Governance and Social Action in Sudan

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“Towards A New Vision For Inclusive Development in Sudan” – First Conference of the Sudan Research Group (SRG) in November 2019 after the Sudanese Revolution in Khartoum

The Sudan Research Group (SRG) has now released its conference report
on the first conference held in Khartoum, Sudan which took place some months after the Sudanese Revolution and the instalment of the Transitional Government. The title of the report is “Towards Sustainable Inclusive Development in Sudan“. The participants were divided into eight clusters to discuss 31 papers around the Conference’s main themes: 1- Macroeconomic Management for Inclusive Development; 2- Bringing the Productive Sectors back in Sudan; 3- Governance and Institutions; 4- Management of Natural Resources; 5- Sustainable Infra-Structure; 6- Social Policy and Public Service Delivery; 7- The Role of the Private Sector; and 8- Gender. The Report was published in 2020 and contains Recommendations on Macroeconomic Issues, Reviving the Productive Sectors, Governance and Institutions, The  Management of Natural Resources, Sustainable Infrastructure, Social Policy and Public Service Delivery, and the Private Sector. There are specific recommendations to the Transitional Government, to the Ministry of Finance and to other competent ministries, to International Donors, and to Civil Society Organizations. The full report contains information about all the clusters of the conference.

The Sudan Research Group (SRG) writes about its mandate: “The Sudan Research Group is a UK-based voluntary organization. It was formed in 2003 by a group of academics and researchers who felt a pressing need for a specialized network that brings together multidisciplinary academics, researchers, activists and policy makers in a forum devoted to in-depth discussions of the key and pressing issues that face the country. Dedicated to impact, it aims to produce and promote research and scholarship that may inform home-grown policies to address the country’s urgent economic, political, and social needs.” And the SRG reports about the conferences: “The main conferences and events organized by the Group so far include “Economic Challenges in Post-conflict Sudan” (2004), “Institutional and Governance Requirements for the Future Development of Sudan” ( 2005 ), “Education and Capacity Building” (2006), “Assessing the Peace-building in Darfur”, (2008), “General Education Crisis in Sudan” (with an Open Themes Group), (2016), Training in Communication for Sudanese NGOs” (2019), and a series of Webinars.” Then, “Towards Sustainable Inclusive Development in Sudan” (2019) was the first conference that SRG was able to convene in Sudan after the Sudanese Revolution which started in December 2018. It was convened for June 2019, but was then postponed to November 2019 (SRG 5TH Meeting Tentative Agenda).

Contact Information about SRG: Email address:; Website:

About the Report on the SRG Conference November 2019 in Khartoum, Sudan: “The Sudan Research Group (SRG) is pleased to introduce a summary of the proceedings of its Fifth Conference, with the title “Towards Sustainable Inclusive Development in Sudan”. Held only three months after the formation of the Transitional Government that followed the end of three decades of dictatorship, the conference sought to provide a neutral space for open discussions that help in shaping the agenda for change. More than 160 researchers, policy makers, private sector and civil society participants engaged in three days of constructive - and sometimes heated debate - about immediate reform programs and long -term development policies. This report provides a brief summary of the discussions on the key themes of the conference and its substantive findings. It should be noted that the messages and ideas summarized are not intended to indicate a consensus and they do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the SRG”. The report is available for download as a PDF under: Final SRG 5th Conf. 2019. Professor Karl Wohlmuth had the privilege to be invited to the conference as a speaker for the cluster Infrastructure. Professor Wohlmuth follows the studies and projects of the SRG carefully.

Dr. Gamal Al-Tayib from UNECA in Addis Ababa is one of the founders of the SRG.

Another important development about Sudan as two thinktanks are cooperating: SRG is joined by SWEA in development work

In the new Sudan independent NGOs can be founded and have space for action. SWEA (see below) is now ready to mobilise the women economists. There are links between SRG and SWEA. SERG in Bremen is cooperating with these groups.

Sudanese Women Economists Association (SWEA): Empowering the Women in the Peripheries through Capacity Building Projects

Women economists work together for a peaceful and prospering Sudan. Sawsan Musa Adam Abdul-Jalil from the Ministry of Finance in Khartoum, Sudan is a co-founder of the Sudanese Women Economists Association (SWEA). SWEA was founded in June 2020. SWEA is collaborating with the Sudan Research Group (SRG) in a capacity building project. The first (and so far the only) project was an online training on a research proposal writing for the students of Nayala, El Fahser, Gedaref and Kassala, but much more is in the pipeline. Sawsan Musa Adam Abdul-Jalil from the Ministry of Finance in Khartoum, Sudan is working now with the Aid Coordination Unit of the Ministry to restructure their strategy. We cooperate from the SERG in Bremen with SRG and SWEA to learn more about the reforms ongoing in Sudan and to support the process of change in the country. It is intended to cooperate on the new Yearbook project of the Research Group on African Development Perspectives Bremen (see the International Call for Papers Volume 23).


