Relations Between Eritrea and Sudan Improve: The Economist

ADB to Fund the
Deal Done. ADB to Fund the 340‑km electricity transmission line from Sudan to the Eritrean town of Tesseney


Event: The presidents of Eritrea and Sudan have agreed to boost co‑operation between their countries.


The Eritrean president, Isaias Afewerki, declared in late November that Sudanese investments in Eritrea will be given “special privileges and incentives” as part of a plan to increase co‑operation between the two countries.

The announcement, which highlighted agriculture, industry and services as sectors where Sudanese private investment was especially welcome, followed talks between Mr Isaias and Sudan’s president, Omar al‑Bashir, in Port Sudan.

The two leaders also agreed to establish joint projects in the fields of mining and tourism.

No further details on these initiatives were released other than a comment from Sudan’s mining minister, Kamal Abdel‑Latif, who made a statement saying that the two sides had agreed on a “reactivation” of the Memorandum of Understanding signed in October 2012 by him and the Eritrean energy and mines minister, Ahmed Haj Ali, to boost co-operation.

The improvement in economic ties between the two countries also extends to infrastructural links.

On November 24th Mr Isaias and Mr Bashir jointly inaugurated a section of the new strategic coastal road linking the Eritrean port of Massawa and Port Sudan, a project agreed during a visit by Mr Bashir to the Eritrean capital, Asmara, in June.

Meanwhile, a new 340‑km electricity transmission line connecting Eritrea and Sudan was presented as a priority project at the high‑level infrastructure investment conference organised by the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) in the Ugandan capital, Kampala, in September. The African Development Bank has shown an interest in helping to fund the feasibility studies.

The 220‑kV interconnector would link Kassala in Sudan to the Eritrean towns of Teseney, Barentu, Agordat and Keren and, when feasible, to Asmara.

Impact on the forecast:

Given that both Eritrea and Sudan have difficult relationships with many in the international community, their burgeoning bilateral relations are expected to continue to improve, which we will reflect in our forecast.
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