politics

Sudan Weighs Changes at Central Bank, Cabinet to Improve Economy

  • Ruling party official says changes likely to take place ‘soon’
  • African nation faces 52% inflation, sporadic demonstrations

Sudan will replace its central bank governor and change its cabinet in a bid to improve the economy, a ruling party official said, as the North African nation faces soaring inflation and sporadic protests.

The government will make the changes “soon” in ministries responsible for the economy as well as at the top of the central bank, the head of the National Congress Party’s political committee, Mohamed Hassan Alamin, said by phone. He didn’t give further details.

Central bank Governor Hazim Abdelgadir Ahmed Babiker has held the post since December 2016. Officials at the institution didn’t answer calls seeking comment on Friday, which is part of Sudan’s weekend.

Sudan has devalued its currency twice this year and cut some subsidies, part of budget measures enacted to comply with International Monetary Fund recommendations to revive an economy still reeling from the loss of most of its oil when South Sudan seceded in 2011.

Inflation surged to 52.4 percent in January -- the fastest price growth since the 1990s -- as a result of the steps, Sudan’s statistics bureau said Feb. 14. There have been sporadic demonstrations in the capital, Khartoum, in which dozens of people were arrested.

The proposals follow the NCP’s replacement of its deputy chairman, Ibrahim Mahmoud, with the local government minister. On Feb. 1, President Umar al-Bashir reappointed as his intelligence chief Salah Gosh, who’d held the post until 2009 and was five years ago accused of plotting a coup.

The U.S. last year lifted some sanctions placed on the country in 1997 for its alleged sponsorship of terrorism.

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