Socio economic rights of citizenship and regional inequality

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Prof. Atta El-Battahani:
This paper discusses Liberal-Marshall debate on citizenship in the context of Sudan emerging
liberal economy since early 1990s. Official government endorsement of liberal economic
measures will be discussed in relation to attempts to economically empower citizens and
provide basic services to all citizens paying particular attention to less-developed regions.
This emphasis of less developed regions is meant to redress regional inequality inherited
from the past.

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Socio economic rights of citizenship and regional inequality

  1. 1. National Civic Forum (NCF) @  Workshop  Citizenship in a Multi Ethnic, Multi Cultural Society Towards a National Social Contract in Sudan       Socio-Economic Rights of Citizenship and Regional Inequality in Sudan liberalized Economy: 1989-2010 Prof. Atta El-Battahani        4-5 October 2011 Al Neel Hall Sudanese Bankers Union Building Jamhoriya St., Khartoum 
  2. 2. 2011 ‫اآﺘﻮﺑﺮ‬ ‫ورﺷﺔ اﻟﻤﻮاﻃﻨﺔ ﻓﻰ اﻃﺎر اﻟﺘﻌﺪد اﻟﻌﺮﻗﻰ و اﻟﺜﻘﺎﻓﻰ‬ ‫ﻟﻤﻨﺘﺪى اﻟﻤﺪﻧﻰ اﻟﻘﻮﻣﻰ‬ Socio-Economic Rights of Citizenship and Regional Inequality in Sudan liberalized Economy: 1989-2010 Prof. Atta El-BattahaniIntroduction/AbstractIn line with liberal concept of citizenship, liberal economic policies take, as a central blank,leveling the playing field for economic actors across both social and geographical spacewhere market rationality is the catchword. One apparent objective of this market oriented,playing field leveling policies is to reduce and eventually eliminate disparities not onlybetween citizens but also between regions. Taking a different perspective, Marshallianconcept of citizenship is seeks to move beyond what is considers formal and abstract natureof liberal concept of citizenship to situate citizen’s rights and their entitlement to resourcesand services in a political context of power relations and constraints of macro, political-economic, environment.This paper discusses Liberal-Marshall debate on citizenship in the context of Sudan emergingliberal economy since early 1990s. Official government endorsement of liberal economicmeasures will be discussed in relation to attempts to economically empower citizens andprovide basic services to all citizens paying particular attention to less-developed regions.This emphasis of less developed regions is meant to redress regional inequality inheritedfrom the past.This paper examines policy commitment of liberalized economy to safeguarding socio-economic rights of citizens in less developed regions of Sudan; and gauges efforts to redressinequalities. The paper argues that rather than lessening regional inequalities and providingbasic (socio-economic) services to citizens, liberal economic policies reinforces andaugmented regional disparities to an extent of threatening social cohesion of society andundermining territorial integrity of the state. The net result of liberalized economic policieshas augmented and deepened regional inequalities.The paper consists of six short sections. Section one deals with concepts of citizenship,equality and also touches on regional inequality in relation to liberalized, globalized economyin peripheral, dependent economies. Section two focuses on regional inequality and Inqazregime liberal economic policies, Section three discusses how these liberal economic policiesaugmented, rather than, reducing inequalities and undermined socio-economic rights ofcitizens in both centre and less developed regions of Sudan. The conclusion comes in sectionfour, and section five gives a list of references1. Liberal-Marshall Debate on CitizenshipSpace constraint here does not allow full exploration of concepts of citizenship and theensuing debate in the literature. Yet some brief definitions are in order. As far as liberals areconcerned, citizenship is defined as “..A set of normative expectations specifying therelationship between the nation-state and its individual members which procedurally establishthe rights and obligations and a set of enforcement practices”. (Davis: 1996; 2002) Criticshaste to point to the abstract nature of such a definition, and that it glosses over actuallyexisting differences of class, gender and ethnicity. A counter definition of citizenship is proposed by Marchall who defines citizenship as: “..astatus bestowed on those who are full members of a community. All who possess the status1    
  3. 3. 2011 ‫اآﺘﻮﺑﺮ‬ ‫ورﺷﺔ اﻟﻤﻮاﻃﻨﺔ ﻓﻰ اﻃﺎر اﻟﺘﻌﺪد اﻟﻌﺮﻗﻰ و اﻟﺜﻘﺎﻓﻰ‬ ‫ﻟﻤﻨﺘﺪى اﻟﻤﺪﻧﻰ اﻟﻘﻮﻣﻰ‬are equal with respect to the rights and duties with which the status is endowed”.