Sudan floats currency, part of measures to overhaul economy

CAIRO (AP) — Sudan took the unprecedented but expected step of floating its currency Sunday, meeting a major demand by international financial institutions to help transitional authorities overhaul the battered economy.

The flotation is the boldest economic measure taken by the joint military-civilian government that has ruled the African country after a popular uprising. The revolt led to the military’s overthrow of autocrat Omar al-Bashir in April 2019. The country has since been on a fragile path to democracy with daunting economic challenges representing a major threat to that transition.

The flotation move could provoke a popular backlash as the price of goods and services rise in response to the fall of the pound’s value and possible hike in the price of fuel and other essential goods. There were already sporadic protests over dire living conditions in the past couple of weeks in the capital, Khartoum and other parts of the country.

The U.S. dollar had been trading at over 350 pounds to the dollar on the black market, while its official rate was at 55 pounds to the dollar.

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