CAIRO: Sudan appointed a prominent banker to head its central bank Sunday, state news agency SUNA said, in the latest sign of an overhaul of senior posts in the Arab-African state hit by a shortage of hard currency. Sudan’s economy has been in turmoil since South Sudan seceded in 2011, taking with it about three-quarters of the country’s oil production. Oil is the main source of state revenues and dollars, needed for food and other imports.
“President Omar al-Bashir issued a decree to appoint Abdel-Rahman Hasan, head of [state-run] Omdurman National Bank since 2006, as new central bank governor,” SUNA said.
The central bank devalued the Sudanese pound by 22.6 percent against the dollar in November, the second such move in just over a year.
The scarcity of dollars had become so bad that the central bank had started using up the general reserves of commercial banks, which are meant to be kept as deposits with the central bank, a financial source has told Reuters.
Hasan is a board member of Sudan’s Bank Deposit Security Fund and a representative of the Sudanese banks union.
In September Khartoum lifted most fuel subsidies to help tackle a budget crisis. The move doubled pump prices overnight and triggered violent protests in which dozens of people were killed and over 700 people arrested.