(Davis:1996; 2002) In this concept of citizenship, rights and entitlements to protection and resourcesare anchored into membership of a community.Compared to the liberal concept, Marshallian concept of citizenship seems to be morerealistic, yet critics pose a number of questions and point to the vague nature of the conceptof community: real or imagined? And what are the conditions for acquiring membership of acommunities? And what is more important membership of a state or a community? How arerights of members of different communities in one state is regulated and protected?For Marxist theorists, citizenship is a historical construct designed to confer juridical sanctityfor certain (class) individuals to access to resources, both material and non-material.Accession of resources is mediated by a state apparatus controlled by economicallyinfluential classes.Citizens Rights and EqualityWithout going into the details of the debate, it is does seem that theories relating to nationalintegration i.e. molting pot and unity in diversity were proposed to deal with some of thornyissues pertaining to these theories. Analysis highlights what it calls “multi-hierarchical natureof citizens in diverse societies”. Depending on dominance of a community and the leverage ithas over the state, members of such communities first class citizens, less-influentialcommunities with weak leverage on the state are second class citizens. So, entitlements torights are construed as being commensurate to political power of the communities to whichindividuals belong.Controversy over rights takes special significance in diverse societies passing throughconflict and where state institutions and legitimacy are yet to be firmly established.Constitutional debates revolve around construction of social contract, nature of the state, anddefining equality. (State and rights and social contract, Whose rights? Who negotiated rights?Rights clinched not offered? Are Citizenship Rights and Human Rights?)It is important here to align discussion of citizenship to competing concepts of equality. Adistinction between formal and substantive concepts of equality is a suitable entry point tosuch a discussion. Formal equality means treating likes alike, those who are similarly situatedbe treated similarly. One major criterion for equality is sameness: Sameness is entitlingcriteria for equality. i.e a male Muslim is treated like a male Muslim.On the other hand, substantive equality recognizes that equality sometimes requires thatindividuals be treated differently. Criticizing formal concepts of equality, proponents ofsubstantive perspective argue that “..the problem with formal concept of equality is that itmakes the recognition of difference a threat to the premise behind equality. If to be equal is tobe the same, then to be different is to be unequal”. (”.(Davis: 1996; 2002) Differences areconceived as product of historic or systemic discrimination, therefore the objective ofsubstantive equality is the elimination of inequality of disadvantaged groups in society.Substantive concept takes into account inequalities of social, economic and educationalbackground of the people and seeks the elimination of existing inequalities by positivemeasures.2    
  4. 4. 2011 ‫اآﺘﻮﺑﺮ‬ ‫ورﺷﺔ اﻟﻤﻮاﻃﻨﺔ ﻓﻰ اﻃﺎر اﻟﺘﻌﺪد اﻟﻌﺮﻗﻰ و اﻟﺜﻘﺎﻓﻰ‬ ‫ﻟﻤﻨﺘﺪى اﻟﻤﺪﻧﻰ اﻟﻘﻮﻣﻰ‬At the policy level, a number of approaches stem from the above discussion. Three mainapproaches are usually considered: (i) protectionist, paternalist approach: for example,women are constructed as weak and subordinate, and are thus in need of protection.Difference is essentialized, natural and this justifies differential treatment, such that weakgroups need to be patronized and protected. This is more a colonial, patriarchal approach; (ii)radical, sameness approach: all people are constructed and ought to be treated exactly thesame in rational market situation. Here differences, regional, ethnic, gender or class, are notrelevant; (iii) corrective approach: some regions, social groups (women, blacks,) are seen asrequiring special treatment as a result of past discrimination. Socio-economic and culturaldifferences are relevant and require treatment in policies and legislations. Table on Concepts of Citizenship, Rights and Economic Policies.Concept of Citizenship Perspective on Rights Economic PoliciesLiberal All citizens equal, civil- Market rationality to ensure political rights equality and justiceMarshall Citizens members of Economic policies reflect community, hierarchical order hegemony of dominant of communities leading to communities Multi-layered citizship.Marxist Legal rights reflects relations Economic policies reflect to material resources, interest of dominant class hierarchical order based on irrespective of region, ethnic classes ties. Source: AuthorEconomic Policies and InequalityDebating state economic policies and their success or failure in redressing inequalities is amatter that can not glossed over particularly when the issue of citizens’ rights is the centre ofthe debate.From a liberal perspective, economic development is rarely even and balanced. Rather,economic development within territorially defined space always lead to disequilibrium,putting some ethnic groups at an advantage and others at a disadvantage. But according tomodernization theory, in the course of economic expansion and social progress ethnictensions and regional conflicts are gradually. Thus in many countries national and regionaldevelopment and planning strategies are based on growth-pole (or spearhead) models whichmaintain that concentration of investment in a favoured region will create a centre of growthto which labour, raw material and food stuff are drawn and from which-after an unspecifiedperiod of time-capital, techniques and skills are diffused to an even widening area. Structuraladjustment and economic liberalization programmes incorporate major assumption of thismarket-led models and promise a trickle-down effect only after a certain period.However, generalizations derived from modemization theory and growth-pole models arerejected on both theoretical and empirical grounds3. It maintained that once a certain regionhas been able, through some initial advantage, to move ahead of other regions the "backwasheffect" or "polarization effect" that arises as productive resources-like labour, capital andcommodities-are drawn into the growth area will greatly resist opportunities for developmentin the rest of the country4. From the perspective of core-periphery and internal-colonialism3    
