Sudan’s central bank steeply devalued the country’s currency, as part of a broader effort to win debt relief and revive the struggling economy.
The move was demanded by international lenders but threatens to pile on more hardship in a country whose inflation rate topped 300 per cent in January. The currency liberalisation is a key component of the economic reforms planned by Sudan’s military and civilian rulers, who began transitioning the African nation to democracy after decades of authoritarian rule.
The central bank instructed banks and exchange bureaus to adopt the new system immediately, according to a statement on its website. The move essentially aims to stamp out a black market and control currency volatility in a nation with a foreign debt load of around $60 billion.
The change is critical to helping Sudan win some debt relief, Finance Minister Jibril Ibrahim told reporters, while acknowledging that it will lead to a “soaring of prices.” He said “precautions” would be taken to help cushion the impact, but offered no details.