Debt relief still not forthcoming says Sudan finance minister


KHARTOUM, Sudan-The Executive Directors of the African Development Bank concluded a five-day Consultation Mission to Sudan on Tuesday, 15th February 2017 with a wrap-up meeting at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning.

In his remarks, the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Mohamed Osman Suleiman Elrekabi expressed gratitude to the Bank for undertaking this mission reflecting the strong bond it has forged with the country over the years.

He appealed to the Bank to scale up its assistance to the country as the government seeks to consolidate reforms gains.

He, however, regretted the fact that despite the implementation of a series of reforms by the government of Sudan including 13 Staff Monitored Programs and the Interim Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper for two years; the establishment of debt scenarios, the preparation of an arrears clearance and debt relief strategy and the reconciliation of at least 95% of debt, among others, debt relief is still not forthcoming.

He, therefore, appealed to the Bank to use its convening power to assist Sudan on the issue so that the institution can begin to implement its High 5 development agenda in Sudan.

 On his part, the Spokesperson for the EDs, Bright Erakpoweri Okogu said that the EDs feel a sense of optimism about the development prospects of Sudan going forward.

He also congratulated the Government on the implementation of a series of reforms to address the country’s daunting challenges. He noted that the mission was a unique opportunity to appreciate the prevailing circumstances in the country, and thereafter gave an overview of the main findings of the mission.

During the mission, the EDs held discussions with  President Omar Al-Bashir; officials of the ministries of Finance and Economic Planning; Foreign Affairs; Agriculture; Animal Wealth; Education; Health; Higher Education; Industry; Electricity; Mineral Resources; Oil; Social Security; and Transportation. They also met with officials of the Central Bank and Mamoun Beheiry Center named after the Bank’s first President. The mission met with development partners and had a working dinner with a cross section of the Sudanese Businessmen and Employers Federation.

They visited two of the country’s main private sector companies, Zadna International Company Ltd. for Investment in North Khartoum and Kenana Sugar Company in White Nile State. The mission also held a meeting with project coordinators to ascertain the challenges in project implementation.