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World Bank to promote technical assistance to Sudan

May 20, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - The World Bank Group (WBG) Country Manager to Sudan, Adama Coulibaly, said his group would provide the necessary technical assistance to tackle the economic challenges facing the East African nation.

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On Sunday, Finance Minister Mohamed Osman al-Rikabi has briefed the visiting WBG team headed by Coulibaly on the economic reforms implemented in Sudan.

In press statements following the meeting, al-Rikabi said the WBG team is visiting the country to learn about the economic reforms undertaken by the government and the required technical support.

For his part, Coulibaly pointed to the great progress being made in the implementation of the government’s anti-poverty strategy.

He said the WBG would increase the number of its staff in Sudan in order to provide the necessary technical assistance to meet the economic challenges facing Sudan.

According to Coulibaly, the technical support would cover a number of areas especially those pertaining to public finance management, financial systems and economic planning.

The meeting also discussed the need to develop the private sector to contribute to the economic recovery as well as the long-term economic growth.

Following the promulgation of the 2018 budget which included a number of austerity measures, peaceful protests erupted in a number of Sudanese states leading to the killing of a high school student and detention of dozens of opposition activists across the country.

Economists attribute the deteriorating living condition and economic meltdown to corruption, lack of production policies, and lack of economic reform vision following the secession of South Sudan.

They also point to the need to end the war and direct all the national revenue for infrastructure and economic development.

Sudan lost 75% of its oil reserves after the southern part of the country became an independent nation in July 2011, denying the north billions of dollars in revenues. Oil revenue constituted more than half of Sudan’s revenue and 90% of its exports.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimates in a recent report that Sudan’s external debt reached $ 52.4 billion or 111 percent of GDP at end-2016 and, because of the large exchange rate depreciation, rose by 29.5 percent of GDP in 2016.

(ST)