Sudan: First National Economic Conference Opens in Khartoum

26 September 2020

Khartoum — The First National Economic Conference opened here Saturday, amid a wide audience and with addresses from senior government officials, politicians and economists.

The Conference's opening session was graced and addressed by both Chairman of the Sovereignty Council, Lt. General Abdelfattah Alburmhan and Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok.

Held under the theme "Toward Sustainable Economic Development" the conference is to discuss, over nine sessions, a number of papers, beside recommendations of different sectoral workshops that have been in session for sometime before this opening session.

Chairman of the Conference's preparatory committee, Prof. Abdelmohsin Mustafa said the conference is to present wide proposals on the objectives of the fiscal policy during the transitional government's three years mandate, developmental planning during this period, the monetary and funding policy as well as the need to beef up government revenues, the ideal exploitation of human resources and scientific research in a bid to determine the economy's general direction. He added that the Conference would lay down a road map for sustainable development.

Prof. Mustafa has also revealed that a small committee would be set up to monitor the implementation of the Conference recommendations.

Presenting the Conference's first paper, entitled "the general framework of the developmental democratic state and the components of the transitional government program," Prime Minister Hamdok attributed the failure of the country's developmental project to four factors: They are:

First: The failure to manage the post-independence challenges, primarily the management of the country's cultural, ethnic and geographical diversity and to build modern governance and administration institutions, a matter that hindered productivity.

Second: The poor ability and willpower for planning and building a modern economy based on clear and agreed upon foundations with respect to the role of the state and the private sector and on financial decentralization.

Third: The institutional gridlocks.

Fourth: The power of ideological groups, in particular the heavy handedness adopted by the 1989 coup of the National Islamic Front.

PM Hamdok said the absence of a national project had widened the scope of differences, struggles and wars, wasted a lot of time and human and financial resources and diminished the national vision and developmental planning.

He further said that the transitional government's plan is summed up in the work for comprehensive political, economic and administrative reform and capacity building to stop the economic deterioration and face the challenges of poverty, unemployment, inflation and the national currency's deteriorating exchange rate.

He said his government would depend mainly on the Sudan's rich resources in the domains of agriculture, minerals, oil, animal wealth, geographical location, youth population ... etc and exploit human skills, modern technology and inventions in order to increase productivity and produce high quality commodities and services to improve their competitiveness at domestic, regional and international levels.

Addressing the gathering, General Burhan indicated the country's economic drawbacks and said a lot need be done to remedy the situation promising to exert efforts for implementation of the conference's recommendations.

In its first day the Conference will discuss also the topic of how to increase production and export and augmentation of job opportunities.

In the second day it will discuss the fiscal policy and economic planning and the subsidy of commodities and its alternatives (a discussion session along the Davos Style).

On the third and closing day, the Conference would discuss the monetary and funding policy, the management of the currency's exchange rate and the balance of payments. The same day the conference will hold a discussion on "youth and the economic issue", with concentration on employment and training.

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