Sudan’s gold trade now accounts for 37 per cent of the country’s total exports, with revenues amounting to $1.2 billion, the new mineral minister confirmed on Sunday. “The minerals ministry will be the main way to pull the Sudanese economy out of its current crisis,” predicted Hashim Ali Salem.
The former secretary general of the National Dialogue process was appointed to his new role over the weekend. In a press conference about Sudan’s gold exports in 2016, he said, “We will continue the projects which he [the former minister] has started and worked to develop.”
The World Bank ranks Sudan third in gold exports from Africa behind South Africa and Ghana. The government in Khartoum has been trying to boost exports of gold and other non-petroleum products since the separation of South Sudan five years ago, which resulted in a 75 per cent reduction in the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Recently, Sudan introduced new policies for the purchase and export of its gold reserves in an attempt to reduce the amount of gold smuggled to other markets, such as Dubai. Under the guidelines, the private sector is allowed to export 50 per cent of the gold it produces, but the remaining 50 per cent must be sold back to the Central Bank of Sudan.