas many Southern Sudan operations had until that time been managed from Kenya. Under the leadership of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the United Nations established a camp known as "OCHA Camp", which served as a base for many United Nations agencies and non-governmental organizations.[citation needed]

Juba became the world's newest national capital on 9 July 2011, when South Sudan formally declared its independence from the Republic of the Sudan. However, the South Sudanese government and others have expressed dissatisfaction with the city's suitability as a national capital, and the government studied a proposal that would see a new planned city built as a replacement capital elsewhere, most likely Ramciel in Lakes.[15]

On 5 September 2011, the government announced the capital would indeed move some 250 km away from Juba to Ramciel, which is situated at the middle of South Sudan and about 60 km from Yirol West County of Lakes state. As of November 2018, the move has yet to occur.


Juba is led by a city council headed by Mayor Stephen Wani Michael.[16] This post-independence council was formed in March 2011 and Baballa appointed to lead it by Governor Clement Wani Konga. Former Yei County Commissioner David Lokonga Moses was appointed as deputy mayor. A ministerial committee to keep Juba clean and sanitary was also created by gubernatorial decree at the same time.[17]

Prior to March 2011, the area now administered by Juba City Council was divided into Juba, Kator, and Muniki payams. It is now a standalone subdivision of Juba County,[17] of which it is the county seat.[18]


Juba Bridge

The city is a river port and the southern terminus of traffic along the Nile, properly called the Bahr al Jabal section of the White Nile. Before the civil war, Juba was also a transport hub, with highways connecting it to Kenya, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

After the war, Juba has no longer been a significant trade city. Roads and the river harbour are currently not in use due to disrepair. The United Nations and the South Sudanese government are repairing the roads, but full repair is expected to take many years. In 2003, the Swiss Foundation for Mine Action (FSD) started to clear the roads leading from Juba to Uganda and Kenya. It was expected that these roads would be completely de-mined and rebuilt in the course of 2006–2008.[citation needed] The rebuilding of the roads, which are mostly un-paved, takes a tremendous amount of effort and time because of the limited work season due to the lengthy rainy season, which lasts from March until October. The roads are important for the peace process in Sudan as people need them to return to their homes and to regain what they feel is a normal life. The first road that has started to be rebuilt is the road to Uganda. This road is particularly important, as many of the original inhabitants of Juba fled to Uganda during the war. As of 2009, there are three paved roads in Juba, one that was re-surfaced in July. The main one is a concrete road, built by the British in the 1950s.[citation needed]

Between 2008 and 2011, the Ugandan government and the South Sudanese government undertook joint efforts to develop a railway link between the Northern Ugandan city of Gulu and Juba, with an extension to Wau. A memorandum of understanding between the two governments was signed to that effect in August 2008.[19] The same memorandum outlined plans to develop the road network between the two countries. Recent media reports from the region suggest that the railway link from Juba may link directly with Kenya, bypassing Uganda.[20]

Juba International Airport (IATA: JUB, ICAO: HSSJ) is the site of large numbers of flights bringing UN and NGO (non-governmental organization) aid into Southern Sudan, as well as passengers and general air freight. The airport is very busy, among the busiest in East Africa.[citation needed] The construction of a new terminal was begun in late 2007 when the oil prices were very high ($100+). Since then, with the oil prices going back down, the fate of the new terminal is uncertain. Building on the new terminal restarted in early 2014[citation needed] As of February 2014, there are daily flights to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, Kenya; Khartoum International Airport in Sudan; Entebbe International Airport in Entebbe, Uganda; and Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has a large compound near the Juba Airport.


In 2005, Juba's population was 163,442. Based on analysis of aerial photos, the best estimate of several donors working in Juba calculated the 2006 population at approximately 250,000. The 5th Sudan Population and Housing Census took place in April/May 2008, stating the population of Juba County to be 372,413 (the majority residing in Juba City, which dominates the county), but the results were rejected by the Autonomous Government of Southern Sudan.[21] Juba is developing very rapidly due to oil money and the Chinese coming for work and development.[citation needed] In 2011, the population of the city of Juba is estimated at approximately 372,410, but may potentially be more.[22] As of 2013, the city's population was growing at a rate of 4.23%.[23]