The Sudanese Women Economists Association (SWEA) is becoming an important partner for democratic development, inclusive growth, and economic change in Sudan.

Source: Website SWEA


About the Mandate of SWEA:

“The Sudanese Women Economists Association (SWEA) was founded in June 2020, on the ground of redeeming the prevalent gap of women economists participation in the policy and academic spheres in Sudan. Fuelled by the enthusiasm of its founders and members, SWEA aims at building capacities, encouraging and amplifying the contribution of women economists, and of young women pursuing degrees in economics. SWEA strives to achieve this by providing a platform to convene Sudanese women economists, offering networking opportunities and enriching the economic research space by the contributions from its members.”

The Vision of SWEA:

“SWEA’s vision is to advance Sudanese women economists’ participation in academic and public policy spheres in Sudan. Our aim is to promote solidarity between Sudanese women economists across generations, as a key step to build capacity of young women in economics and to amplify the voices of Sudanese women in economic research and practice.”

The website of SWEA is:

 Source: Website SWEA

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New Publications on Sudan’s Regional Development: Food Security and Agricultural Development in Kassala State, Sudan

Professor Samia Nour from the University of Khartoum, Sudan has published (in cooperation with Dr. Eltayeb Mohamedain) a working paper and two policy briefs on Food Security and Agricultural Development in Kassala State, Sudan. These are publications of the CMI (Chr. Michelsen Institute). The CMI Sudan Working paper Number 1 (21 July 2020) and the two CMI Policy Briefs (21 July 2020) are of interest as the focus is on research done by regional universities and for advice to policymakers in peripheral regions in Sudan. The two policy briefs are based on the findings in the CMI Sudan working paper number 1 (21 July 2020) that analyses agricultural development and food security with the use of survey data from Kassala State. This research is conducted as part of the Agriculture and Food Security cluster in the Assisting Regional Universities in Sudan (ARUS) programme. The ARUS programme is a collaboration between CMI, the University of Khartoum, Ahfad University for Women, the University of Bergen, and several regional universities in Sudan. The programme is funded by the Norwegian Embassy in Khartoum. The importance of these studies is that regional universities in Sudan are participating, and that key issues of peripheral areas like food security and agricultural development are more deeply researched.

Professor Samia Nour is now also Book Reviews/Book Notes Editor of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook. She has advised the editors of volumes 20 (2018) and 21 (2019) and is Unit editor and Volume Editor for volume 22 (2020/21). She is also collaborating with various international research organisations. She has recently published in the SERG discussion papers of IWIM on Sudan’s revolution (see Number 44 of the SERG discussion papers with the title: “Overview of the Sudan Uprising”:

Access to these three CMI publications (see links below) which are co-authored by Professor Samia Nour:

CMI Sudan Working Paper Number 1: “Food Security and Agricultural Development in Sudan: The case of Kassala State”, CMI Sudan Working Paper Number 1, CMI (Chr. Michelsen Institute), Bergen, Norway, 21 July 2020, pp. 1-113. Link: Food Security and Agricultural Development in Sudan: The case of Kassala State

See the Abstract (shortened) below.

Sudan CMI Policy Brief Number 3: “Food Insecurity in Sudan as seen from Kassala State ”, Sudan CMI Policy Brief Number 3, CMI (Chr. Michelsen Institute), Bergen, Norway, 21 July 2020, pp. 1-4. Link: Food Insecurity in Sudan as seen from Kassala State

“This policy brief discusses the incidence of food insecurity, explores families’ survival strategies, and recommends measures that may combat food insecurity.”

Sudan CMI Policy Brief 4: “Agricultural development and food Security in Sudan as seen from Kassala State”, Sudan CMI Policy Brief Number 4, CMI (Chr. Michelsen Institute), Bergen, Norway, 21 July 2020, pp. 1-4. Link: Agricultural development and food Security in Sudan as seen from Kassala State

“This policy brief uses data from Kassala State to assess the close link between agricultural development and food security, and investigates factors and policies that can strengthen agricultural development, thereby increasing food security in Sudan.”

Abstract (shortened) of Sudan Working Paper 1, 21 July 2020

Food Security and Agricultural Development in Sudan: The case of Kassala State,

by Prof. Dr. Samia Mohamed Nour and Dr. Eltayeb Mohamedain, Bergen: Chr. Michelsen Institute (Sudan Working Paper 2020:1)

This research discusses the relationship between agricultural development and food security, the determinants of the supply of food and of the demand for food, and the determinants of food insecurity in Kassala State. In so doing, it provides a significant contribution to the current literature. Used are new primary data from a Food Security Household Survey which was conducted in Kassala State (2019). It was found that the majority of households are food insecure (77%), out of which 32.9% of the households are severely food insecure, while fewer households are fully food secure (23%). There is a large variation in households' food insecurity between localities, with rural Kassala having most of the food insecure households. This may be explained by the variation in monthly income between localities.

