Photograph — aawsat.com

Even though Sudan is still on the United States’ list of state sponsors of terrorism, the northeastern African country is determined to refurbish its economy through debt-relief.

The transitional government led by Abdalla Hamdok has agreed to a road map by the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and African Development Bank to dismantle the country’s debt. 

Ibrahim Elbadawi, Sudan’s Finance Minister disclosed on Thursday that the collaborated plan will include: structural reforms, non-financial support, and strategies to ensure that Sudan doesn’t pay its lenders debt arrears. 

This effort by the transitional government will potentially open doors for foreign investment despite the limited three-year agreed plan to remodel the country by both the military and civilian leaders in August. 

Elbadawi arriving at the Khartoum airport from the annual World Bank and IMF meeting in Washington, D.C said that negotiations with other creditors will begin March next year.

He added that a “debt relief program will start by the end of 2020″ which seeks not just to limit restructuring of Sudan’s accumulated debts but make the country free from financial predicaments, ultimately putting its economy on track.”

The Finance Minister announced that a “friends of Sudan” meeting will be held in Khartoum early this December. He included while speaking on the 2020 budget funding, that the ministry submitted 20 financing request projects to several donors some of which are “friends of Sudan.”

After Omar al-Bashir, the former president of Sudan was ousted in April, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates gave $3billion in aid to Sudan. Subsequently, a donors meeting for countries willing to invest in Sudan will take place in April 2020.

With a total debt estimated at $50 billion-$60 billion, the transitional government is fighting to renegotiate the terms of these debts and reconstruct the Sudanese economy. This reconstruction involves the government restricting the accumulation of more arrears as it is a major component of debt relief.

By Treasure Nnabugwu

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