France to lend Sudan USD1.5b to pay off debt

PARIS (AFP) – France will lend Sudan USD1.5 billion to help pay off its massive debt to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as it emerges from decades of authoritarian rule, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said.

“President Macron will confirm that France will provide the USD1.5 billion bridge loan to clear Sudan’s arrears to the IMF,” Le Maire said at the opening of an international conference aimed at helping Sudan in its transition to democratic government.

Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok is attending the Paris conference, seeking help in paying off a USD60 billion foreign debt bill and also hoping to secure investment deals.

Hamdok is pushing to rebuild and reform a crippled economy and end Sudan’s international isolation under former strongman Omar al-Bashir, whose three decades of rule were marked by economic hardship and international sanctions.

“Re-building an attractive and resilient market takes time, but today, I hope we will convince private investors that the fundamentals for business are fully there,” Le Maire said.