Three hypotheses are examined. A first hypothesis is verified that the most significant determinants of production of food are the size of agricultural land, the available livestock, and the irrigation systems. There is support for the second hypothesis that the family's own production of food and the household income have positive effects on food consumption. It is found that the significant determinants of the production of sorghum (the main staple food) are the size of agricultural land and the available livestock, and that the significant determinants of consumption of sorghum are the family's own production of sorghum, the household income, and the family size. For small farmers, their own consumption of sorghum is to a larger extent determined by their own production of sorghum. Therefore, enhancing production of sorghum among smallholders would contribute to enhancing consumption of sorghum and hence supporting food security. The third hypothesis is verified that better working conditions of the farmers are crucial for family own production of food and are then supporting food security; the probabilities of households being food secure increase with better working conditions for higher family own production .

Investigating the gender gap related to food production and food security has led to the results that male-headed households produce more food and are more food secure than female-headed households. Some reasons for this observation are analyzed. Also, it was found out that agricultural production is impeded by the lack of agricultural land, the cultivation of only few crops, an insufficient irrigation system, and shortages of agricultural services, which are mainly related to the provision of agricultural technology. Therefore, the major policy implication is that measures aimed at increasing household incomes and enhancing family own production of food are important for eliminating food insecurity. Recommended are therefore policies that may increase household incomes and may enhance smallholders' own production of food. Relevant policy instruments may be increases of agricultural land ownership, increases of the size of cultivated land for smallholders, more diversification of agricultural food crops, an improvement of irrigation systems, measures for enhancing female participation in agricultural activities and food security, steps towards improvement of agricultural services, mainly related to the adoption of technology, improving access to clean drinking water and proper sanitation systems, and, in general terms, improved infrastructure which may help in access to food, to inputs, and to production requirements.

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Die „Sudanesische Revolution“, die Demokratisierung und die Perspektiven der Bürgerbewegung - Vortrag von Professor Karl Wohlmuth an der Universität Mainz

Im Rahmen einer Ringvorlesung „Afrika - Der zurückgelassene Kontinent“ referierte Professor Karl Wohlmuth über die Chancen der Demokratiebewegung im Sudan und über die Perspektiven der Bürgerbewegung (vgl. die PDF mit der Präsentation von Professor Karl Wohlmuth zur Bürgerbewegung und zur Demokratisierung im Sudan). Professor Wohlmuth ging zunächst auf die aktuelle Lage im Sudan nach dem Sturz des Bashir-Regimes ein und skizzierte dann die Entwicklung und die Struktur der Bürgerbewegung, die den Regimewechsel maßgeblich herbeiführte. Um aber auch einen nachhaltigen Systemwechsel zu ermöglichen, ist es nach Meinung des Bremer Professors notwendig, die Rahmenbedingungen für eine erfolgreiche Bürgerbewegung zügig zu schaffen. Dies setzt voraus, dass die Machtpfeiler des Systems (Militär und Sicherheitsapparat; Parteien und parteiabhängige Organisationen; Regierungen und Bürokratien auf zentraler und lokaler Ebene; islamische Bruderschaften und abhängige islamische Gruppierungen; große Unternehmen und Kapitalgruppen; professionelle Vereinigungen, Gewerkschaften und Arbeitgeberverbände) auf Grund ihrer ökonomischen Vernetzung als „Elemente eines tiefen Staates“ begriffen werden.

Um den „tiefen Staat“, der innerhalb von 30 Jahren (1989 - 2019) im Sudan geschaffen wurde, durch Bürgerbewegungen und demokratische Prozesse zu kontrollieren, müssen die sozialen, organisatorischen und ökonomischen Verflechtungen zwischen diesen Machtpfeilern erkannt und beeinflusst werden. Die vorliegenden Untersuchungen zum „tiefen Staat“ im Sudan kommen von zivilgesellschaftlichen sudanesischen Nichtregierungsorganisationen und von internationalen Organisationen. Die Studien zeigen, dass es nur teilweise gelungen ist, diese Verflechtungen im vergangenen Jahr seit dem Sturz des Bashir-Regimes aufzubrechen. Im Vortrag wurden die Verflechtungen im „tiefen Staat“ an Beispielen dargestellt und die Perspektiven einer „Demokratisierung von unten“ wurden erläutert. Strategische Sektoren, wie die Telekommunikation, die Goldgewinnung und andere Bergbauaktivitäten, die Pharma- und Chemieindustrie, die Bauwirtschaft, und die Rüstungsindustrie, werden nach wie vor von Militärs, Milizen, Geheimdienstoffizieren, Politikern der National Congress Party, und von der Familie von al-Bashir kontrolliert. Kapitalgruppen, die im Rahmen der  Privatisierungspolitik des Bashir-Regimes entstanden sind, geben den Mantel für diese Verflechtungen.

