This post provides a synopsis of the statements made by Dr. Ibrahim Elbadawi, minister of finance of the Republic of Sudan, during a public discussion at the Atlantic Council. The minister was joined in the panel by: The Hon. Donald Booth, special envoy for Sudan at the US Department of State; H.E Endre Stiansen, special envoy to Sudan and South Sudan at the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs; and H.E Julian Reily, special envoy for the Red Sea and Horn of Africa at the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
The Atlantic Council is an American think tank that was founded in 1961. It mainly focuses on international affairs, it also provides a forum for international political, business, and intellectual leaders.
During the session Dr. Ibrahim Elbadawi delivered an outline of the economic recovery strategy which will be centered on a 10-year plan named the Sudan Economic Revival Plan 2020-2030 (SERP 2020-2030). The plan will be implemented in 3 phases.
Phase 1 will cover the 3 years of the transitional government, it mainly aims to ignite economic growth and deal with major distortions in the macroeconomy. The government will focus on the following:
- Normalising revenue levels generated from taxation, currently public revenues of GDP amount to 6% while the average for Africa is 12%. Thus far, the government has initiated the process of tax law reform. Furthermore, they are reviewing 400 companies which are currently operating in the dark;
- Establishing an independent investment authority to review investment laws and an authority on civil service reform;
- Conducting a population census and agricultural census which are expected to create 50 000 youth jobs;
- Establishing a Sudanese authority on biometric identity and a development fund for peace;
- Modernising the agricultural sector particularly as it pertains to livestock export;
- Developing the Red Sea port so Sudan can be an entry point for goods destined for landlocked neighbouring states.
Phase 2 will cover 3 years and aim to finish the process of broad-based institutional reforms to stabilise growth at reasonably high rates.
Phase 3 will span the last 4 years and aim to engage with youths to structurally transform the economy into a high productivity knowledge-based economy.
Other important points made by Dr. Elbadawi were:
- The government will not contest the presence of companies owned by the security apparatus so long as they operate openly, are subject to competition and pay taxes.
- The government hopes that with the introduction of a peace budget and the realization of pledges made by Gulf partners the share in military spending in the budget, which currently stands at 22% of the total budget, will decline to normal levels.
- A reform of commodity subsidies will be undertaken. Rather than subsidising petroleum products, a partial universal income plan will be designed and is expected to cover half of the Sudanese population.
For the full discussion go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vpQUg7RU-U&t=3512s