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Sudan joins UN Better Than Cash Alliance

June 11 - 2020 KHARTOUM
People queuing in front of the Bank of Khartoum in Kenana, White Nile state, to draw their cash money, March 31, 2019 (File photo)
People queuing in front of the Bank of Khartoum in Kenana, White Nile state, to draw their cash money, March 31, 2019 (File photo)

On Thursday, Sudan’s Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning announced it will accelerate the transition from cash to digital payments. By joining the United Nations-based Better Than Cash Alliance, the government commits to increasing financial inclusion and transparency, taking steps to build an economy that benefits all citizens.

Moving from cash to responsible digital payments is central to the government’s economic recovery and reform strategy. In particular, digital payments will be critical to the success of the recently announced Sudan Family Support Programme, which will provide monthly direct digital transfers to around 80 percent of Sudanese families. The Programme seeks to spur economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve food security and health throughout the country, the ministry said in its statement yesterday.

“Digital payments will improve financial inclusion and transparency throughout Sudan’s vast territory, especially in conflict-affected regions, help stem corruption, and build a more direct link between citizens and the state,” said Finance Minister Ibrahim El Badawi.

“This digital transition will ensure equitable access to resources and government services, and revitalize the private sector, which are central to our efforts to achieve a just and lasting peace and revive the national economy.”

The transition to digital payments is in line with the intention of Khartoum to establish the multi-ministerial Digital Transformation Agency, which will spearhead the modernization of government services, including the Family Support Programme.

“Joining the digital economy is the natural progression for Sudan, whose young men and women innovatively used technology during the December Revolution to usher in a new era in our nation’s history,” El Badawi said.

Moving away from cash will help Sudan enhance financial transparency as it reintegrates into the global financial system after some 30 years of financial isolation and economic mismanagement. Transitioning towards digital payments and modernizing the financial sector will also pave the way for domestic and international investment and accelerate Sudan’s economic growth.

By joining the Better Than Cash Alliance, Sudan will obtain critical knowledge to navigate its journey towards payment digitization through exchanges with other countries from Africa, Asia and Latin America.

“The vision of the Government of Sudan to ensure nearly universal digital basic income is truly inspiring! Over 30 million Sudanese men and women will benefit from getting government assistance in a speedy, safe and transparent way, giving them new economic opportunities. We celebrate the Government of Sudan’s membership to our Alliance as a clear statement about their commitment to building a dynamic economy that will work for everyone,” said Dr Ruth Goodwin-Groen, Managing Director of the Better Than Cash Alliance.

Sudan will join the more than 75 members of the Better Than Cash Alliance, a UN-based partnership of governments, companies and international organisations committed to accelerating the transition from cash to digital payments to advance the Sustainable Development Goals.

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