  5. 5. 2011 ‫اآﺘﻮﺑﺮ‬ ‫ورﺷﺔ اﻟﻤﻮاﻃﻨﺔ ﻓﻰ اﻃﺎر اﻟﺘﻌﺪد اﻟﻌﺮﻗﻰ و اﻟﺜﻘﺎﻓﻰ‬ ‫ﻟﻤﻨﺘﺪى اﻟﻤﺪﻧﻰ اﻟﻘﻮﻣﻰ‬the "trickle-down effect" from the advanced regions to the less advanced ones are generallytoo weak and may never materialize in poor countries where the normal tendency is for anincrease in regional inequalities. This is particularly the case where regional equalitiesintertwine with ethnic differentiation, with powerful ethnic groups resisting any attempts toredress the grievance of marginalized ethnic minorities in peripheral region.In other words, liberalized markets are the best way to organize economies, developed ordeveloping. The state should protect property rights and ensure the supply of public goods,but not impart directional thrust. More specifically, the state should create and sustain (a)efficient, rent-free markets, (b) efficient, corruption-free public sectors able to supervise thedelivery of a narrow set of inherently public services, and (c) decentralized arrangements ofparticipatory democracy. The more these conditions are in place the more- development andprosperity will follow (Wade: 2004).The alternative for market oriented and growth-pole development models is state-interventionin the economy. Depending on the complex relations between regional and ethnic politicalforces, the state may rid itself from the influence of the powerful groups at the centre andmove towards redressing regional-ethnic grievances. Whereas market mechanisms rely on taxincentives and other concessions to induce private capital invest in peripheral areas, stateintervention strategies use central planning which are based on political will and allocatingmechanism through national and regional planning to achieve even economic development.Sudan’s history of economic development shows clear shifts from state-led economy, tomarket oriented policies; and in between there was a transition period.2. Inequalities in Resourceful yet Underdevelopment Sudan EconomyLike many Africa countries, British colonialism superimposed state territorial boundaries onethnically heterogeneous communities with built-in regional inequalities. In this regard Sudanin not an exception. Sudanese nationalist movements, later on and after attainingindependence, pledged to preserve the integrity of these newly established political entities.According to 1955/ 56 population census, the main ethnic groups are the Arabs (39%),Southerners (3%) and Funj (1.7%)(ref6). Some scholars classify these ethnic groups into 19nationalities and 56 ethnic groups (Bashir: 1988). Obviously, socio-economic changes since1956, ecological disaster and civil war have resulted in significant changes in demographicweight of these ethnic-national groups. Moreover, ethnic diversities have been sustained bycultural, linguistic, religious and social differences. On the other hand, the country is dividedinto five geo-economic and administrative regions: North, South, East, West and centre. Eachregion is predominantly inhabited by certain ethnic groups. Studies on regional economicdevelopment have largely been conducted in terms of regional disparities. A number of thesestudies have clearly illustrated the existing regional inequalities in relation to the distributionof productive assets and educational, health and social services (Ibrahim: 1985; Umbadda:1990).4    
  6. 6. 2011 ‫اآﺘﻮﺑﺮ‬ ‫ورﺷﺔ اﻟﻤﻮاﻃﻨﺔ ﻓﻰ اﻃﺎر اﻟﺘﻌﺪد اﻟﻌﺮﻗﻰ و اﻟﺜﻘﺎﻓﻰ‬ ‫ﻟﻤﻨﺘﺪى اﻟﻤﺪﻧﻰ اﻟﻘﻮﻣﻰ‬ Table on Area and Population of SudanRegion Area (Sq. Km.) 1956 1973 1983Central 142,000 2,070,000 3,740,000 4,013,000Darfur 496,000 1,329,000 2,140,000 3,094,000Eastern 341,000 941,000 1,547,000 2,208,000Khartoum 21,000 505,000 1,146,000 1,802,000Kordofan 381,000 1,763,000 2,202,000 3,202,000Northern 477,000 871,000 1,545,000 1,083,000Southern 748,000 2,795,000 3,025,000 5,272,000Total 2,506,000 10,274,000 15,345,000 20,565,000Source: Yong-Bure, B., The First Decade of Development in the Southern Sudan,Institute of African and Asian Studies, University of Khartoum, February 1985, P. 3That regional inequality is an established fact in post-colonial Sudan is matter that hardlyinvites debate. [[see appendices]]. What is debatable is the extent of success or failure ofgovernments’ efforts since independence is alleviating these regional inequalities.Economic Policies of Inqaz RegimeThe Inqaz regime took over after a decade of extremely poor economic performance withmarked evidence of regional inequalities manifesting themselves in protracted civil war andethnic conflicts. While during the first half of the 1980s the economy was manipulated byIMF/ World Bank co-operation under the Structural Adjustment Programme, the second halfof the 1980s witnessed economic chaos under both the transitional and elected civiliangovernments. Although Sudan reverted to a Western-type tax system after Numeiri’soverthrow in 1985, the current regime has declared