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Bloomberg 50: Sudan PM Hamdok named as influential figure

December 5 - 2020 NEW YORK
PM Abdallah Hamdok sits with signatories of the Juba Peace Agreement, following the arrival of leaders of rebel movements in Khartoum on November 15 (social media)
PM Abdallah Hamdok sits with signatories of the Juba Peace Agreement, following the arrival of leaders of rebel movements in Khartoum on November 15 (social media)

Bloomberg has prepared a list of the 50 most influential figures around the world, among them the Sudanese Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok, who introduced a set of political, economic, and social reforms that it considers "the boldest in the entire Islamic world in a century."

The former United Nations economist implemented six new major policies under the current government, which acts as a transitional body to prepare Sudan for general elections in 2022. The coalition of civilian and military leaders was created after a popular revolution toppled dictator Omar Al Bashir in April last year.

Since then, Hamdok has “embarked on an audacious sociopolitical reform program, perhaps surprising since he was a relatively obscure technocrat before his elevation to the premiership.”

The report said that what is most noticeable about Hamdok’s government is the pledge to separate religion from the state, ending three decades of religious rule, and legal reforms related to religious freedoms.

Specific amendments and reforms include abolishing laws against apostasy, ending punishment by flogging, criminalizing female genital mutilation, removing laws requiring women to get a permit from a male family member to travel with their children, and weakening prohibitions on the sale and consumption of alcohol.

Despite these reforms, Bloomberg noted that Sudan remains desperately poor and this has only been made worse by the coronavirus pandemic.

However, donors and investors are now “less wary” of investing and dealing with Sudan after the administration of US President Donald Trump removed Sudan from the US State Department’s list of countries and regimes sponsoring terrorism, something the government inherited from the Al Bashir era.


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