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Economists: Liberalisation of fuel does not resolve Sudan's crisis

November 16 - 2016 KHARTOUM
Empty shelves in a supermarket in Africa (Antony Kaminju/IRIN)
Empty shelves in a supermarket in Africa (Antony Kaminju/IRIN)

Economists have criticised the President's speech claiming that the recent economic measures will protect the State from collapse. “The economic crisis is deeper than can be resolved by lifting fuel subsidies or decreasing the Sudanese Pound against the US Dollar.”

Economist Dr. Siddig Kabello said in an interview with Radio Dabanga that the economic measures have caused a significant and unprecedented increase in the prices of goods, medicine, communications and transportation, in addition to the rise of the US Dollar in the parallel markets of Sudan.

“I predict that the Dollar will soon exceed SDG20. This way, the country is moving at an accelerated pace towards collapse.”

In late September, the Sudanese government agreed to a package of measures proposed by the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of Sudan to curb the fast rise of the US Dollar on the black market during the past five months. On 1 October, the Finance Minister said that the measures also banned the import of certain types of consumer goods, “in order to reduce the importation bill”.

Many life-saving medicines have disappeared from the shelves of many pharmacies in Khartoum after the implementation of economic measures on 4 November. A number of companies have stopped selling medicines while other pharmacies have increased the prices, according to listeners speaking to Radio Dabanga.

Countrywide, the prices for airlines, bus transportation and consumer goods increased sharply, and several demonstrations broke out in Sudanese cities. The security apparatus has managed to detain many opposition members and other protesters.

Solutions to current crisis

Kabello pointed out the warnings by the members of the National Parliament, circulated by newspapers on Tuesday, that foreign banks will file complaints against Sudan. The banks might demand seizing Sudan's properties abroad, over the non-payment of debts.

“To emerge from the current crisis, the Government must stop economic wastage by importing luxury and ostentatious goods. It should build balanced foreign relations to address the debt issue, stop the war, and focus on financing the agricultural and industrial productive sectors rather than trade.”

Economic analyst Abdelhadi Abdallah also ruled out the recent economic measures’ success in stopping the economic collapse of Sudan. “All these economic decisions will postpone the collapse for a few months,” he told Radio Dabanga.

“There is a huge spending on military and security authorities, that has to be stopped in order to resolve the current crisis.”

He presented a focus on agricultural and trade sector, blocking unnecessary import, and commitment to the outcomes of the National Dialogue as the way out of the current crisis. “Also build positive external relations with states and join financial groups, through which loans of oil production and its interests can be resolved,” Abdallah said.


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