its intention to Islamize the economyagain and in contrast to its predecessors, it has adopted an activist approach to economicpolicy, relying on repression to stifle the unrest arising from its radical measures. (EconomistIntelligence Unit: 1993).The political leadership pushed through its economic policy based upon the following themain guiding tenets:1. Recovery of the public rights lost, properties robbed and resources wasted by the corruptparty system.2. Reallocation of meager resources left to achieve the objective of self-independence,particularly in view of the economic pressure put on the regime by some external powersthrough reduced external assistance and the suspension of aid.3. Designing an original alternative economic programme based on independent nationalthinking and guided by the religious and social values of the people.The general objectives of the medium term programme emphasized: (a) the revitalization ofthe economy through reallocation of resources towards production; (b) Enhancement of therole of the private sector, whether national or foreign, to play a more active role in achievingthe objectives of the programme; and to reorient financial, economic, and institutionalstructures to create a more conducive environment for private sector participation; (c) themaintenance of social balance by protecting the poor during the adjustment period.The general means of the programme are: (1) to put more emphasis on agriculturaldevelopment as a leading sector, (2) encouragement of export through liberalization of export5    
  7. 7. 2011 ‫اآﺘﻮﺑﺮ‬ ‫ورﺷﺔ اﻟﻤﻮاﻃﻨﺔ ﻓﻰ اﻃﺎر اﻟﺘﻌﺪد اﻟﻌﺮﻗﻰ و اﻟﺜﻘﺎﻓﻰ‬ ‫ﻟﻤﻨﺘﺪى اﻟﻤﺪﻧﻰ اﻟﻘﻮﻣﻰ‬prices and the scrapping of the export license system and (3) mobilization of domestic andexternal resources by encouraging all nationals to use their resources in a productive mannerand by creating the environment conducive to domestic and foreign private sector investment,particularly for investors from the Arab Islamic world (4) to implement institutional reformby removing all administrative, economic or legal impediments to pave the way for investorsthrough:(i) Removal of government monopoly ii1 the areas of agriculture, industrial production,domestic marketing, foreign trade and economic services and opening the door for the privatesector in all areas of economic activity with the exception of mining for oil production.(Wolmuth: 1994)(ii) Fundamental reform of the parastatal sector through liquidation, privatization or turningpublic to enterprises joint ventures with domestic and foreign private sector participation.(iii) Institutional and legal reforms including laws governing taxation, custom dutic3, pricesand industrial relations to facilitate and enhance more efficient resource allocation.(iv) A comprehensive review of the credit system and the regulations governing provision ofbank credit to public and private sectors with the aim of linking bank credit to production inthe context of national priorities.(v) The deregulation of price and profit controls with an immediate and completeliberalization of export prices, followed by the gradual deregulation of most prices of goodsand limiting price controls to a short list of basic items.(vi) The introduction of a wide and comprehensive solidarity system to cater for the lowincome groups of society by mitigating the higher costs which normally accompanyrestructuring of the economy. But, later on these policies changed.In order to achieve the programme objectives, a policy action programme was stated to covermany areas. For the area of production, growth and investment, emphasis was put on the1990 Investment encouragement Act to stimulate investment, especially in agriculture inorder to achieve self-sufficiency in food grains by 1990/91. Many incentives, such as taxexemption, abandoning ceiling of agricultural finance and the establishment of specializedfunds to finance agriculture and animal production, were proposed to encourage production.Financial policies included in the programme aimed at reducing and completely eliminatingbudget deficits by reducing expenditure, removing subsidies, abandoning deficit finance andbroadening the tax and zakat collection. The main concern of monetary and credit policies inthe programme was to stabilize the exchange rate at its current level for a reasonable periodof time and adjust credit policies to create direct linkage to production and curb non-productive activitiesFor the parastatal sector, the general policy was to reduce government involvement in theeconomy. Many public enterprises were recommended to be either sold, liquidated orprivatized by changing them into mixed form ownership. With regard to the social sector, aspecial fund for social welfare (the Social Solidarity Fund) was established to help lowincome groups of the population and mitigate the harsh cost of adjustment for the vulnerable.In the 1990/9 1 budget an initial amount of Ls 1000 million was earmarked for the fund.6    
