Delegation of AfDB Executive Directors complete consultation mission to Sudan

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A delegation of nine Executive Directors (EDs) of the African Development Bank (AfDB) visited Sudan from March 15-20, 2014 to engage with the Government and stakeholders in a dialogue on strategic economic, social and development issues of common interest. During this visit, the delegation held high-level meetings with Sudanese Government officials, including the President of the Republic, the Minister of Finance and National Economy, Committees of the Sudanese Parliament, the Central Bank Governor, the Chairperson of the Darfur Regional Authority (DRA), the Presidential Committee on External Debt, and several line ministries. The delegation also held detailed consultations with development partners, the private sector and civil society organizations.

The delegation extended its thanks and appreciation to the Sudanese President, Government and people of Sudan for their extraordinary hospitality, and for engaging in very candid discussions and intense dialogue as a trusted partner. This frank dialogue opens up avenues to help identify opportunities to assist the country in addressing its current challenges. Among others, debt relief, peace and stability, food security and poverty reduction stood out prominently as priority issues that need attention going forward.

The financial measures and economic reforms undertaken by the Government to control fiscal deficit and stabilize the economy clearly reflects the Government’s commitment to economic policy reforms. In this context, the delegation encouraged the Government to maintain these efforts which will lay a solid foundation for the successful implementation of the upcoming Staff Monitored Program (SMP) with the IMF.

The delegation appreciated the effort that the Government of Sudan has made to meet the technical requirements for debt relief. Having made progress on the technical front, the delegation encouraged the Government to intensify its diplomatic efforts in reaching out to bilateral creditors, especially the Paris Club.

The delegation also noted the commendable joint efforts by Sudan and South Sudan, under the auspices of the African Union High Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP), to form the Tripartite Committee (TC) on the joint approach to the international community to assist in addressing outstanding post-secession issues, debt relief being the most urgent. While recognizing the TC’s progress so far, especially the outcome of the March 19, 2014 meeting in Addis Ababa, the delegation strongly encouraged the two countries to scale-up their efforts and build the momentum that will bring on board its creditors.

Peace and security are of utmost importance for this country to unleash its potential to stabilize the economy and effectively deliver service to the Sudanese people. Stability in Sudan is also essential for food security, regional stability and trade in the Horn of Africa. In particular, the current dialogue with contending groups in Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile States needs to achieve lasting peace and security.

The delegation underscored the significant potential of the private sector and civil society to contribute significantly to policy processes critical for revitalizing the economy and achieving sustainable peace. This presents an opportunity that the AfDB encourages the Government to take advantage of. In this regard, the delegation also noted the considerable efforts of the Government to upgrade infrastructure which is critical for improving the investment climate, poverty reduction, and regional integration.

The African Development Bank is working closely with stakeholders to ensure a continuous dialogue which aims at resolving the arrears clearance and debt relief issue. The Bank will also continue to assist the people of Sudan through projects and program interventions with emphasis on technical assistance, capacity building and governance.