America is Genuine, Available, and Interested

Omer B. Abu Haraz

The growing interest of the first world in Sudan has limits and pre-requisites. Limits of the theory of sustainable development and appropriate technology, set by the west in their plans to intervene in the Third World. Pre-requisites before engagement in projects are Peace, security, and adequate infrastructure. So, those who are completely leaning on an inevitable intervention of the West, especially America, in Sudan because of its strategic location and the diversified huge natural resources are mistaken.

It is true Sudan is considered one of three countries that can bridge the expected devastating gap in food in the world. It has 275 million acres of arable land, only 44 million cultivated of which only 4 million irrigated., the rest 40 million, rain-fed. Water in Sudan is abundant. It has sustained 125 million livestock, 100 thousand tons of fish – sea, and river. It has all rare minerals especially gold, copper, chrome, titanium, and others.

Sudan produces 85% of world Gum Arabic. The strategic location of Sudan in the heart of Africa and on the edge of the African Horn is another point of leverage that puts Sudan in the domain of American National Security, which is corroborated by the founding of the biggest American Embassy in the region- Africa and the Middle East -. All of these facts do not support the argument of some Sudanese elites that the intervention of America in Sudan is inevitable. Sudan is not the only country or group of countries that have similar advantages.

America is genuine in helping Sudan on mutual interests basis. The interest of America in Sudan was since independence in January 1956. It worked in clandestine steps with Britain to grant Sudan independence. America was the first country in the world to recognize the independence of Sudan a few hours after its declaration.

However, the pre-requisites for the physical presence of America as administration and as huge multinational companies are big hurdles. America cannot wait indefinitely to see Sudan does the needful to meet the pre-requisites, It can either change discourse to other countries or could actively get involved in Sudan governance to see the implementation of the pre-requisites.

Politically and strategically the U.S. Administration is highly concerned about peace and security. International Development Agency (IDA), CEO, Smartha Power in her visit closing press conference last week, commended the successful change after ousting the Salvation regime which ruled 30 years let to the isolation of Sudan from the international community under heavy painful economic sanctions.

She explicitly tied the actual support and involvement of America in Sudan with internal peace and security. She spoke about the urgent need to have one national army under one command. From what she impliedly said the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) is a hurdle in meeting these pre-requisites soon. So the issue of the RSF must be speedily addressed by the top brass of the army.

The second prerequisite is the password to the American private sector to enter the infrastructure, which is now extremely poor. Power, railways, airways, shipping line, river transport, roads, highways, and road transport, all need complete rehabilitation without improving infrastructure companies will be very skeptical to get involved. Investment laws and improving the banking system to ensure the legal and easy flow of foreign money of investors in and out of Sudan are equally important.

The only way to expedite the improvement of infrastructure is the shortest possible way is to prepare comprehensive feasibility studies by local or international consultancy firms to be offered to American or European big multinational companies to be implemented on the Build, Own, Operate and Transfer (BOOT). Projects like airports, seaports, Sudan railways, Sudan Airways, Sudan Shipping lines, telecommunications, roads, and highways.

The government alone cannot do much in improving infrastructure. Once the infrastructure improves all other fronts will settle down – Peace will prevail, production and productivity will improve and foreign investments will come.

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