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‘Sudan's debts will not be solved unless Al Bashir is ousted’: economist

July 6 - 2015 CAIRO / KHARTOUM
Prof Hamid Eltigani Ali
Prof Hamid Eltigani Ali

Sudan's external debts, amounting to more than $45 billion, will not be solved unless a regime-change takes place, says Prof Hamid Eltigani Ali, economist, and head of the Department of Public Policy and Administration at the American University in Cairo.

Eltigani told Radio Dabanga that Sudan will only be able to take advantage of the economic agreements signed with regional and international bodies in case President Omar Al Bashir is ousted, and brought to trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague.

“If the current situation does not change, the country will drown in its debts,” he warned. Sudan lacks creative economic visions and does not produce enough, while it continues to spend large amounts on the army, militias, and warfare.”

In 2013, Sudan’s debts reached $45,6 million, constituting 83 percent of its 2011 GDP.

“If the current situation does not change, Sudan will drown in its debts.”

Dr Sidgi Kabello, economist in Khartoum, confirmed to Radio Dabanga that the economic crises in the country will continue to grow “unless a real democratic alternative has been established”. He stressed that this can only be achieved “after Al Bashir and his National Congress Party (NCP) have been rooted out from Khartoum”.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) will “extend its technical aid” to support Sudan’s Economic Programme for 2015. 

Corruption

In an interview with Radio Dabanga in December last year, Eltigani said that the Sudanese government is spending about $2 million daily on defence and militias.

Moreover, institutional corruption has become extremely high, he said. “The revenues of about 249 oil wells are not deposited in the public treasury. In reality, the total of oil revenues amount to $250 million, rather than the $70 million that appear in the financial reports. There must be about $180 million circulating outside the public treasury.”

The economist furthermore explained that the stability of the Dollar in Sudan is a result of money laundering. “A total of $3 million black market dollars came from Libya, the Central African Republic, and from NCP affiliates’ accounts held abroad.”

In its 2014 Index of Economic Freedom, the USA-based Heritage Foundation states that “Sudan is considered one of the world’s most corrupt countries.

“Power and resources are concentrated in and around Khartoum, and outlying states are neglected and impoverished. Members of the ruling party tightly control the national economy and use their wealth to buy political support. There is little respect for private property, and the legal framework is severely hampered by years of political conflict,” the report reads.


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