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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Central Bank of Sudan devaluates national currency

KHARTOUM (Xinhua) -- The Central Bank of Sudan on Sunday decided to devaluate the Sudanese pound (SDG) against U.S. dollar at an exchange rate of 30 SDGs for one dollar.

Early in January, the central bank devaluated SDG against U.S. dollar from 6.9 to 18 pounds.

Late last December, the Sudanese parliament approved the country’s general budget for 2018.

The budget introduced measures to reduce government expenditure, including stopping construction of government buildings and purchasing vehicles, and ceasing all incentives and bonuses unless authorized by the Ministry of Finance.

The budget intends to achieve a growth rate of 4 percent and reduce the inflation rate to 19.5 percent.

The secession of South Sudan in 2011 has negatively affected the Sudanese economy as the country lost around 70 percent of its oil revenues.

Even the lifting of the U.S. economic sanctions on Sudan last October has failed to halt the decline of the exchange rate of the Sudanese pound, which stood at 41.7 pounds to one dollar in the black market on Sunday.

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EARLIER REPORTS:

Sudan moves to downsize diplomatic missions abroad

KHARTOUM Sudan (Xinhua) -- A senior Sudanese official on Sunday announced formation of a government committee to reduce diplomatic missions abroad to reduce expenditure.

“The exchange rate of foreign currencies against national currency is rising in a manner that is not found in countries with deficit in trade balance,” Abdul-Rahman Dirar, Sudan’s State Minister for Finance, told reporters on Sunday.

“The Presidency has formed a committee to reduce the number of external missions to reduce expenditure on them in addition to measures to raise the value of the national currency against the U.S. dollar.”

On Sunday the Central Bank of Sudan decided to devaluate the Sudanese pound (SDG) against the dollar to be 30 SDGs for one dollar.

Last January the central bank devaluated Sudanese pound against U.S. dollar from 6.9 to 18 pounds.

Late last December, the Sudanese parliament approved the country’s general budget for 2018.

The budget introduced measures to reduce government expenditure, including stopping construction of government buildings and purchasing vehicles, and ceasing all incentives and bonuses unless authorized by the Ministry of Finance.

The budget intends to achieve a growth rate of 4 percent and reduce the inflation rate to 19.5 percent.

The secession of South Sudan in 2011 has negatively affected the Sudanese economy as the country lost around 70 percent of its oil revenues.

Even the lifting of the U.S. economic sanctions on Sudan last October has failed to halt the decline of the exchange rate of the Sudanese pound, which stood at 41.7 pounds to one dollar in the black market on Sunday.

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Egypt and Sudan to hold high-profile meeting to ease tense ties

CAIRO Egypt  (Xinhua) -- Egypt and Sudan are scheduled to hold a high-profile meeting in Cairo on Thursday to discuss ways to improve their ties, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said Sunday.

Foreign ministers and intelligence chiefs of both countries will attend this meeting, Egyptian Foreign Ministry’s spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid said in a statement.

The meeting aims “to discuss the course of bilateral relations and coordinate between the two countries regarding a number of regional issues of mutual interest,” Zeid said.

He noted that the meeting will be held under the instructions of Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi and his Sudanese counterpart Omar al-Bashir after their meeting on the sidelines of the recent African Union summit in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia.

The Egyptian-Sudanese relations have been tense over the past few years on various issues, including their differences over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) which Ethiopia is building on the Nile River.

While both Ethiopia and Sudan hope to reap massive benefits from the GERD construction, Egypt is worried that it undermines its 55.5-billion-cubic-meter annual share of the Nile River water.

Egypt and Sudan also have a territorial dispute over the border region of Halayeb and Shalateen, which is currently under Egyptian control.

In May 2017, Bashir accused Egypt of providing military support to the armed rebels in his country, which was strongly denied by Sisi.

In early January, Khartoum recalled its ambassador to Egypt for consultation over “potential security threats” from Egypt and Eritrea following reported military moves in Eritrea’s Sawa area near the border with Sudan’s state of Kassala.

Sisi has denied that Egypt is conspiring against Sudan or Ethiopia, stressing that his country is keen to build positive relations with all other countries and that the peoples of Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia “need investments not wars.”

             

 

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