Year Population
1973 (census) 56,740
1983 (census) 83,790
1993 (census) 114,980
2005 (estimate) 163,440
2006 (estimate) 250,000[24]
2008 (estimate) 250,000[23]
2011 (estimate) 372,410
2014 (estimate) 492,970


Juba has been described as undergoing an economic boom, especially in the past five years and since independence.[citation needed] The prospect of an economic boom has brought thousands of merchants to Juba, mostly from northern Sudan and from East Africa. As of October 2010, several regional and international businesses have established a presence in Juba. The Commercial Bank of Ethiopia and the Kenyan banking conglomerate Kenya Commercial Bank has its South Sudanese headquarters in the city and a branch network of eleven (11) branches throughout South Sudan.[25] The three indigenous South Sudanese commercial banks namely; Buffalo Commercial Bank, Ivory Bank and Nile Commercial Bank, all maintain their headquarters in Juba. Equity Bank, another regional finance services provider also has a branch in Juba. National Insurance Corporation (NIC), the leading Ugandan insurance services provider, maintains an office in the city.[26] Despite recent economic difficulties brought about by the December 15th 2013 civil war, Juba has continued to grow and construction is still booming. This is probably due to the high demand for affordable housing and hotel accommodations. Research from the Overseas Development Institute found that markets in Juba are transient, as many traders only come to make a quick profit and so do not invest in storage facilities or shops.[27]


The University of Juba was founded in 1975.[28]

Places of worship[edit]

Among the places of worship, they are predominantly Christian churches and temples : Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Juba (Catholic Church), Province of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan (Anglican Communion), Baptist Convention of South Sudan (Baptist World Alliance), Presbyterian Church in Sudan (World Communion of Reformed Churches). [29] There are also Muslim mosques.


Juba has a tropical wet and dry climate (Köppen: Aw),[30] and as it lies near the equator, temperatures are hot year-round. However, little rain falls from November to March, which is also the time of the year with the hottest maximum temperatures, reaching 38 °C (100 °F) in February. From April to October, more than 100 millimetres (3.9 in) of rain falls per month. The annual total precipitation is nearly 1,000 mm (39 in).

Climate data for Juba (1971–2000, extremes 1931–1990)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 42.2
Average high °C (°F) 36.8
Daily mean °C (°F) 28.2
Average low °C (°F) 20.1
Record low °C (°F) 11.4
Average rainfall mm (inches) 5.1
Average rainy days (≥ 0.1 mm) 1.4 2.0 6.6 11.6 12.4 10.3 13.0 11.5 8.6 10.4 6.5 1.9 96.2
Average relative humidity (%) 44 42 51 64 73 76 81 80 77 73 69 53 65
Mean monthly sunshine hours 279.0 235.2 210.8 198.0 207.7 207.0 182.9 204.6 228.0 241.8 237.0 260.4 2,692.4
Percent possible sunshine 76 67 57 54 62 58 50 57 63 64 68 68 62
Source #1: World Meteorological Organization,[31]
Source #2: NOAA (sun and humidity, 1961–1990),[32] Deutscher Wetterdienst (extremes, mean temperatures)[33]

Notable people[edit]

