Sudan added two new agreements to its package of deals with the US, following Washington’s decision to remove the country from the list of states sponsoring terrorism, and restore its sovereign immunity after nearly three decades of deprivation.
As US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin visited Khartoum last week, Sudan signed a memorandum of understanding with the American Export-Import Bank, in the first steps of economic cooperation between Khartoum and Washington.
Hiba Muhammad Ali, Sudan’s Minister of Finance, signed for Sudan in a ceremony in Khartoum on Thursday 7 January 2021, while Kimberly Reed, Chair of the Bank, signed the memorandum.
The memorandum will strengthen economic cooperation between the US and Sudan, by supporting trade and business development opportunities, “including but not limited to projects related to infrastructure, energy, agriculture and health care.”
“We signed an agreement with the EXIM Bank for $1 million, and it is a new step to strengthen the Sudanese-American relations through partnerships on various tracks Mr Hiba said.
The EXIM President and Chair Kimberly Reed said that her country and Sudan show commitment on economic reforms describing these accords will pave the way for economic reform.
Mr Mnuchin visited Sudan, as part of a trip to the Middle East. But Sudan Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok described it as historic.
The MoU will see Sudan benefit from an emergency loan and financing facilities worth about $1.2 billion to pay Sudan’s arrears to the World Bank, which will enable Sudan to start the path of debt relief and benefit from the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative, or the so-called HIPC.
She said this agreement contributes to reaching the decision point for the HIPC initiative, which will open the door to benefit from IDA grants and soft loans for 35 years and a grace period of 10 years of about $1.5 billion annually to finance major infrastructure projects all over Sudan.
Justice Minister, Nasredeen Abdulbari, said Sudanese government had signed the Ibrahim Accords, which are concerned with promoting peace and tolerance among the peoples of the region.
Washington formally removed Sudan from the list of state sponsors of terrorism on December 14, 2020 and restored Sudan’s sovereign immunity a week later, indicating further support for Sudan’s transitional government of Mr Hamdok.