  8. 8. 2011 ‫اآﺘﻮﺑﺮ‬ ‫ورﺷﺔ اﻟﻤﻮاﻃﻨﺔ ﻓﻰ اﻃﺎر اﻟﺘﻌﺪد اﻟﻌﺮﻗﻰ و اﻟﺜﻘﺎﻓﻰ‬ ‫ﻟﻤﻨﺘﺪى اﻟﻤﺪﻧﻰ اﻟﻘﻮﻣﻰ‬To mitigate the negative impact of adjustment, the National Comprehensive Strategy wenteven further by incorporating a commitment to social and political development in itsobjectives. Vulnerable and poor groups were not only to be protected from the negativeimpact of adjustment, but they ‘were entitled to have their basic needs (employment, housing,health and education) satisfied. Special attention would be given to the urban and rural poor,women and small producers. By building the productive capacities of these groups, thegovernment would create an environment conducive for their ability to play an active role ineconomic development. In the field of political development, NCS stressed the need forbuilding a political system and administrative structures to enable people to participate in thedecision-making process and supervise the functioning of government officials. The politicalsystem would ensure more accountability and transparency in the functioning of thegovernment institutions at federal, state and local levels.3. Inqaz Economy: deepening Inequalities and Denying Socio-Economic RightsTables in the appendices show that development has failed to reduce regional-ethnicdisparities. Again, space does not allow an exhaustive analysis here, yet some majorobservations (bending further verification) are in order.1. Centre-region OligarchyDespite the rhetoric of market economy, Inqaz regime adopted in the first half of 1990s stateinterventionist type and overtaxing producers and thereby severely affecting producers inrural areas and less-developed regions.(Kabaj: 2010; Ibrahim: 2009). From late 1990s,government increasing reliance on oil sector has had the effect of reinforcing rentier, non-productive policies of the state with the result that peripheral regions and rural producers inthe North were forced to invent coping strategies to adapt to harsh economic conditions.Parallel to this course of policies, federal structures of government were set up in all thecountry thus increasing government expenditure and, more important, giving rise to newclients (in both rural North and peripheral regions) attracted to the patronage of the Centre.The emerging alliance between these elements and ruling Islamists in the Centre was furtherconsolidated and mediated by by an ideology the basic tenets of which are discriminatory: i.eemopowring one particular category of citizens against others in the so-called altamkeenpolicies. This tamkeen has symbiotic relationship with hierarchical order of citiztens (El-Battahani: 1996; Ibrahim: 2009; Abdelsalam: 2010; Abdalla: 2009)2. Revisiting the Concept of RegionNotwithstanding tamkeen ideology, one might have given economic policies during 199s(policies of economic transition from state-led economy to “market-oriented” economy) thebenefit of doubt had these policy measures succeeded in transforming the economy andalleviating regional inequalities. We tentatively hypothesize here that the underlying classinterest of ruling oligarch militated against redressing regional inequalities.Region refers to geographical area with particular features (ethnic, cultural or economic) thatdifferentiate it from adjacent areas, or which serves as a unit of government administration orstate. Since it lends itself to a variety of meaning, the concept of region is often used in abroad and vague way. In the context of multi-ethnic Sudan the concept of region suffers fromsome defects. First-regional (Spatial) differentiation is considered at an abstract levelforgetting that we are dealing with ethnic divisions and groups, and does not considerpopulation movements.7    
  9. 9. 2011 ‫اآﺘﻮﺑﺮ‬ ‫ورﺷﺔ اﻟﻤﻮاﻃﻨﺔ ﻓﻰ اﻃﺎر اﻟﺘﻌﺪد اﻟﻌﺮﻗﻰ و اﻟﺜﻘﺎﻓﻰ‬ ‫ﻟﻤﻨﺘﺪى اﻟﻤﺪﻧﻰ اﻟﻘﻮﻣﻰ‬Secondly, for centuries, trade relations, religious activities and population movements hadgradually and slowly sown the seeds of national integration and homogenization and as aresult led to a considerable ethnic interpenetration in different region. The emerging patternsof economic development had further maintained this trend. For example, the Gezira Schemeand Gezira region is not inhabited by the Arabs. In 1976-77 about 47% of Westerns Sudanoriginal population was found to have migrated to Khartoum and Kassala Provinces.Moreover, in Khartoum, Kassala and Blue Nile Provinces the percentage of in-migrants tototal population of province were 35%, 17% and 13% respectively in 1976-77. Recentlygovernment officials maintained that more than 4.5 millions southern people are now livingin the North.Thirdly, most studies institute regions apriori and take their existence for granted, whereas"… regions must be constituted as an affect of analysis", they should be defined in relation tospatial uneven development in the process of wealth making and its effect on social andethnic relations.” (Massey: 1978) Analysis of regional disparities have revealed a lot aboutuneven development but have not cast enough light on inter-ethnic economic relationsparticularly at the national level. Political conflicts in Sudan are partly ethnic in nature andnot purely regional, administrative, political or economic. Hence regional categorization mustincorporate ethnic and class factors in order to come to terms with the real issues of theconflict over equal development.Fourthly, In Sudan, the ethnic factor intertwines with non-ethnic factors (education, wealth,occupation, status) to produce complex unschematic stratification matrix. This does not meanthat social differentiation in Sudan is exclusively ethnic-based as some studies have tried toestablish. It is our position here that the stratification system is a class-determined one inwhich ethnic (or religious) elements constitute