El Nahud — Dozens of residents of El Nahud in West Kordofan queued in front of the town's branch of Nile Bank on Sunday to open accounts in response to an initiative launched by activists.
The '50 Pounds Initiative', proposed by one of the Nile Bank employees, sets the low threshold of SDG 50 (just over $1*) as a symbolic initial deposit for people of at economic levels to open an account and become active in the banking system.
Lawyer Ali Yahya told Radio Dabanga from El Nahud on Sunday that the initiative was proposed by one of the Nile Bank employees and that it found a great response among the public in the town. "The low amount was set to facilitate the participation of all segments of society to register an account at the Nile Bank branch in El Nahud."
Yahya pointed out that the people endured long queues in front of the bank to deposit their contributions to support the Central Bank of Sudan.
He appealed to all the people in El Nahud to support the Sudanese people in the initiative to reform the country's economy.
Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdouk recently confirmed that the country is in need of $10 billion to pull the Sudanese economy out of its depression. Yahya said: "This prompted the people of the town to answer the initiative to contribute to the country's renaissance".
The sight of the public queueing to deposit their money into banks is quite unusual in Sudan. Banks across the country have limited cash withdrawals, which intensified in the run-up to the overthrow in the Al Bashir regime in April. This resulted in long queus of customers trying to withdraw a litte cash from the banks. Public trust in the banking system has dwindled, so traders and the public have taken to keeping their money at home, rather than deposit it into banks.
The socioeconomic detritus of the 30-year dictatorship of Al Bashir - who is currently on trial in Khartoum for currency offences - has left Sudan's economy in ruins, with the value of the Sudanese Pound (SDG) at all-time lows against international currencies.
Banks limited cash withdrawals
In its dying throes, the Al Bashir regime desperately ordered the printing of new currency denominations of SDG 100, SDG 200, and SDG 500 by the Central Bank of Sudan in an attempt to solve the chronic public and commercial liquidity crisis.
* As effective foreign exchange rates can vary in Sudan, Radio Dabanga bases all SDG currency conversions on the daily US Dollar rate quoted by the Central Bank of Sudan (CBoS)
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