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Sudan confirms $1.5bn bridge loan from France to clear IMF arrears

By Nicholas Norbrook

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Posted on May 17, 2021 13:35

International Conference in support of Sudan in Paris
French President Emmanuel Macron welcomes Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok as he arrives to attend the International Conference in support of Sudan at the Temporary Grand Palais in Paris, France, May 17, 2021. REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier

Sudan continues its quick step reintegration with international partners, confirming a $1.5bn bridge loan from France to clear arrears with the IMF, at a meeting of global investors Monday in Paris. In the audience: Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote and Sudanese philanthropist Mo Ibrahim, alongside major French business leaders.

The announcement follows a bridge loan from the US to clear $1.15bn in arrears with the World Bank, and a deal with the UK and European countries to clear a $425m backlog with the African Development Bank.

France’s economy minister Bruno Le Maire said the country would support Sudan in its quest for debt relief, including fresh concessionary loans, as it works to rebuild the banking sector after three decades of sanctions and isolation from the global financial system.

“We have worked with Sudan’s central bank, stress-testing each Sudanese financial institution to map the impact of currency liberalisation,” said Le Maire.

The aim is to push for debt relief of up to $50bn, with the country looking to qualify for the Highly Indebted Poor Countries programme in June.

For Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, the audience of heavy-weight African and Western investors at the MEDEF hall in

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