Sudan Allows Gold Exports after 6-Year Monopoly
In a remarkable move, the Central Bank of Sudan has agreed to allow foreign and domestic mining companies and individuals to export gold after a government monopoly of more than six years.
Sudan produces 150 tons of gold per year, but the Central Bank managed to export no more than 37 tons in 2018. Some 113 tons have been smuggled into neighboring countries, which wasted an important economic resource that would have otherwise helped address the crises gripping Sudan.
Sudanese citizens have queued for fuel and bread, and in front of ATMs and banks, after a liquidity crisis hit the country.
The authorization for the private sector to export gold, announced by the Sudan Gold Exporters' Union, based on a decision by Prime Minister Moataz Moussa, would prevent large-scale smuggling operations.
Abdel Monem al-Siddiq, the head of the local gold exporters union, told Asharq Al-Awsat: "From now on, we will not allow one gram to be smuggled outside the border."
According to Siddiq, Sudan produces up to 150 tons of gold, which would contribute effectively to the balance of payments, filling the gap in foreign exchange earnings, and enabling the country to import strategic goods.