Gezeigt wurde im Vortrag auch, dass die Reformen im Sudan nach wie vor durch internationale Sanktionen, durch mangelnde finanzielle und logistische Unterstützung von Seiten westlicher Länder, und durch regionale Krisenfaktoren behindert werden. Interne Faktoren dominieren aber unter all den Hemmnissen für einen Systemwechsel. Ansatzpunkte für Reformen ergeben sich auf  vielen Ebenen, doch zeigen die Erfahrungen seit der Unabhängigkeit im Jahre 1956, dass die Demokratiebewegungen im Sudan schwach blieben und demokratisch gewählte Regierungen immer nur von kurzer Dauer waren. Professor Karl Wohlmuth arbeitet derzeit an einer Studie, die externe und interne Krisenfaktoren in ihrem Zusammenwirken bei der Blockierung von Reformen seit der Unabhängigkeit des Sudan analysiert. Grundlage sind die Studien, die seit 1978 in Bremen über den Sudan angefertigt wurden. Besondere Aufmerksamkeit wird dem „tiefen Staat“ im Sudan in der Periode seit 1989 gewidmet werden.

Quelle: Salzburger Nachrichten, 9. April 2020 (Vor allem die Frauen trugen die Revolution im Sudan).

Professor Karl Wohlmuth hat in mehreren Arbeiten die Wirtschaftsdoktrinen des  Bashir-Regimes untersucht und aufgezeigt, dass praktisch alle Maßnahmen der Bashir-Regierung seit 1989 dem Ziel untergeordnet wurden, die Ressourcen des Landes (Öl, Gold, Wasser, Land) und die öffentlichen, privatisierten und privaten Unternehmen der National Congress Party (NCP) nutzbar zu machen. Diesem Ziel wurden die Privatisierungspolitik, die Handels- und Technologiepolitik, die Industrie- und Wettbewerbspolitik, aber auch die Infrastruktur- und Landwirtschaftspolitik untergeordnet. Auch der vom Regime initiierte gelenkte Föderalismus wurde in den Dienst dieser Politik gestellt. Die Verflechtungen von Militär, Milizen, Sicherheitsapparat und Wirtschaft wurden auf allen Ebenen vertieft, bis hin zur Stärkung der Military Industry Corporation (MIC); die Instrumentalisierung von Konflikten im Sudan und mit Nachbarländern wurde wichtiger Teil dieser Politik. In der Diskussion nach dem Vortrag wurde immer wieder die Frage artikuliert, ob denn im Sudan Potentiale für erfolgreiche Bürger- und Demokratiebewegungen gesehen werden können (vgl. zur Thematik des Vortrages die Studien, die im Rahmen der Sudanforschungsgruppe/Sudan Economy Research Group/SERG angefertigt wurden; die Nummer 38 der SERG Discussion Papers gibt einen Überblick über diese Veröffentlichungen in: „Sudan Studies 1979 - 2011 in Bremen“, January 2011; Zugang mit dem Download:

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Sudanese Cooperation Partners present New Research Publications

Two Policy Briefs on the State of the Sudanese Economy

Mohammed Elhaj Mustafa Ali presented two Policy Briefs on the current economic situation of Sudan. Mohammed Elhaj Mustafa Ali is a Lecturer of Economics at the University of Kassala. He is author of an essay for Volume 20 of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook, dealing with knowledge spillovers from multinational corporations’ affiliates in Sudan. He has obtained his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Gezira, Sudan. The two Policy Briefs were accepted by the Sudan Economy Research Group (SERG) as inputs to the current policy debate about new economic policies for Sudan.

Policy Brief One, April 2017: Battling Youth Unemployment: Measures to Secure Jobs for Sudanese Urban Youth

See the short Summary below:

In a nutshell

  • According to the available figures, a large proportion of labour force in Sudan is youth with a substantial part residing in urban centres. This reality makes urban youth more vulnerable to unemployment and severely harmed by its negative consequences. However, although urban youth from both genders are greatly exposed to unemployment, reports demonstrate that the exposure of females to this risk is quite higher compared to males.
  • These facts raise two important policy questions about: (1) What policymakers should do to provide Sudanese urban youth with more job opportunities? And, (2) What are the workable policy options which need to be implemented to give females a fairer share in job opportunities?    
  • Various policy actions can be proposed to decrease the number of the unemployed among urban youth, especially the females. These actions include initiating programmes on technical and vocational education, conducting vocational training schemes, and adopting affirmative policy actions in the form of employment quota systems.

The full paper is available as a PDF (see: Ali-Policy Brief-Youth Unemployment)


Policy Brief Two, May 2017: Foreign Direct Investment in Sudan: The Measures to Increase Inflows and Getting Full Benefits

See the short Summary below:

In a nutshell

  • Sudan is one of the developing countries that is endowed with abundant resources. However, these resources, i.e. arable land, water, cheap labour, and favourable climatic conditions, cannot work in isolation from other essential factors of production, on the top of them being an adequate amount of capital. This is because the country's domestic savings are far less than necessary to cover the capital needed to put the economy on the track of sustainable economic growth and development.
  • The heavy reliance on low-productivity agriculture, the failure to channel domestic savings into domestic financial institutions, in addition to the customs that encourage luxurious consumption among the middle class, have greatly contributed to the widening of the gap between capital needed to initiate a real development process and the savings which are mobilized from domestic sources.
  • Therefore, in the light of the unfeasibility of other external sources of capital, such as borrowing, aid and portfolio investments, the only accessible channel to fill capital's gap in Sudan can be achieved by hosting larger amounts of FDI (Foreign Direct Investment). However, the question arises to what extent Sudan can attract this FDI? In other words, what are the key factors in determining the ability of the country to be a favourable destination for FDI?
  • The flow of foreign capital in the form of FDI is not an end itself. It is a means to provide the country's economy with an adequate volume of capital that helps in accelerating the process of economic growth, elevating exports, promoting imports, as well as facilitating the reduction of the high unemployment rates.

