I pointed out in my previous articles that our economy surpassed four of the five stages of economic collapse. The fifth stage is the one when the government becomes unable to meet its basic requirements to pay salaries, fund the basic services and avail the necessary commodities and its currency dramatically loses its value. At that point people take to streets in violent demonstrations, destroying public and private properties, looting trade centres, blocking streets and racketeering at which time the government imposes marital laws, curfews and facing protesting people with the use of excessive force. All in end lead to dramatic uprooting and change of power. The current stage is stage four when prices reached high levels, shortages in most of the basic commodities, falling infrastructure institutions, high inflation and unemployment rates, number of people below poverty lines increase and dramatic loss of value of the currency. People took to streets peacefully; government declared state of emergency and use of excessive force at the beginning of protests reduced to the minimum use of force after the hostile statements of the international community. Protests started on December 19, 2018 till now.
On February 22nd, this year the President dissolved the government and formed a new cabinet and declared his decision to relinquish his power as president of the ruling party (NCP) to Ahmed Haroun, ex-governor of North Kordofan. He also imposed martial laws. All of those actions did not satisfy the demands of protestors: Government formation was disappointing to many, NCP new leadership is working pm a rational change of the party including its name and objectives and marital laws have not done enough to quell the demonstrations or give a hope for a near solution to the economic crises.
Without drastic quick measures in the direction of solving the economic crises, Sudan will soon slip to stage five which will be the end of the game. Drastic quick measures like:++
1. Dissolving the nascent government replacing it by a small fully technocrat cabinet of 10 ministers selected from non-Politian scholar and administrators.
2. Declaration of a full monopoly of the government on the exports of god and Gum Arabic.
3. Declaration of clear genuine steps to revitalize and rehabilitate the Gezira Cotton Scheme with an equivocal decision to stop growing of wheat.
4. Allowing and legitimizing dealings of foreign currency in an open and controlled outlets.
5. Nationalizing foreign telecommunication companies
Elaborating the importance of points 2, 3, 4 and 5:
2. Both of gold and Gum Arabic are dear national resources similar to oil exploration and export. Two government chambers should be formed to each of the two. Not a single kilogram to be exported outside the control of the two chambers. The chambers should by the gold and Gum Arabic at fair prices matching the international indices.
The periodical of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) revealed that in 2016 the total export of Gum Arabic reached 110,000 tons. Sudan share was 73,000 ton i.e. 66%. The rest should be Chad 100,000 (1%), Nigeria 8,000 tons (18%).
Sudan has the potential to produce 87% of the global Gum Arabic market. Prices of Gum Arabic as raw between US$3000 to US$4000 per ton and processed up to US$12,000 per ton. Global food preservation, drugs, sweets and space industries depend on Gum Arabic as a basic ingredient. This explains why America after imposing economic sanctions on Sudan in 1997 exempted imports of Gum from Sudan on the embargo list. Our politicians at that time did not pick the chance by refusing to export Gum to America. This decision could have changed the whole course of the sanctions. Till now Sudan can take a painful decision to Europe and America by freezing exports of Gum for one year. The world will then pay a positive attention to Sudan economic crisis.
3. Cotton is a cash crop which has no waste: Cotton fibers feed textile factories, cotton seeds to oil mills, dried seeds to fodder. Wheat is globally available in abundance. FAO states that wheat growing areas are the largest among all other crops. It is grown in 540 million acres worldwide. Production of wheat in 2018/2019 projected at 1014 million tons, consumption 745 million and surplus 269 million tons. Is there any logic to grow wheat in Sudan at very cost instead of our main cash crop – cotton -.
4. Dollar illegal dealers are now the only pragmatic source to avail foreign currency. They bridged the gap of losing the oil export proceeds after South Sudan secession kept the oil export at reasonable levels.
5. Telecommunication foreign companies are draining dear hard money to outside Sudan. In all developed and underdeveloped countries telecommunication is strictly governmental.