By: Dr. Ibrahim Ahmed El-Badawi
The reputable Sudanese international economist Dr. Ibrahim Ahmed Al-Badawi (who was later appointed Finance Minister in the present Transitional Government) has written a very important paper (Freedom, Peace and Justice: The Foundation of the Revolution Economic Policy. The first draft of this paper is accomplished in April 2019. It has been revised and modified in the first week of July, 2019.
Consequently, the economic program, necessary for providing economic freedom and enhance other political and personal liberties must seek to build the (human capital) as a priority by allocating enough resources for education, healthcare, training, and rehabilitation.
Free education and basic healthcare services shall ne provided. This necessities the allocation of at least 30 to 35% of the state budget to education and healthcare services, following the example of the emerging countries that managed to achieve great changes, depending on a labor power with knowledge intensity and high capacities. (as in Chile, the Asian Tigers and some emerging African countries, for example).
To qualify this generation of young people through intensive training and rehabilitation. Financial facilities shall be provided for entrepreneurs to establish specialized companies in the applications of digital economy tools in the service and production sectors, as in emerging countries, where the modern sector based on small and medium enterprises accommodates an increasing number of Young High Training people.
On the other hand, as explained above, the policies of the Inqaz regime have produced catastrophic results in terms of human development, as a result of the low resources allocated to education, healthcare, water, and other social services over the last 30 years.
Allocating such resources to the two sectors of education and healthcare will be the main lever of the poverty fighting programs in order to accumulate social human capital, vital for achieving the desired economic freedom.
Restoration and rehabilitation of hospitals, healthcare centers, falling schools, and building new ones.Offer free breakfast to pupils and students.
Provide medication and school textbooks:
Offer sufficient income to teachers, doctors, and all others working in the two sectors as well as to all the Sudanese working class.
It is understandable to say that the completion of this program will require a radical shift in the mobilization and allocation of the financial resources in the state. This cannot be achieved without strong political determination with an economic and scientific vision, seeking to achieve “economic legitimacy”, not only limited to it’s of “revolutionary” or “electoral” legitimacy.
Perhaps it is worth full saying that peace is a precondition for development and economic renaissance. On the other hand, the absence of equitable development is one of the most important reasons that cause conflicts and civil wars, particularly when developmental inequality is joined to the marginalization of some components of the community for identity justifications (regional, religious, ethnic or others). What economists call (lost peace opportunities), as result of wars and conflicts becomes invaluable for uneducated young people and for those who didn’t find enough opportunity climb the social scale because of their social identities.
Late Sudanese leader John Garang once expressed the psychological status of young people joining SPLA/SPLM, or other armed movements in Darfur, Nuba Mountains, and Blue Nile. He affirmed (compared with the regime in Khartoum, the lost development opportunity is a big zero. It is even a minus value. Hence, our best choice is to fight for our rights.
When the young generation launched the 13th December Revolution, leading all the Sudanese People behind them, the opportunity of peace and personal security regarding the regime’s repressive machine and its attempts, criminal threats, and intimidation of became valueless. Thus, the barriers of fear disappeared. This was expressed in a deep meanings slogan launched in the first days of the Revolution against a sniper stationed at the roof of a building in the Souk Arabi in Khartoum. (Sniper, we see you. We are not afraid. A bullet doesn’t kill. It is silence that kills).
The economic sense of peace shall be based on a strong faith that the Sudanese People, except the minority supporting the regime, is marginalized, whether for stupid racist tendencies targeting specific social or regions, or as result of the regime’s empowerment policies and the institutional corruption which caused inflation and fall of productivity, the degradation of services all over the country, in rural and urban areas, South and North, East and West, as well as the Center. Young people may be the most affected by the economic devastation. Therefore, the economic approach to building community peace should target the following:
Focus on the education, qualification, job creation for young people in an economy that in generates sustainable, broad-based growth of witch these young people will benefit and contribute to at the same time.
Priority should be given to the reconstruction of Darfur, Nuba Mountains and Southern Blue Nile. These areas should be positively targeted in terms of provision of services.
The development of a diversified economic policy based on a multiplicity of poles of growth in agriculture, agro-processing, services and supporting infrastructure, with the aim of building a geographically and sectorally diversified economy in all regions of the Sudan, according to the comparative advantages of each region in terms of resources, geographical location, etc.