  • Aheu Deng, beauty queen and fashion model
  • Bangs, rapper and YouTube personality
  • Independent Moses Nunuh, first child born in South Sudan after its independence.[34] In common with many other children in South Sudan, he died before his first birthday.[35]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Define Juba: noun 2. a city in S Sudan, on the White Nile". Dictionary.com. Retrieved 27 October 2013.
  2. ^ "Jubek State calls upon TGoNU to protect traders". The National Mirror. 8 August 2016. Retrieved 14 August 2016.
  3. ^ Roman Adrian Cybriwsky, Capital Cities around the World: An Encyclopedia of Geography, History, and Culture, ABC-CLIO, USA, 2013, p. 134
  4. ^ To The Heart of the Nile: Lady Florence Baker and the Exploration of Central Africa, by Pat Shipman
  5. ^ Richardson, J.N. (1933). "Bari Notes". Sudan Notes & Records. 16 (2): 181–186.
  6. ^ Keen, Rosemary (n.d.). "Church Missionary Society Archive, General Introduction and Guide to the Archive". ampltd.co.uk. Adam Matthew Publications, Pelham House. Retrieved 16 December 2016.
  7. ^ Nalder, Leonard F. (1936). Equatorial province handbook. Anglo-Egyptian Sudan government memoranda. OCLC 3450641.
  8. ^ Werner, Roland; et al. (2000). Day of devastation, day of contentment: the history of the Sudanese church across 2000 years Volume 10 of Faith in Sudan. Paulines Publications Africa. ISBN 9966215298.
  9. ^ a b Badiey, Naseem (2014). The State of Post-conflict Reconstruction: Land, Urban Development and State Building in Juba, Southern Sudan. Boydell & Brewer Ltd. p. 38.
  10. ^ Shuichiro, Nakao (2013). "A History from Below: Malakia in Juba, South Sudan, c. 1927-1954". The Journal of Sophia Asian Studies. 31: 139–160.
  11. ^ Shuichiro, Nakao (2013). "A History from Below: Malakia in Juba, South Sudan, c. 1927-1954". The Journal of Sophia Asian Studies. 31: 139–160.
  12. ^ Shuichiro, Nakao (2013). "A History from Below: Malakia in Juba, South Sudan, c. 1927-1954". The Journal of Sophia Asian Studies. 31: 139–160.
  13. ^ Greek Community of Juba Archives
  14. ^ Britannica, Juba, britannica.com, USA, accessed on July 7, 2019
  15. ^ "New capital city for South Sudan?". Radio Netherlands. 6 February 2011. Archived from the original on 29 June 2012. Retrieved 24 July 2011.
  16. ^ "Kiir makes changes in Civil Aviation Authority, appoints CEO". 17 November 2017. Retrieved 22 November 2017.
  17. ^ a b Stephen, Juma John (3 April 2011). "CES Governor Appoints Mayor For Juba City Council". Gurtong. Retrieved 28 July 2011.
  18. ^ "Central Equatoria State". NileBuffalo Gazette. 2008. Archived from the original on 20 March 2011. Retrieved 28 July 2011.
  19. ^ "Gulu – Juba Railway in the Offing". Pachodo.org. 20 September 2010. Archived from the original on 7 October 2011. Retrieved 20 June 2012.
  20. ^ Thome, Wolfgang H. (14 September 2010). "Railway Link From Juba May Go Directly To Kenya". Eturbonews.com. Retrieved 20 June 2012.
  21. ^ Isaac Vuni (8 July 2009). "South Sudan parliament throw outs census results". Sudan Tribune.
  22. ^ "Estimated Population in 2011". Wolframalpha.com. Retrieved 20 June 2012.
  23. ^ a b "The World Factbook: South Sudan". World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved 31 December 2013.
  24. ^ "Estimated Population in 2006". Tripwiser.com. Retrieved 20 June 2012.
  25. ^ "About KCB Southern Sudan". Kcbbankgroup.com. 4 March 2008. Retrieved 20 June 2012.
  26. ^ NIC Expands Into Sudan Archived 16 May 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  27. ^ Irina Mosel and Emily Henderson (2015) Markets in crises: South Sudan case study London: Overseas Development Institute
  28. ^ Britannica, Juba, britannica.com, USA, accessed on July 7, 2019
  29. ^ Britannica, South Sudan, britannica.com, USA, accessed on September 8, 2019
  30. ^ "Climate: Juba – Climate graph, Temperature graph, Climate table". Climate-Data.org. Retrieved 27 October 2013.
  31. ^ "World Weather Information Service – Juba". World Meteorological Organization (UN). Retrieved 21 March 2013.
  32. ^ "Juba Climate Normals 1961–1990". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 18 January 2016.
  33. ^ "Klimatafel von Juba / Sudan" (PDF) (in German). Deutscher Wetterdienst. Retrieved 3 November 2016.
  34. ^ "The First South Sudanese baby named Independent". CBC News. 10 July 2011. Retrieved 9 July 2012.
  35. ^ Ros Wynne-Jones (7 July 2012). "Happy Birthday South Sudan?". The Independent. Retrieved 9 July 2012. Independent Moses, like one in 10 babies in South Sudan, had not reached his first birthday, dying of Africa's biggest killer, diarrhoea.

External links[edit]