The full paper is available as a PDF (see: Mustafa Ali-Policy Brief-Foreign Direct Investment)

The Africa Capacity Report 2017 with the title “Building Capacity in Science, Technology and Innovation for Africa’s Transformation”

The Africa Capacity Report 2017 with the title “Building Capacity in Science, Technology and Innovation for Africa’s Transformation” is the major annual publication of the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF). Professor Dr. Samia Satti Nour from the University of Khartoum is a leading international expert on Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) policies. She was invited by the ACBF to be a key consultant for this project. She has drafted major chapters of the Africa Capacity Report 2017 (ACR 2017). The ACR 2017 investigates in various chapters the capacity gaps in Africa and especially so in the STI systems of Africa. In the chapter one of the report the Africa Capacity Index 2016 is presented, mentioning the top performers and the low performers. An Overview section  and a Summary and Policy Recommendations chapter give a balanced view of the capacity developments and gaps in Africa and especially in the STI sectors. The ACR 2017 is rounded up by STI Annexes, African Capacity Indicators, and a Compendium of Statistics.

Download of ACR 2017 and of former reports:

Professor Samia Satti Nour and the Research Group on African Development Perspectives Bremen:

Professor Samia Satti Nour works as an author, editor and project adviser for Volume 20 of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook, co-editing with Professor Karl Wohlmuth the Unit on “STI Policies in Sudan”. She is also main author of a synopsis of the findings of the ACR 2017 for the Unit One of Volume 20 of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook on “Basic Issues of STI Policies in Africa”. The Volume 20 (2018) has the main title: "Science, Technology and Innovation Policies for Inclusive Growth in Africa – Basic Issues and Country Cases Sub-Saharan Africa". The complementary Volume 21 (2019) has the title "Science, Technology and Innovation Policies for Inclusive Growth in Africa – Issues of Human Resources Development and Country Cases North Africa”.

See on the Yearbook Series:



Sudan Report: Governance and Fiscal Federalism in Sudan, 1989 – 2015

Atta El-Hassan El-Battahani and Hassan Ali Gadkarim are the authors of a study on “Governance and Fiscal Federalism in Sudan, 1989-2015: Exploring Political and Intergovernmental Fiscal Relations in an Unstable Polity”. Both researchers have working relations with the Sudan Economy Research Group (SERG) in Bremen and the Governance Sudan Project (GSP) of IWIM which was funded by the Volkswagen Foundation.

The Sudan Report | March 2017 with the title “Governance and Fiscal Federalism in Sudan, 1989–2015: Exploring Political and Intergovernmental Fiscal Relations in an Unstable Polity” by Atta El-Hassan El-Battahani and Hassan Ali Gadkarim was published in March 2017 in Bergen by the Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI Report no. SWP 2017:1).


From the Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI) about the Report:

This report analyses the implementation and impact of decentralisation in Sudan: To what extent have the efforts to implement decentralisation policies actually devolved power and fiscal resources to sub-national levels, for the benefit of the local populations? The present research confirms what other studies have concluded: that in Sudan the centre remains the ultimate arbiter when it comes to the distribution of economic and political resources between the centre and local states and regions. Economic control and fiscal transfers in Sudan remain relatively centralised. There is no systematic relationship between actual transfers to states and poverty reduction. Government expenditures for states have increased at the same time that state-generated revenues have decreased, and a fair and equitable system of fiscal equalisation and gap-filling is absent. Finally, there exists a mismatch between fiscal decentralisation and the political set-up. The prevailing features of governance in Sudan do therefore not embrace genuine political and fiscal decentralisation.


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How The Military And Other Armed Groups Profit In The MENA Region, with a Case Study on Sudan

A new study edited by Elke Grawert and Zeinab Abul-Magd highlights the role of “Businessmen in Arms” for the MENA region (including countries such as Egypt, Pakistan, Turkey, Iran, Jordan, Sudan, Yemen, Libya, and Syria). The comparative study was published by Rowman & Littlefield (See Contents and Cover). The contribution on Sudan was done by Professor Atta El-Battahani, a long-term co-operator of  IWIM during the years of IWIM’s “Governance and Social Action in Sudan” project. The project lasted over five years and was supported by the Volkswagen Foundation; it was directed by Karl Wohlmuth and Elke Grawert. Elke Grawert is now Senior Researcher with BICC/Bonn International Center for Conversion in Bonn and Senior Lecturer at the University of Bonn (Link: ). In this book the role of military businesses, the economic interests of retired military officers, and the web of funding of non-state armed groups in these countries are analysed.

