Almost replicating Nigeria’s approach, a fellow oil producing country, Sudan is encouraging investment in mining, after being deprived its main source of revenue, following South Sudan’s seccession (which, according to the British daily, The Guardian cost the country close to 75% of revenue), in addition to the dramatic slump in brent crude oil prices.
African Mining Brief country editor for South Africa, Newton Mthethwa, who was in Khartoum recently, reports that he noticed a buzz in the country’s mining sector at a level never witnessed before. “The country’s ministry has realised that mining could be a channel to diversify the economy from dependence (allow me to say overdependence) on oil,” he says. “As it is now common knowledge, Chinese demand has left many an oil producing country in economic problems.”
The Guardian corroborates this view. According to information from Sudan’s minerals ministry, after legislation was passed, about 200 local firms are involved in prospecting projects.
Gold deposits-rich Sudan harbours designs on becoming Africa’s third gold producer, behind South Africa and Ghana respectively. The main barrier to the country’s goal might be sanctions which the US imposed on the country for alleged involvement in sponsoring terrorism.