Southern Sudan is in talks with two companies about a $10.1 billion project to redesign the semiautonomous region's cities into animal-shaped urban centers, the Housing Ministry said.

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JUBA, Sudan — Southern Sudan is in talks with two companies about a $10.1 billion project to redesign the semiautonomous region’s cities into animal-shaped urban centers, the Housing Ministry said.

Southern Sudan’s capital, Juba, will take the shape of a rhinoceros, and the second-largest city, Wau, will be in the form of a giraffe, said Daniel Wani, undersecretary of the Housing and Physical Planning Ministry. Talks are taking place with Abu Malek Companies and Agencies Ltd., based in Juba, and Abbotsford, B.C.-based UAS Canada, he said.

“This is very innovative,” Wani told reporters in Juba today. “The advantage is that there will be uniformity of planning. It will be very easy for future generations to follow our thinking, what we wanted to put in place, because we are not planning for now, we plan for tomorrow.”

Southern Sudan’s economy is recovering from a 21-year civil war that ended in 2005 with a peace accord granting the southern region of Sudan semi-autonomy. Voters will decide in a January referendum whether to secede and form an independent state.

The project proposed by Abu Malek and UAS Canada, which may take more than 20 years to complete, has yet to be approved by Southern Sudan’s executive, known as the Council of Ministers, said Housing and Physical Planning Minister Jemma Nunu Kumba.

Sudan is sub-Saharan Africa’s third-biggest oil producer, pumping 480,000 barrels a day, according to the BP Statistical Review of World Energy. Most of the oil is pumped in the south of the country.