In the chapter on Sudan, a broad historical overview of the interactions between military and businesses is presented and the political consequences of the transformation of the Sudanese Armed Forces  (SAF) are outlined. The role of the military in the various political regimes and phases of development in Sudan (up to the oil export economy since 1999 and the South Sudan separation in 2011) are presented. See the excerpts from the contribution by Professor Atta El-Battahani in the book (Link) and the related short study “The Sudan Armed Forces and Prospects of Change” which was worked out for CMI/Chr. Michelsen Institute in Bergen (Link: ). The “CMI Insight” concludes that the current regime has led to ambiguous effects with regard to SAF; it expanded SAF’s role in the economy and in business, while at the same time it weakened it as a professional army. The consequence is that these features make predicting which role the military may take in political affairs of Sudan in the future very difficult.

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Interdisziplinäre Fachtagung „Strukturentwicklung im Südsudan“ an der Universität Erfurt

An der Universität Erfurt fand im Januar 2016 die Fachtagung „Strukturentwicklung im Südsudan“ statt. Experten analysierten aus interdisziplinärer Sicht die akuten Probleme des Landes und Auswege aus der Krise, die durch einen eskalierenden Bürgerkrieg und eine weitere Verarmung der Bevölkerung gekennzeichnet ist. Die kriegerischen Auseinandersetzungen im Südsudan nehmen trotz beachtlicher internationaler und regionaler Vermittlungsbemühungen (von IGAD und AU) weiter zu. Auch Regionen im Südsudan, die bisher als weitgehend friedlich angesehen wurden, werden von den Auseinandersetzungen zunehmend erfasst (so im Westen und im Süden des Landes). Es ist daher sehr verdienstvoll, wenn Afrika-Initiativen an der Universität Erfurt diese Konferenz dazu nutzten, ein in der Presse fast vergessenes Thema aufzugreifen und zur Diskussion zu stellen. Bei der Tagung ging es daher auch um die Probleme, Hindernisse, Perspektiven und Möglichkeiten eines Wiederaufbaus im Südsudan. Es ist dabei insbesondere von Bedeutung, zu analysieren, welche Akteure im Südsudan an einem Wiederaufbau interessiert sind und wie ein solcher Neubeginn strategisch und operational bewältigt werden kann. Entgegen dem Wortlaut des IGAD-Friedensabkommens zwischen der Regierung des Südsudan und der südsudanesischen Rebellenbewegung hat die Regierung einseitig die Zahl der Bundesstaaten von zehn (10) auf achtundzwanzig (28) erhöht und auch schon die Ämter der Gouverneure besetzt. Diese „Divide et Impera“-Politik der Regierung führt zu neuen Verzögerungen bei der Etablierung einer tragfähigen Friedensordnung.

Die bisherige Aufteilung des Südsudan in zehn Bundesstaaten (gemäß Verfassung des Südsudan und IGAD-Abkommen)

Die neue und einseitige Aufteilung des Südsudan in achtundzwanzig Bundesstaaten (ohne Einverständnis der IGAD und ohne Zustimmung der Rebellenbewegung)

Die Fachtagung thematisierte die Strukturentwicklungen im Südsudan seit der Unabhängigkeit des Jahres 2011
(vgl. 2016 A4-Leporello). Im Rückblick zeigt sich, dass die großen Hoffnungen des südsudanesischen Volkes nicht erfüllt wurden. Die Experten bei der Tagung waren sich einig, dass vor allem die Stärkung des Sicherheitsapparates die prägende Strukturentwicklung dieser fünf Jahre war, nicht aber der ökonomische und soziale Aufbau des Landes. Zielsetzung der Veranstaltung war es nach den Intentionen der Veranstalter, eine Bilanz der ersten Jahre der Strukturentwicklungen im Südsudan zu ziehen und einen Ausblick auf Entwicklungsperspektiven zu geben. Die Möglichkeiten und Grenzen der Entwicklungszusammenarbeit mit dem Südsudan sollten dabei mit Wissenschaftlern, Experten von NGOs, politischen Vertretern und der Botschafterin des Südsudans kritisch diskutiert werden. Die Veranstaltung ist Ergebnis einer Kooperation der Hochschulgruppe SOS-Darfur mit der Universität Erfurt und der Stadt Erfurt, der evangelischen Landeskirche, dem Studierendenrat, der Stiftung Nord-Süd-Brücken sowie der Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung und der Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung.

