Editorial: Participatory Economics

Prime Minister Dr. Abdalla Hamdok said in a TV interview that Sudan needs US$8 billion in foreign aid over the next two years to cover its import bill and help rebuild its ravaged economy after months of political turmoil, adding that another US$2 billion of foreign reserves deposits are needed in the next three months to halt the fall of the currency.
This means that Sudan needs US$4 billion each year in terms of foreign assistance to cover the imports requirements and halt the fall of the currency.
It is an objective demand which was recommended by several economic conferences.
But it is definite that the flow of such huge amounts in term of Official Development Assistance from the international monetary institutions needs some time to study the application to be submitted by the Sudanese government to those institutions.
It also requires a political decision from the US Administration to lift Sudan from the terrorism list.
Till then it is expected from the government to head towards the participatory economics which is a form of socialist decentralized planned economy involving the common ownership of the means of production. It is a proposed alternative to contemporary capitalism and centralized planning.
The government also can adapt the cooperative economy which is an economic system whereby those who employ its specific operating principles and embrace its explicit values can meet their basic needs in personally, socially, and environmentally responsible ways.
Microfinance system could be upgraded to develop the small scale industries especially in agricultural activities through the Contract farming which can be carried out according to an agreement between a buyer and farmers, which establishes conditions for the production and marketing of a farm product or products. Typically, the farmer agrees to provide agreed quantities of a specific agricultural product.
The cooperatives and the trade unions can benefit from the participatory economics to resolve the economic problems besides the profits to be obtained by the shareholders of those unions or cooperatives.
It is high time for our government to think out of the box.

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