Brotherhood of Sudan ... A trillion dollars wasted, the south and the economic embargo are the most prominent disasters
The corruption of the Brotherhood in Sudan is behind the waste of a trillion dollars
According to experts and analysts, the corruption practiced by influential members of the National Congress, the political wing of the Brotherhood, has wasted huge funds and Sudan has lost investment opportunities that could have changed the image of the miserable economic landscape shaping the country's current economic map— the most important feature of which is rising debt to more than $ 58 billion.
The three-decade-long rule of the Sudan Brotherhood led to the devaluation of the Sudanese pound at unprecedented rates. It has fallen from 12 pounds against the dollar to 65,000 pounds in the current parallel market, taking into account the three zeros drawn from the currency.
According to official statistics, unemployment has risen to more than 19 percent, inflation has reached 67 percent, macroeconomic indicators have fallen, hundreds of factories have been out of service and production has deteriorated in many projects and economic institutions.
Observers have informed Sky News Arabia about the involvement of influential Brotherhood members in the huge corruption operations. Based on the misspent amount of money in the sectors of oil and agriculture, it has been estimated that the direct and indirect impact of such involvement is more than $ 1 trillion. In addition, Sudan was sanctioned during the period from 1997 to 2017 by the US government due to the Brotherhood's ideological actions: having been accused of sponsoring terrorism and hosting al-Qaeda's leader for several years during the 1990s.
Rig and Losses
The agricultural sector has not been spared the corruption and manipulation of the Brotherhood. Since they came to power, they have begun to break up the massive al-Jazeera project, which was the largest in the Middle East and Africa, and divide it among the people they favour which in return deteriorated the project status.
Speaking of a crop like cotton, for example, its losses during the 30-year rule of the Brotherhood amounted to about $ 5 billion. Exports have declined from $ 200 million in the year before the Brotherhood came to power to an average of 24 million over the past years.
The agricultural sector was generally affected by the policies of the Brotherhood regime; there has been a significant decline in production and export volumes and consequently a deterioration in the trade balance.
According to Essam Abdul Wahab Bob, an academic and professor of economics at Sudanese universities, the direct and indirect losses due to corruption could reach $ 1 trillion considering the losses of selling public institutions and the destruction of agricultural projects. Needless to mention the secession of the south and the 20-year US sanctions which led to $ 500 billion of direct and indirect estimated losses.
Sudan has also lost 480,000 barrels of oil per day since the secession in 2011 to 2019, which is a loss of about $ 96 billion in eight years.
Terrorism and Economic Embargo
Washington imposed an economic embargo on Sudan because of the practices of the Brotherhood regime and their hosting of Osama bin Laden, the leader of al-Qaeda from 1991 to 1996. The economic embargo lasted for more than 20 years and losses were estimated at $ 100 billion, while other estimates went to about $ 500 billion.
The embargo has disrupted many production and service organizations that previously relied on US spare parts and technology. Sudan Airways, one of the oldest airlines in the region, has been drastically affected as most of its fleet consisted of American Boeing aircrafts; It has completely collapsed. Railways has also lost 83 percent of their capacity.
The secession of the south in 2011 was one of the important milestones in the history of Sudan. This is entirely the responsibility of the Brotherhood's NCP government. The extremist slogans it has raised since it came in 1889 have fuelled the conflict and closed all doors of peaceful unity and ultimately led to secession.
Mohamed Eljac, a professor of economics at the University of Khartoum, estimates the cumulative magnitude of the economic impact of corruption by NCP networks in force over the past three decades at hundreds of billions of dollars.
He referred to the direct impact of the looting and smuggling of tens of billions abroad, and thus get them out of the wheel of the Sudanese economy. He also highlights the policies that led to the sale of dozens of large enterprises in deals marred by many aspects of corruption. In addition to the indirect impact of the loss of billions of dollars of revenues that would have been collected providing there was a transparent and accountable approach.
He points out that Sudan has lost significant investment and financing opportunities due to the US embargo and the inclusion of Sudan in the list of countries that sponsor terrorism owing to the regime's ideological actions.
The Sudanese economy, due to rampant corruption and the wrong enabling policies of the regime, has lost a great opportunity to promote growth and prosperity during the years of oil exports before the secession of the south.
In this context, Eljac says that the oil funds was mostly directed to serve the networks of the regime and its influential people and not to promote real productive sectors such as agriculture and industry.
According to Eljac, corruption is embodied in many forms, and the spread of corruption during the rule of the National Congress is due to many reasons. One of the most important reasons is the deviation from the declared laws and policies and the establishment of many government companies and economical party interfaces in crooked ways. All this has caused the Sudanese economy to lose many opportunities and to waste hundreds of billions of dollars. Based on the huge resources that the Sudanese economy is teeming with, they would have made the Sudanese pound more valuable than the dollar if properly employed.
The systematic and massive smuggling of tens of billions of dollars and gold has seriously disrupted the country's foreign exchange reserves.
Sudan has lost opportunities of debt relief that many poor and developing economies have benefited from due to being labelled as a sponsor of terrorism, its widespread corruption and its declining rank in global indices.
Press journalist and analyst, Mohamed Wada’a, says that what happened during the past years was a systematic corruption which did not spare any of the productive or service sectors. In return, it has led to the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars, and Sudan has lost huge investment and development opportunities that could have had a great economic impact on Sudan.
Wada’a lists the types and fields of corruption among which is oil whose records have been problematic. Export records of tens of billions have disappeared. Whereas $ 68 billion have officially been recorded as the value of exports since the start of export operations till 2012, after the secession of the south.
Wada’a also refers to state companies which have been estimated in thousands before shrinking to a few hundreds after some companies had left the market.
These companies have been hidden fronts for Brotherhood investments that have caused huge distortions in the Sudanese economy. They led to monopolistic practices, which in turn caused a major fiscal imbalance, and was one of the main reasons that fuelled the dire deterioration in the Sudanese currency.
Wada’a stressed the huge impact of the massive corruption in the field of loans. The borrowing was without any legislative or financial control and some loans were not registered in the official records. Other projects such as the new Khartoum airport, and increasing the height of the Roseires dam had obtained loan twice without being implemented.
Loans worth tens of billions of dollars have been wasted in projects such as the Merowe dam and others, but these projects have not achieved the required feasibility on paper.
Wada’a sees that the looted and wasted money from the sectors of oil, agriculture, gold and the exploitation of thousands of acres of land estimated at hundreds of billions of dollars in total could have generated huge revenues that would have changed the map of the Sudanese economy if employed properly.
On the possibility of recovering the smuggled funds abroad and the legal frameworks required, Ayoub Abdullah, Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Kordofan and member of the Union of Sudanese Universities, said that the International Convention against Money Laundering was one of the most important frameworks that could facilitate the process of tracking the money of Sudanese people smuggled abroad.
Given that Sudan is a state ratifying the UN Convention against Corruption, the presence of a rational government in the coming period will undoubtedly enable the activation of laws related to combating the misuse of public funds.