Der Sudanexperte und Entwicklungsökonom Professor Karl Wohlmuth referierte über die ökonomischen Entwicklungen im Südsudan seit 2011 und zeigte auf, was getan werden müsste (im Sinne von strukturverändernden Strategien) und was aktuell angesichts der derzeitigen politischen Lage getan werden kann (wenn auch nur lokal und mit angepassten Ansätzen der Entwicklungszusammenarbeit). Vgl. dazu die Präsentation (PDF: Wohlmuth-Südsudan-Erfurt) und die Synopse (PDF: Wohlmuth-Abstract-Erfurt) zum Vortrag von Professor Wohlmuth. Der Vortrag zeigt auf, dass die großen ökonomischen Chancen und Potentiale des Südsudan seit 2011 nicht genutzt wurden, dass aber dringend Wege gefunden werden müssen, um die Grundbedürfnisse der Bevölkerung zu realisieren, etwa durch lokale Ernährungs- und Beschäftigungsprogramme. Diesbezüglich werden auch konkrete Beispiele aus der Entwicklungszusammenarbeit betrachtet; diese zeigen, dass auf lokaler Ebene durchaus Handlungsmöglichkeiten bestehen.

Vgl. die folgenden Links mit Berichten zu der Tagung (Universität Erfurt, politische Stiftungen und Förderer, Tageszeitungen, etc.) :

An der Universität Erfurt hat Professor Karl Wohlmuth bereits an drei Sudan/Südsudan-Tagungen mitgewirkt (Vorträge gehalten bzw. auch schriftliche Beiträge zu Tagungen erarbeitet). Vgl. dazu die Einträge in: und

Es ist vorgesehen, die Beiträge der diesjährigen Südsudan-Tagung zu veröffentlichen, da sehr wenig Information über die Entwicklungen in diesem Staat und über die Lage der Bevölkerung vorliegt.

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Der lange Weg zu einem "neuen" Sudan: Die Erfurter Protokolle

Soeben ist die Dokumentation der Fachtagung zum Sudan an der Universität Erfurt in 2014 erschienen. In dieser Studie sind ausgewählte Beiträge der Fachtagung veröffentlicht worden, darunter der Beitrag von Professor Fouad Ibrahim, warum die Menschen in Darfur hungern, ein Beitrag von Ulrich Delius über die marginalisierten Regionen im Sudan, ein Beitrag von Philipp Rock über den deutschen Beitrag zur wirtschaftlichen und politischen Entwicklung im Süd-Sudan und der Beitrag des Bremer Wirtschaftsprofessors und Sudanforschers Karl Wohlmuth zu den Programmen für nachhaltige Wirtschaftsreformen im Sudan und im Süd-Sudan. Insgesamt werden fünf zentrale Programmbereiche analysiert.

Wenn auch die Lage im Augenblick alles andere als nachhaltige Wirtschaftsreformen in den beiden Staaten erwarten lässt, ist es doch notwendig, immer wieder darauf hinzuweisen, dass eine friedvolle Zukunft in den beiden Staaten und zwischen den beiden Staaten nur dann denkbar ist, wenn die zentralen Wirtschafts- und Sozialreformen angegangen werden (diese Studie ist als PDF verfügbar). Wie der Bremer Professor zeigt, liegen zu allen zentralen Reformbereichen Vorschläge für beide Länder vor, doch gilt es, diese endlich umzusetzen.


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Fiskalische Dezentralisierung im Sudan am Beispiel des Bundesstaates Al Gadarif: Forschungsstipendiat aus dem Sudan in Bremen

In einem Forschungsvorhaben zur "Fiskalischen Dezentralisierung im Sudan am Beispiel des Bundesstaates Al Gadarif" wird in den kommenden Monaten (Juni bis September 2014) von einem Gastwissenschaftler aus dem Sudan, Sharif Ismail M. Bongo von der University of Gadarif, untersucht werden, welche Möglichkeiten es gibt, die vertikalen und horizontalen fiskalischen Ungleichgewichte im föderalen System des Sudan zu reduzieren. Sowohl die vertikalen Ungleichgewichte in der Finanzausstattung (zwischen der föderalen Regierung in Khartum, dem Staat Al Gadarif und den lokalen Verwaltungseinheiten des Staates) als auch die horizontalen Ungleichgewichte in der Finanzausstattung (zwischen den siebzehn Bundesstaaten des Sudan und zwischen den zwölf Provinzen des Staates Al Gadarif) werden in diesem Forschungsvorhaben untersucht. Diese Ungleichgewichte sind in höchstem Masse entwicklungshemmend und führen zu Konflikten zwischen den Bevölkerungsgruppen und zwischen den Teilstaaten und Verwaltungseinheiten.  

Der Aufenthalt des Gastwissenschaftlers an der Universität Bremen wird vom DAAD finanziert; die Betreuung und Beratung hat Professor Dr. Karl Wohlmuth übernommen, der seit den 80er Jahren Stipendiaten aus dem Sudan berät. Im Rahmen des viermonatigen Forschungsaufenthaltes werden von Herrn Sharif auch Vorträge und Seminare zu dem Thema abgehalten. Ein Bericht für die Sudan-Studienreihe SERG Discussion Papers Nummer 42 (Link: ) ist zum Thema "Fiscal Decentralization in Gadarif State: Did it Realize the Promise?" in Vorbereitung.

