What’s in a name? An entire cultural and national identity if you are from Sudan’s oil-producing south.
The region of southern Sudan is now less than seven months away from a referendum on whether it should split away to form Africa’s newest country.
One of the biggest unanswered questions hanging over the vote is what the new nation should call itself if, as widely expected, embittered southerners choose to secede.
The easiest option would be to stick to what people call it now — South Sudan or Southern Sudan.
But there are some serious branding issues. Say “Sudan” to most outsiders and they will immediately think of a list of nasties — Darfur, the never-ending north-south civil war, military coups, militancy and crippling debt.
A new nation might be grateful for a new name with a clean slate.
Read the rest on Reuters’ Africa blog.