In efforts to grow its economy and dismiss imminent economic meltdown, Sudan has opened up its gold market in a bid to entice foreign currency into the country’s treasury. To this end, private traders are now allowed to export gold, which will help crackdown on smuggling and raise revenue for the country.
Prior to this time, the country’s central bank was the only authorized body allowed to buy and export gold. The bank was also solely in charge of setting centers for small-scale purchase of the metal.
On the first day of the year, the Acting central bank governor Badr al-Din Abdel Rahim Ibrahim said that the bank would end its gold purchases entirely.
Just recently, an indigenous small private company, al-Fakher, founded in 2015, became the first to take advantage of the new regulations, exporting an initial 155 kg.
Following the recently circulated regulations, the central bank said private mining companies could now export up to 70% of their production provided they deposited proceeds in local banks. They had to sell the other 30% to the central bank.
In 2018, the Energy and Mining Minister Adil Ibrahim told Reuters that Sudan produced an estimated 93 tons of gold, making it the third-biggest producer of gold in Africa after South Africa and Ghana, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
The new economic model will help uplift the severe economic pressure faced by the Sudanese government as it tries to navigate a three-year political transition. The government operates under a military-civilian power-sharing deal struck after President Omar al-Bashir was ousted last year after a prolonged demonstration which was often violent.