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The New Cabinet of Hamadok: Will Recent Measures Succeed in Reforming the Sudanese Economy?

Al-Sammani Awadallah – Khartoum

The new cabinet has discussed a package of axes within three successive days as the longest meeting of the Council of Ministers.

The meeting came out with several recommendations and resolutions in an endeavor to resolve the Sudanese economic crisis.

The meeting discussed five major axes that represent the problems the Sudanese economy has been suffering from in recent years.

Observers suggest that the recommendations of the meeting, following the recent decision of liberating the Sudanese pound, will lead to actual reforms in the national economy, which might raise the value of the Sudanese currency after its recent deterioration.

The spokesperson of the cabinet, Minister of Culture and Information, Hamza Balol, held a press-enlightenment on the outcomes of the recent meeting of the council of ministers, which took place at the High Academy for Security and Strategic Studies (H.A.S.S.S.)

The Three-day Meeting

The closed sessions were held from the 25 – 27 February at the High Academy for Security and Strategic Studies (H.A.S.S.S.) in the Soba district, in order to draft an executive plan to implement the priorities of the transitional government for the year 2021.

The sessions were marked by positive spirits and joint efforts with concentration on the five priorities announced by the prime minister.

The sessions concluded after detailing projects and programmes in which the economic and the social axes topped the priorities due to its importance on the livelihood of the citizens.

The cabinet affirmed its control over the gold exportation through authorizing the Central Bank of Sudan to purchase it via the international bourse prices for exportation purposes, besides expediting the establishment of Sudanese Gold Bourse.

The cabinet also decided to work out a plan to provide the essential services represented by potable water, free education and indigenizing the medicine industry to cover 60% of the demand in the first year, besides supporting the free medication programme to include all the chronic diseases and the primary health care (PHC), along with women empowerment.

Among laid plans was a 50% increase to electricity and oil plans, amalgamating the people with disabilities in the economic, social and political aspects, along with vertical and horizontal expansion in rain-fed and irrigated agriculture.

This will be done through adding 15 million acres in the rain-fed sector to increase its production by 15%, and adding 200 thousand acres in the irrigated sector in Toker and Gash projects to increase the productivity by 30%.

Port Sudan harbor and Sudan Railways rehabilitation, maintenance of the quarantines, veterinary laboratories and slaughterhouses, were also discussed to increase the livestock exportation.

Peace Process Among Priorities

The issue of accomplishing the peace process was among the priorities discussed in the sessions as it was decided to provide the required resources for the security, health, electricity, education, communications projects in the war-affected areas, besides repatriations to the IDPS and refugees’ home villages.

The council of ministers decided in its sessions to resume the negotiations with the SPLM-N (Al-Hilu) and to contact the SLM/AW to accomplish the peace process.

This, along with launching a national campaign to promote peace, tolerance culture, peaceful coexistence, reconciliations, and discarding racism through sports, cultural and awareness programmes, along with setting the main infrastructure such as railways, roads and bridges.

The cabinet earmarked an integrated axis to security issues to set a comprehensive national security to defend the nation and the constitutional system aiming at establishing a national, unified and professional army besides reforming the general intelligence service and police.

Establishing internal security apparatus, securing the borders, DDR, improving the civil register, improving the migration system, firearm-collection and controlling the non-codified vehicles in coordination with the concerned authorities were also agreed on in order to protect the civilians and safeguard the corridors to enable the voluntary return of the IDPs and refugees to their home villages.

Foreign Relations

The sessions did not ignore the crucial foreign relations issue considering it as very crucial in the transitional period due to the need of Sudan to establish balanced foreign relations.

This is to be done through activating the role of Sudan in the international arena to retrieve its effect in Africa with special relations with South Sudan State and neighbouring countries to serve the peace, security and stability in the region.

Openness towards the regional and international organizations, besides boosting role in it in coordination with the official institutions are among the agendas discussed in the three-day meeting of the cabinet.

The cabinet agreed to activate the relations with the hosted international organizations, besides joining the organizations and funds that support the economic growth and good governance.

Sudan is in need to develop its relations with all the countries to serve interests in all fields, especially in reconstruction, investment, trade exchange, scientific research with special concern to youth, women and making Sudan’s role in chairing the IGAD as success.

The cabinet also discussed designing a programme to introduce Post-Revolution Sudan to the international community through youth to reflect the diversity in our country.

Democratic Transformation

The cabinet decided to establish and complete all the commissions and the skeletons of the transitional period through launching comprehensive transitional justice, and kicking-off the national constitutional conference.

Conducting population census, preparing the elections law and establishing its commissions to prepare for the general election are considered by the cabinet as one of the most important transition merits.

Establishing the anti-corruption commission as a priority and setting a national document to determine the code of ethics, reforming the federal rule institutions and civil service.

The cabinet announced the programme of reforming the civil service institutions, the digital transformation for those institutions (5 ministries as first phase), structuring the institutions retaken by the Removing Empowerment and Anti-corruption Committee, training the manpower in the public institutions, formation of trade unions, consultative councils and activating the role of the National Strategic Planning Council.

Conclusion

The Transitional Council of Ministers affirmed that those projects and programmes are but a translation on the ground of the noble endeavors of December’s glorious revolution, but will require unity and popular support from all of us to transform our aspiration into reality.

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