IMF praises progress in Sudan, calls for further economic reform

The seal of the International Monetary Fund(IMF) is seen outside of the headquarters building in Washington, DC on April 8, 2019. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) managing director-approved on Monday the first review of Sudan’s Staff-Monitored Program (SMP) but called for reform of a customs exchange rate and more transparency over state-owned enterprises.

“The Sudanese authorities have made tangible progress toward establishing a strong track record of policy and reform implementation – a key requirement for eventual debt relief”, an IMF statement said, citing a recent devaluation of the currency and removal of fuel subsidies.

The IMF warned that the economic situation remained “extremely fragile” in Sudan, where a deep economic crisis has seen inflation of up to 300% and shortages of basic goods.

“Authorities should implement the reform of the customs exchange rate in a timely fashion to lift revenue and competitiveness and avoid a return to distortionary policy measures,” the statement said.

“Enhanced transparency and management of State-Owned Enterprises operations is vital to mitigate fiscal risks and bring more revenue on-budget,” it added.

The IMF also called for the timely adoption of a central bank act and the establishment of an independent anti-corruption commission.