Sudanese Prime Minister, Dr. Abdalla Hamdouk, announced on Monday that the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) have written off their debts to Sudan, a step that will “open the door wide” for the return of Sudan to the international community.
The state-owned Sudan News Agency (SUNA), said Dr. Hamdouk, in a press statement following the special session on addressing Sudan’s debts, expressed the country’s pleasure over the outcome of Paris Conference.
He said the conference allows Sudan “to show the world the challenges, the change and the priorities of the transitional government”.
“The conference is considered the start for the reintegration of the country in the international community,” he said.
France announced on Monday that it will grant Sudan a US$1.5 billion loan to pay off its arrears to the IMF, thus opening the door to wider relief under the Fund’s Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative.
The United Kingdom and the United States had earlier helped clear arrears with the other development banks.
Sudan is seeking support to clear its estimated US$50 billion external debt, which includes some US$5.6 billion owed to the IMF, the World Bank andAfDB.
UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, told the investment conference in Paris on Monday that continued international support for Sudan is critical as the country undergoes a historic political and economic transformation.
“We have a responsibility to help Sudan consolidate its democratic transition; rebuild its economy; and deliver sustainable peace and development for all its diverse society,” he said in a video message.
The conference, organised by French President Emmanuel Macron, aimed to encourage private investors to return to Sudan as it continues to emerge from three decades of isolation and rebuild its shattered economy.
Sudan’s ongoing transition to democracy began following months of street protests that led to the April 2019 overthrow of former President, Omar Al-Bashir, who had ruled since seizing power in a military coup in 1989.