a relatively more visible index of a morecomplex structured peripheral capitalist societies, like Sudan, where class, status andethnicity interpenetrate, the public signification of the stratification system. (El-Battahani:2007)That is, members of marginalized ethnos, classes and social categories (e.g. women)struggling to protect their rights have to negotiate and/or confront public signification of thesocial structure along several axes (Marshallian concept of citizenship). A corollary of this isthat groups seeking attainment of socio-economic rights of citizenship would face social andcultural prejudice from dominant groups: the latter protecting the status and the former tryingto promote their position.3. Crony Capitalism: Rents Collected but not InvestedIt is not unnatural that economies in transition provide opportunities for well positionedindividuals and groups to collect rents through their clientelistic ties with state apparatus. (refmiddle east ). Some researchers condone this attitude and see it as ‘normal’ during theseexceptional times, on the condition and expectation that these accumulated fortunes wouldthen find their way to productive investments in the economy. There are ample evidence tosupport the case that individuals and groups have succeeded in collecting rents fromdisorderly transition of the economy in Sudan since early 1990s and that these collected rentshave never found their way to productive investments.( El-Battahani: 1996; Ali: 2006;;Ibrahim: 2009; Abdelgadir: 2010; Umbadda: 2011)Firstly, the government had embarked on a comprehensive structural adjustment andeconomic liberalization without strictly attending to condition to ensure that these are8    
  10. 10. 2011 ‫اآﺘﻮﺑﺮ‬ ‫ورﺷﺔ اﻟﻤﻮاﻃﻨﺔ ﻓﻰ اﻃﺎر اﻟﺘﻌﺪد اﻟﻌﺮﻗﻰ و اﻟﺜﻘﺎﻓﻰ‬ ‫ﻟﻤﻨﺘﺪى اﻟﻤﺪﻧﻰ اﻟﻘﻮﻣﻰ‬properly implemented course of policies and actions. Students of first year economics knowthat the impersonal dictates of the market should override biases of race, religion, ethnicity,class and gender. Buyers and sellers with greater preference for any of these biases onlyrestrict their choices and usually must pay a higher price for that choice; and the sameinvisible hand which regulates market prices should contribute to the inter-ethniccollaboration needed in the capital market to channel investment into national economicdevelopment18. This situation, however, obtains in the ideal world. In Sudan, there areethnically structural capital and labour markets19. And because of market imperfection choicemade on the bases of tribal, ethnic and religious consideration are rewarded rather thanpunished.(Abdelnabi: ) Emerging Finance infrastructure and monopolistic tendencies wereimposed on trade and finance to serve the interest of the new-boy network and punish the old-boy network.Secondly, the political leadership has opted for liberalization of the economy in order tocorrect economic imbalances and adjust the cost of its products to international competitivestandards. A number of other related measurers have also been adopted. But the effect of thison inter-ethnic relations is very serious. This is because poverty and liberalization-inducedpoverty-tend to take an ethnic profile as the weak ethnic minorities are hard hit most by theseeconomic and social disciplinary measures. In urban centers those negatively affected by theregulation of the informed sector and marginal profession are generally drawn from ethnicperipheries. So, rather than easing tensions, liberalization policies are likely to deepen ethnicgrievances.Thirdly, there is the fear that state-directed privatization may fuel ethnic suspicious. Old fearsof ethnic exclusion from positions of power and wealth surface to the top-as ethnic groupswatch the sale of public assets and corporation to the same old faces. Drawing lessons fromsimilar experiences, observers warn that no dominant group should be able to exclude anyother while privatization, restitution and property rights are being introduced, thus securingfor themselves an unfair head start.In Sudan the government must be cautious in its privatization programme. Otherwisedisposing of commercial enterprises would giver undue advantage to capital-rich, better-positioned and well-established Northern merchants and industrialists-whom, rightly orwrongly, non-Northerners in the South, East and West consider to be responsible for theireconomic miseries and whom they eye with a lot of suspicion and jealousy.From the available material on privatized public sector assets and corporations, not a singleundertaking passed to a non-Arab Northerners. Not only that, but state officials who providedover deregulation committees confirmed that these matters were conducted in business spiritand there were no federal guideline to urge them pay particular attention to underprivilegedethnic business21. Evidently, such policies would contribute little to reducing ethnic tensions.Rather, economic liberalization is thereby unwittingly by sowing the seeds for furtherpolitical mobilization of ethnic grievances. This is particularly the case, since from the pointof view of ethnic minorities liberalization in maintaining the Northern monopoly over wealthmaking and is therefore a mere combination of pre-existing policies.4. Policy Dilemmas of Liberalized Economy in Conflict SituationDiscrimination in a Liberalized EconomyIn a situation that is inherently unequal, market-oriented economic reforms at present are notlikely going to reduce economic inequalities between ethnic groups. State policy9    
