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Sudanese Pound in free-fall against US Dollar despite sanctions relief

October 19 - 2017 KHARTOUM
Informal currency traders in Sudan (File photo)
Informal currency traders in Sudan (File photo)

The exchange rate for the US Dollar continues to rise against the Sudanese Pound (SDG) just over a week after the relief of US economic sanctions against Sudan came into effect. A greenback now costs SDG21.10 on the parallel market on the streets of Khartoum.

This follows earlier predictions voiced to Radio Dabanga by experts and economic analysts that any halt in the downward trend of the Sudanese Pound following sanctions relief would be short-lived. They call for focus to be placed on the productive sectors of the country, to stimulate the inward flow of hard currency.

Clampdown on traders

The director of the Department of Investigation of the Khartoum police, Maj. Gen. Abdelaziz Hussein Awad, announced that his department “implemented a major campaign that targeted [informal street] currency traders in central Khartoum yesterday”.

In a new interview with Radio Dabanga, economic analyst Hafiz Ismail says “the continued increase in the price of the Dollar against the Pound, in spite of the US decision, is due to emotional and psychological factors that cannot be measured”.

Productive sectors

Ismail stressed that the Dollar price will continue to rise because of the lack of foreign exchange in Sudan and increasing demand.

He urged the Khartoum government to pay attention to productive sectors, which are the only real source of foreign exchange into the country.

Ismail’s sentiments are echoed by former Sudanese Finance Minister, Dr Bashir Omar Fadlallah, who suggests that Sudan will only experience a benefit from the lifting of US sanctions by “working hard to reform the state and civil service”, pointing out that “Sudan is one of the most corrupt countries in the world”.

He said a limited group of people would try to confine the gains from lifting the sanctions to their own advantage, thereby reducing the benefit of the flow of investment into the country.

He called on the government to increase production and improve the quality of local products so that they can compete in world markets.

Dr Fadlallah stressed the need to direct state resources to production and stop waste of resources in less important fields.

He called on the Bank of Sudan to work to stimulate production, provide the necessary resources with a focus on pastoralists and small farmers, and expand the scope of productive policies to include all the Sudanese states.

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