Herr Sharif hat kürzlich bei der 4th Annual Conference on "Structural Reform, Transformation, and Sustainable Development in Post-Secession Sudan: Economic, Political, and Social Perspectives" zum Thema "Restructuring Intergovernmental Fiscal Relations to Enhance Growth and Development in Post-Secession Sudan" vorgetragen. Auch bei der vorhergehenden 3. Konferenz hat Herr Sharif einen Vortrag gehalten. Diese Konferenzen werden organisiert von der Faculty of Economic and Social Studies, University of Khartoum, dem Sudan Ministry of Finance and National Economy und der World Bank. Die Konferenz (April 21 - 22, 2014, Conference Venue: Shariqa Hall, University of Khartoum) wird jeweils auch mit einem Ergebnisbericht abgeschlossen, der für die Politikreform im Sudan wichtig ist (vgl. zur Konferenz Programme and Call for Papers in englischer und arabischer Sprache, mit den Links und ). Der Ergebnisbericht der 3rd Annual Conference mit den Empfehlungen für die Politik liegt in englischer und arabischer Sprache vor (Link:

Im Rahmen der Sudan-/Südsudan-Forschung in Bremen stehen Themen der Implementierung nachhaltiger Wirtschaftsreformen im Vordergrund (vgl. den Kurzbericht von Professor Wohlmuth mit dem Link: und die aktuelle Studie für die SERG-Reihe mit dem Link ).


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Which Future for Sudan and South Sudan? - The forthcoming African Development Perspectives Yearbook Volume 17 has three chapters on Sudan and South Sudan

In Volume 17 of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook with the title Macroeconomic Policy Formation in Africa – Country Cases the Editors took up the event of the Independence of the Republic of South Sudan on July 9, 2011 and the recent developments which have occurred since in Sudan and in South Sudan and between these two countries to publish a special Unit as part of the Yearbook. This Unit 1 on New Economic Policies for Sudan and South Sudan - The Need for a Strategic Economic Cooperation has three chapters and highlights the need for new macroeconomic strategies and policies in Sudan and South Sudan embedded in a new political environment; there is also a focus on the many political and economic interdependencies between these two countries, especially in the border areas between Sudan and South Sudan.  

The Editors were enthusiastically supported in this endeavor by research groups from the two countries. The authors of this Unit 1 are convinced that new macroeconomic policies (supported by medium-term and long-term development strategies) and a strategic economic and political co-operation between the two countries (based on visions of sustainable growth in the border areas) are necessary. So far, the political processes and the attitudes of the elites in these two countries show that the lessons from the many decades of conflict between and within these two countries were not learned. The civil war inside the South Sudan since December 2013 and the continuing conflicts in major regions of Sudan make millions of people in both countries suffering. While the data from the most recent National Baseline Household Survey of 2009 revealed high levels of poverty in both countries (see Graph 1 and Graph 2), it can be expected that income poverty and other dimensions of poverty in both countries have further worsened in the last years. 


Graph 1: Poverty in the States of South Sudan (in % of the Population of these States)

Source: World Bank - Analysis of the Data of the National Baseline Household Survey/NBHS of 2009 by World Bank




Graph 2: Poverty in the States of Sudan (in % of the Population of these States)

Source: World Bank - Analysis of the Data of the National Baseline Household Survey/NBHS of 2009 by World Bank


Volume 17 of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook contains as well a Unit 2 on Macroeconomic Policies in West Africa. Researchers from academic institutions in Nigeria and Senegal, and from WAMA (West African Monetary Agency) and WAMI (West African Monetary Institute) have contributed to this important Unit with four chapters. In order to compare and to contrast the established CFA-based WAEMU (West African Economic and Monetary Union) integration process with the newly established WAMZ (West African Monetary Zone) integration process, Senegal was included as a country case for the CFA Zone. In Unit 3 of Volume 17 a great number of book reviews and book notes is presented and so this Unit 3 is a valuable source of information on new books, journal issues, documents and research papers with a focus on macroeconomic policy formation in Africa. Volume 17 is complementary to Volume 16 on Macroeconomic Policy Formation in Africa – General Issues which was published already in 2013.

Because of the great number of high-quality submissions of papers for Volume 18 on Africa’s Progress in Regional and Global Economic Integration the International Call for Papers for this volume is closed now (but submissions of papers on successfully and competitively exporting African companies and on global and regional value chains led by African firms are still accepted).


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Neue Sudan-/Südsudan-Studie über umfassende und nachhaltige Wirtschaftsreformen ist soeben erschienen: SERG Bericht Nummer 41

Die neue Studie von Professor Karl Wohlmuth über umfassende und nachhaltige Wirtschaftsreformen im Sudan und im Süd-Sudan ist soeben in der Reihe SERG (Sudan Economy Research Group) Discussion Papers erschienen (vgl. den Link zu den SERG Discussion Papers).


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