  11. 11. 2011 ‫اآﺘﻮﺑﺮ‬ ‫ورﺷﺔ اﻟﻤﻮاﻃﻨﺔ ﻓﻰ اﻃﺎر اﻟﺘﻌﺪد اﻟﻌﺮﻗﻰ و اﻟﺜﻘﺎﻓﻰ‬ ‫ﻟﻤﻨﺘﺪى اﻟﻤﺪﻧﻰ اﻟﻘﻮﻣﻰ‬interventions to support vulnerable groups and less-developed regions are called for. But is itpossible to synchronize this with commitment to a liberal economy? Legislation againstdiscrimination and codification of the right and responsibilities are always constructive,although never sufficient in themselves. They function as confidence-building measures forthe weaken groups in society.However, what is needed is not legislation against discriminatory practice, but concrete,actual steps to redress long-standing ethnic grievances by taking affirmative actions.Fortunately this is not new to Sudanese politics. Since Addis Accord in 1972, andComprehensive Peace Agreement in 2005, it has generally been accepted that marginalizedethnic groups should have the right to some autonomy, to cultural facilities to preserve theiridentity and, if the federal commitment to wealth sharing is anything to go by, ethnic groupsmust be able to own property at national level, have a position in the commanding heights ofthe economy in order to participate fully and equally in the economic development of thecountry.Positive discriminatory measures, which have been taken in the field of education, should beextended to the filed of business and economic activities. The objective of these measures isto create and promote ethnic entrepreneurs and small business by assisting them acquire theneeded entrepreneurial business, and technical skills. Among other things, this requireextending certain facilities to deprived groups in peripheral regions and urban centres.How Liberal is the Liberalized EconomyWell organized labour and civil society and rule of law, prerequisites for ensuringobservation and implementation of socio-economic rights of citizens across geographical andsocial divide. While the government pride itself in embarking on a comprehensive structuraladjustment and economic liberalization programme, it on the other hand severely represseslabour and professional groups from organizing and from using bargaining power to protecttheir interests from both business and government misuse of power. Wages were kept belowbasic minimum, and industrial actions were put by force in both rural and urban areas. (El-Hassan: 2010; Ibrhaim: 2009; ) No wonder then that these policies fit in neatly with broadinterests of authoritative capitalism in peripheral societies.In a way, the present Ingaz regime shows signs of a regime with a “strong” political will, thatis, in terms of its capacity using repressive and allocating mechanisms of the central state toserve the interests of its power-base. This power base is oligarchic in nature, and combines aconglomerate of power groups from both Centre and regions ….ruling Sudan. Both groupsfrom the centre and (certain influential groups from the) regions are drawn from military,business, national security and ideological groups. Some of these groups are moreenlightened than others, keen to open up the Sudanese society, not only for foreign capital,but also for liberal ideas concerning democracy and human rights. As far as redressingregional inequalities, this conglomerate has no vision. From current policy measures it isevident that when it comes to redressing economic grievances of marginalized regions andsocial strata the logic of business as usual (in a distorted market) takes precedence overpolitics of economic justice. It is this which creates incompatibility and inconsistencybetween public pronouncement of government to serve all citizens and realities of economicstrategies.10    
  12. 12. 2011 ‫اآﺘﻮﺑﺮ‬ ‫ورﺷﺔ اﻟﻤﻮاﻃﻨﺔ ﻓﻰ اﻃﺎر اﻟﺘﻌﺪد اﻟﻌﺮﻗﻰ و اﻟﺜﻘﺎﻓﻰ‬ ‫ﻟﻤﻨﺘﺪى اﻟﻤﺪﻧﻰ اﻟﻘﻮﻣﻰ‬5. ConclusionIn order to better account for the relationship between liberalized economic development andregional inequalities in Sudan, the above analysis calls for a revisiting concepts of region,citizenship and rights in order to incorporate socio-class aspects into the analysis.This is because regional conflicts are at the root causes of political conflicts and liberalpolicies introduced to reduce regional (socio-ethnic inequalities) failed to deliver; this isbecause the thrust of economic liberalization posed many questions as to the consistency andcompatibility between liberalization and redressing (social, ethnic) inequalities embedded inthe concept of regional equality. While we maintain that promoting small-scale and ethnicentrepreneurs and business would not necessarily ensure the integrity of society, it wouldnevertheless, considerably reduce regional and ethnic tension and create a more favourableclimate for national integration. Certainly, this is a policy objective that liberalized economyso far ailed to deliver.BibliographyAbdleSalam, Al-Mahboub, The First Ten Years of Inqaz, 2010.Ali, Abdlegadir, Sudan Economy: From Dependency to Dependency, 1982Ali, T. M. A., The Cultivatión of Huger: State and Agriculture in Sudan, KhartoumUniversity Press, Khartoum, 1989.Beshir, M.O., on the Unitary State On the Unitary State Optimum in Sudan, proceedings ofArkawit Eleventh Conference on Nation Building In Sudan, Institute of Extra-Mural Studies,University of Khartoum, November, 