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African Development Bank keen to strengthen ties with Sudan

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March 16, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – The African Development Bank (ADB) expressed keenness to support economic stability in Sudan through strengthening coordination and cooperation with the Sudanese government in order to finance development projects.

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It pledged to reflect to the international community Khartoum’s efforts to achieve development in order to help cancelling Sudan’s foreign debt.

The Sudanese president, Omer Hassan Al-Bashir, who met with the ADB delegation on Sunday in the presence of the finance minister, Badr al-DeenMahmoud, was briefed on the ADB’s efforts, policies, and plans to finance development projects in Sudan.

Bashir praised the role played by the bank in achieving development through grants and loans.

The finance minister pointed in press statements that the meeting discussed the government’s macroeconomic policies, saying the ADB delegation was reassured that the government is heading into the right direction to restore economic stability.

The finance minister had earlier briefed the ADB executive directors’ delegation on the potentials of Sudan’s economy and the challenge it faced following the secession of South Sudan in 2011.

Sudan’s economy was hit hard since the southern part of the country declared independence in July 2011, taking with it about 75% of the country’s oil output.

He said in a meeting with the delegation in Khartoum that the government revealed the macroeconomic policies which it would adopt to improve the economic situation, adding those policies would encourage the ADB to provide technical assistance and support for developing the required strategy for cancelling the foreign debt.

The spokesperson of the ADB’s delegation, Saad Zaghloul, underscored the bank keenness to support means for achieving economic stability through strengthening coordination and cooperation with the Sudanese government to finance development projects.

He added the objective of the executive directors’ visit was to engage in dialogue with the government and examine its performance with regard to development besides discussing the role that could be played by the ADB in supporting low income families through microfinancing.

Sudan’s external debt is estimated to have grown by 27% since 2008 from $32.6 billion to $41.4 billion in 2011. The IMF forecasted the debt level to reach $43.7 billion in 2012 and $45.6 billion in 2013. The latter represents 83% of Sudan’s 2011 GDP, which was $55.1 billion.

Last year, the deputy director of the Middle East and Central Asia department at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Edward Gemayel, warned that it will be near impossible for Sudan to secure debt relief even if it satisfied technical and economic requirements.

Gemayel, who led a delegation to Khartoum, went on to say that Sudan won’t be able to benefit from the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative despite fulfilling its conditions unless it succeeds in convincing all 55 members of the Paris Club creditor nations whom he said have the power to slash 67% of conventional debt owed by Sudan.

(ST)

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