Sudan plans $643m Railway Revamp

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Sudan is planning a $643 million revamp of its railway network before connecting it to neighboring countries.

This forms part of efforts to revive an economy affected by decades of dictatorship and global isolation.

The African Development Bank, China State Construction Engineering Corp. Ltd. and unspecified Gulf firms have expressed interest in helping restore about 2,400 kilometers (1,490 miles) of currently idled rail-lines, according to the state-run Sudan Railways Corp. The government will first spend $17 million making emergency repairs to parts of the other half of the national network that’s already in use.

“It’s essential for the economic development of the country,” SRC’s general manager, Waleed Mahmoud Ahmed, said in an interview in the capital, Khartoum.

The North African nation where dictator Omar al-Bashir was ousted in 2019 is racing to salvage an economy saddled with billions of dollars of foreign debt and a transportation sector plagued by the effects of decades of sanctions, unrest and mismanagement. The U.S.‘s lifting of Sudan’s long-standing designation as a sponsor of terrorism in December has made it easier to import key components, while the clearing of its International Monetary Fund arrears is unlocking new financing.

Under the second phase of the railway project to be completed by 2024, Sudan plans to rehabilitate abandoned lines mainly in the country’s south. That will restore links to the cities of Madani, Kosti and Sennar, as well as Nyala in the war-torn western region of Darfur, while establishing a cross-border connection to Wau in South Sudan, according to Ahmed. Part of the financing will be from a $75 million World Bank grant, he said.

 

 

 

Bloomberg/Hauwa Abu

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