1988.Economist Intelligence Unit, Sudan: Country Profile, 1993-94.El Battahani, A.National Building Between Democracy and Dictatorship, Paper Presented toErkawit 11th. Conference, Nov. 1988 (in Arabic).El-Battahani, A. The Social ad Political Impact 0 Economic Liberalization ad Social WelfareIn Sudan Working Paper 6/96, IDS, University of Helsiki.Davis, Yuval, N. (1996) see chapter on “Citizenship and Difference” in Gender and Nations.London: Sage Press.Davis, Yuval, Women, Ethnicity ad Empowerment: towards transversal politics, 2002Haider Ibrahim, Economic Collapse in Sudan, 2009Ibrahim, A.A. Regional Inequality and Underdevelopment in Western Sudan, Ph.D. Thesis,University of Sussex, 1985;Kabaj, Mohamed Ibrahim, a series of articles on Sudan economy in al-Sahafa, 2010Mahmoud, F., The Sudanese Bourgeoisie: Vanguard of Development, Khartoum UniversityPress, Khartoum, 1986; and11    
  13. 13. 2011 ‫اآﺘﻮﺑﺮ‬ ‫ورﺷﺔ اﻟﻤﻮاﻃﻨﺔ ﻓﻰ اﻃﺎر اﻟﺘﻌﺪد اﻟﻌﺮﻗﻰ و اﻟﺜﻘﺎﻓﻰ‬ ‫ﻟﻤﻨﺘﺪى اﻟﻤﺪﻧﻰ اﻟﻘﻮﻣﻰ‬Massey, D., "Regionalism: some Current Issues", Capital and Class, Autumn, 1978.Niblock, T., Class and Power in Sudan, Macmillan, London, 1987;Republic of Sudan, Department of Statistics, First Population Census 1955/56 Final Report 3,Khartoum, 1962, Table 6.8.Siddiq Umbadda, Indicators of Development Grievances in Rural Sudan, A Discussion paper,DSRC, 1988.Siddiq Umbadda, Inqaz from al-Ageeda to al-Gabeela (Inqaz Regime from Creed toTribalism), al-Ayam newspaper 2011.Wade, Robert, Governing the Market, 2004.Wohlumth, K., “Alternative Economic Strategies for the Sudan”, in Harir, S. and Tvedt T.,(eds), Short-Cut to Decay: the Case of the Sudan, Nordiska Afrikainstitutet, Uppsala, 1994, p.219.Yongo-Bure, B. The First Decade of Development in the Southern Sudan, Institute of Africanand Asian Studies, University of Khartoum., 1985, p. 3.12    
  14. 14. 2011 ‫اآﺘﻮﺑﺮ‬ ‫ورﺷﺔ اﻟﻤﻮاﻃﻨﺔ ﻓﻰ اﻃﺎر اﻟﺘﻌﺪد اﻟﻌﺮﻗﻰ و اﻟﺜﻘﺎﻓﻰ‬ ‫ﻟﻤﻨﺘﺪى اﻟﻤﺪﻧﻰ اﻟﻘﻮﻣﻰ‬Appendices Figure: Manufacturing establishments in Sudan by state Table: poverty incidence by region in North Sudan 2009 Poverty gap Poverty among the poor Severity Poverty gap Incidence 34.8 7.8 16.2 46.5 Northern Sudan 26.6 2.7 7.1 26.5 Urban 36.9 10.6 21.3 57.6 Rural 24.7 2.4 6.4 26.0 Khartoum 28.0 3.8 9.4 33.7 Northern 30.4 6.1 13.8 45.4 Central 38.2 9.0 17.7 46.3 Eastern 39.3 11.7 23.1 58.7 Kordofan 39.3 12.6 24.6 62.7 DarfurSource: National Base Line Household Survey NBLHS, 2009Recent report on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of Sudan testify to the growingregional inequalitiesRegional disparities on the RiseThe daily Minimum Dietary Energy Requirement (MDER) per person in Sudan was 1751Kcals. In northern Sudan, the proportion of the population below the minimum level ofdietary consumption is estimated at 31.5%. The percentage in urban areas is almost similar tothe rural areas -- 31% and 34% respectively. Across the Northern states, the level of fooddeprivation varies significantly. It registered 44% in the Red Sea, 15% in the Gazira andRiver Nile states.13    
  15. 15. 2011 ‫اآﺘﻮﺑﺮ‬ ‫ورﺷﺔ اﻟﻤﻮاﻃﻨﺔ ﻓﻰ اﻃﺎر اﻟﺘﻌﺪد اﻟﻌﺮﻗﻰ و اﻟﺜﻘﺎﻓﻰ‬ ‫ﻟﻤﻨﺘﺪى اﻟﻤﺪﻧﻰ اﻟﻘﻮﻣﻰ‬MDER by States of Sudan, 2009 1850 1817 1801 1800 1793 1786 1786 1779 1778 1773 1762 1745 1750 1740 1739 1734 1730 1730 1725 1717 1714 1713 1711 1707 1705 1700 1700 1685 1652 1650 1600 1550 i ty S o e rn k e s ar K o ra p i Ka e a A l a la ar n a le W if N o il e ile le R e um e s r th e rn D u r E q gle q u fu r r G ia A l o ria A l fa n Jo a n La a ue l Un l W e z ir K h er rn r n K a r f u ar B l aza za U p Ni nn Ni ri S A l to r rN rn er N f ss a uf to N o th D a r rth to r ad n h r rd u ha ra D a d Si t te G h a rd ua ua ve G G hi p o n t rn Ri Eq lE Ce th e e t rn rn hr es r u he rth s te te Ba Ba No W es ut Ea n So W er te No WHealth and Malaria PrevalenceIn northern Sudan, the percentage of households with at least one Insecticide Treated Net(ITNs) stood at 41% in 2009. Sudan carries 15% of the TB burden in the EasternMediterranean Region (EMR). In 2009, the estimated incidence of new smear-positive TBcases was 60 per 100,000 population, translating to almost 18,536 new smear-positive cases.The actual detected were 8572 cases. This means a case detection rate of 46.2%. In SouthernSudan tuberculosis is one of the major causes of mortality and morbidity. Figure: Malaria Prevalence in Northern SudanChild mortalityPneumonia, malaria, diarrhea, and malnutrition usually still represent the major causes ofunder-five illness and deaths. Less than five Mortality Rate (northern Sudan dropped to 102per 1000 live births in 2006. Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) in northern Sudan increased to71/1000 live births in 2006. The overall picture shows inter-regional variations, where(U5MR) in Blue Nile, South Kordofan, West Darfur and Red Sea reached 178, 147, 138 and14    
  16. 16. 2011 ‫اآﺘﻮﺑﺮ‬ ‫ورﺷﺔ اﻟﻤﻮاﻃﻨﺔ ﻓﻰ اﻃﺎر اﻟﺘﻌﺪد اﻟﻌﺮﻗﻰ و اﻟﺜﻘﺎﻓﻰ‬ ‫ﻟﻤﻨﺘﺪى اﻟﻤﺪﻧﻰ اﻟﻘﻮﻣﻰ‬126 per 1000 L.B (SHHS 2006), respectively. IMR remained high in the same statesmentioned above in addition to Ghadarif (86/1000 LB). In Southern Sudan theyoung children face daily threats from Malaria, diarrheal diseases, Acute RespiratoryInfection (ARI), vaccine preventable diseases and malnutrition. In southern Sudan U5MRdeclined from an estimated 250 per 1,000 live births in 2001 to 135 in 2006.15    

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