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Sudan Celebrates Economic Milestone

The first wire transfer between Sudan and a U.S.-based bank was completed successfully last week ending more than 20 years of economic isolation. Sudanese Ambassador to the United States Nureldin Satti told VOA he received a test wire transfer from Qatar National Bank in Khartoum to his personal account at Wells Fargo in the United States. The change will facilitate remittances through direct bank transactions between Sudan and the United States benefiting the Sudanese economy and people. The Sudanese government hopes the unification of its multiple exchange rates will encourage direct trade and investment in Sudan and facilitate transactions between Sudan-based banks and the outside world through official channels. But analysts told VOA that direct bank transactions to Sudan remain problematic because of “distortions” in the Sudanese economy and the multiple and widely varying exchange rates of the Sudanese pound to the U.S. dollar. On February 20, Sudan’s transitional government announced a decision to float the pound to close the huge gap between Sudan’s official exchange rate, which was 55 pounds to the dollar, and the black-market exchange rate, which stood at nearly 400 pounds to the dollar. The move was touted by Sudanese officials as part of broader economic reforms that Sudan’s transitional government made under a plan endorsed by the International Monetary Fund in October 2020.