Sudan needs $14 billion
The estimate from the Economic Department of the General Union of Arab Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture and was presented at the Mining and Food Security Forum in Khartoum, the Sudanese capital.
The Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce CEO Michel Alaby is attending the forum, alongside government officials, delegates from Sudanese private sector organizations and executives from other chambers of commerce. The $14 billion estimate was presented by the General Union's honorary president Adnan Kassar. The union's chairman Mohammadou Ould Mohammad Mahmoud was also in attendance.
One of the main topics on the forum's first day was Sudan's food production potential and the need for international cooperation, especially from Arab countries, to develop farming and livestock production. According to figures presented at the meeting, there are over 150 million hectares of land with abundant water in Sudan; all that is needed is for canals to be built from the River Nile and its tributaries.
The partnership between Brazil and Sudan for cotton and soy farming was outlined as a case in point. The Brazilian Agroindustrial Company, established by the Brazilian businessmen Paulo Hegg and Gilson Pinesso, carries out a farming project spanning 11,000 hectares in the Arab country. Higher investment in Sudan would allow the country to supply its own domestic market and export grains to Arab countries, as well as to other African countries.
International cooperation is also required in order to develop the mineral industry. Sudan has reserves of gold, marble, copper and manganese, among others. Gold production reached 50 tonnes last year and should reach 70 tonnes this year. According to information released during the forum, 25 international corporations are interested in mineral extraction in Sudan.
However, according to attendees at the forum, one of the barriers to investment is lack of coordination among all Sudanese organizations when it comes to setting an agricultural policy. In addition to the federal government, the states also enact laws for agriculture and mining. ■