Sudan’s opposition rejects raising power tariffs

Sudanese government plans to impose extra fees on the electricity tariff in all of its sectors, and agrees with Ethiopia on power grids that would allow purchasing electricity from the Renaissance Dam.

Opposition parties have rejected the government's plan to impose extra fees on the electricity tariff in all residential and productive sectors of Sudan. Meanwhile, Sudan and Ethiopia signed an agreement this week on power grids that would allow Sudan to purchase the electricity produced by the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam in 2017.

The parties, assembled in the Sudan Appeal and the coalition of the National Consensus Forces (NCF), consider the step as a failure in economic policies, says Bakri Yousif. “The deterioration that happens in all the services represent a complete failure by the government,” he said, pointing to large power projects such as the Merowe Dam. Yousif is one of the leaders in the Sudan Appeal and spokesman for the NCF.

The spokesman, in an interview with Radio Dabanga, said he holds Khartoum responsible for its inability to secure services to Sudanese citizens.

This week, the Sudanese government announced considering increases on the electricity tariff. The increase would meet the lower supply and maintenance of thermal production stations, which were disrupted because of a lack of funding and scarcity of foreign currency in the country.

The residents of Sudan's urban areas complain about the frequent electricity outages which sparked numerous protests in the streets, especially in Khartoum. Also the industrial sector complains about the unstable power supply.

Ethiopia, Sudan sign for Renaissance Dam studies

Sudan and Ethiopia signed an agreement this week on developing studies on connecting power grids at 500 kilovolts (kV) which would allow the former to purchase electricity produced by the country's planned Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. The two sides have elected the Italian Cesi to carry out the consulting work for the power line, reported Sudan news agency (Suna).

On 23 March, Egyptian President Abdelfattah El Sisi, Sudan’s President Omar Al Bashir, and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, signed a framework accord on the Grand Renaissance Dam in Khartoum. The three countries agreed on the Sudanese and Egyptian shares of electricity generated by the Renaissance Dam, expected to reach 6,000 megawatts. In 2013, Ethiopia began diverting the Blue Nile, to build the 6,000 MW dam, which will be Africa’s largest when completed in 2017. The construction of the 1,780-metre-long and 145-metre high dam will cost $4.2 billion.