In such an economy, not only the electoral democracy but equally the lost peace opportunity will be of high value. By the will of Allah, sustainable peace will avail and the new born democracy will find all opportunities of sustainability and developing.
The concept of justice as a legal and human principle means comprehensive equality before the law and the preservation of rights and guarantees for all members of society. In this context, justice from the perspective of the economy and social sciences is to provide equal access to education, healthcare, and employment, access to food, medicine and adequate housing to maintain minimum human dignity.
Based on this, the economic program, targeting social justice, shall be based on the following principles:
Sticking to the principle of (Leveled playing field) which grants equal opportunities to all individuals and components of the community. This needs the following:
Liquidation of all privileges acquired by the regime supporters, recuperation of looted funds, review the privatization of public enterprises and projects, most of which were sold at low prices to the privileged in the context of empowerment policies without the minimum standards of transparency and regulatory controls recognized.
It should be noted here that these measures are important not only for justice but also for stripping the potential counter-revolution of its most important weapon.
Adopting the effective managements of the oppressed and the marginalization of the Sudanese by the Inqaz regime in Darfur, the Nuba Mountains, and the Blue, in a radical and comprehensive manner.
The priority of combating poverty and inequality vertically (between economic groups) and also horizontally between the components of the regional community and ethnic … etc.
Capacity-building in terms of education, training and rehabilitation for all without discrimination, especially in terms of training and rehabilitation of the youth in the field of the industrial digital revolution which began to form the new global economy
Secondly: Why is the Revolution the only Choice for the People
Let us arise again the question about the Revolution as a unique choice for our People as says its most famous slogan. What are the consequences of this milestone option regarding the nature of methodology and the economic vision, appropriate to accomplish the goals of the Revolution?
The Sudanese People was convinced that it has been hit with a brutal and frivolous dictatorship which is equally characterized by a bunker mentality. It was not able to provide any achievement in three decades. In the contrary, it filled the country with corruption and injustice. It destroyed all and even put an end to its institutional and social heritage. Moreover, it has undermined the sovereignty of the country and the unity of its territories. As provides the heritage of the political economy, such totalitarian systems are usually without any vision that can assist them to see the importance of the “economic legitimacy” as an auxiliary lever to its continuity in power, from the point of view of the “enlightened self-interest”. Consequently, such regimes are not even motivated to adopt consensual solutions, even when they face an existential risk threatening them by collapse. Such regimes are usually convinced that they provided nothing regarding economic development and social welfare qualifying to dialogue with the other national political forces. They equally suffer from their heavy burden of serious crimes and violations, even measured by the ratios of totalitarian programmatic regimes. Because, they adopt only security oppressive solutions and policies meant to serve only their regional, class, and ethnic interests.
In that context, Professor Dany Rodrik, economy Professor at Harvard, presented a reasonable analysis based on a mathematical model analysis the interest functions of elites in totalitarian regimes. He concluded that such ignorant totalitarian regimes don’t have any development visions capable of understanding the catastrophic consequences of their economic policies, based on narrow parasitic interest of investing in public goods such as education, healthcare services, infrastructures, and soft institutions. Ultimately, they do nothing else but undermining their chances of remaining in power.
On the other hand, political economy literature show us that there are rare totalitarian programmatic regimes manage to achieve important development changes, enabling them at the end to acquire proportional acceptance that lead to real democratic changes in their countries. According to the model of Rodrik, such regimes, despite their totalitarian nature at the [political level, manage to understand the importance of building a wide system of public goods and limit the deepness of parasitic interest to the minimum. Such programmatic regimes understood the importance of the economic legitimacy for their continuity in power. Such enlightened totalitarian regimes (If that is permissible) are conscious that acquiring such a legitimacy may qualify their elites and ruling parties to compete with the opposition, in case of any eventual democratic transformation. That was the case in the North Eastern Asia countries (Korea and Taiwan), Chile in Latin America, and recently the countries of South Eastern Asia, such as Malaysia and Thailand. It worth mentioning that the most important catalyst for such democratic transformations is the deep rooting of the middle class in these communities, as a result of sustainable broad based development, achieved by those regimes. The current arising question in the political economy arena when will the Chinese Communist Party take the milestone decision of advancing in the pass way of democratic transformation, as did the mentioned programmatic totalitarian regimes in Asia. If ever taken, such a decision will have roaring international consequences.