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Advising on African and Global Studies – Festschrift 30 Years African Development Perspectives Yearbook, Innovation Policies in Bremen, World Economy Transitions and COVID-19, Cooperation with the University of Bremen Archives, and Evaluation of Working Programmes, Manuscripts and International Study Programmes

Recent months were busy times for Economics Professor Karl Wohlmuth. He guided the project “Festschrift Anniversary of Thirty Years (1989-2019)  of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook”. The Festschrift was finalized as a first edition in November 2020, and the second edition appeared in January 2021. The University of Bremen has republished the Festschrift as a major document on its media platform. The number of contributors to the Festschrift was very high, and the response to make recommendations for a further quality increase was great. It was proposed to move with the Yearbook to an open access system; negotiations are now underway. A great number of suggestions came in to make the Yearbook a real platform for success stories and sustainable reforms in Africa. It was decided by the Research Group on African Development Perspectives Bremen to publish a Festschrift, as a physical celebration of the Thirty Years Anniversary was not possible because of COVID-19.

Professor Wohlmuth and the editors of volume 22 (2020/21) of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook have in the meantime finalized the new volume. It is now in the process of publication. The new volume has two Units with twelve chapters and a further Unit with book reviews and book notes. Professor Wohlmuth and the team of Unit Editors have introduced the content of all the three Units. The volume is quite relevant as the theme “Sustainable Development Goal Nine and African Development” touches issues of promoting industrialization, developing infrastructure, and building innovation capacity in Africa. Also, the Research Group on African Development Perspectives Bremen has released in December 2020 the new call for papers for volume 23 (2022) on “Business Opportunities, Start-ups and Digital Transformation in Africa”. A Unit  on “COVID-19 and repurposing industries in Africa” and Units with country cases  of digital transformation and digital entrepreneurship are envisaged. There is already great interest to become part of the new Yearbook project.

Professor Reuben A. Alabi from the Department of Agricultural Economics at Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Edo State, Nigeria has finalized important research work for international and regional African organizations, and for the Yearbook in cooperation with Professor Wohlmuth. Also, a major research report by the two professors came out on “Waste Management Policies in Nigeria and Germany”, with a focus on the municipalities of Lagos and Bremen. Professor Alabi has also finalized a study on “Financial innovations and agricultural development in Nigeria”. The study is part of his research programme “Environment and Development Management Nigeria-Germany”. He will now take up again his duties as a full professor of agricultural economics at Ambrose Alli University in Ekpoma, Edo State, Nigeria. In the Festschrift “Thirty Years Anniversary of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook” he gave an account of the role the Yearbook has played for enhancing reforms in Africa. Professor Alabi will continue his work as co-editor of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook.

Professor Wohlmuth was active in evaluating applications for professorship, research manuscripts, and international study programmes. He was again appointed as a member of a promotions committee for professors (associate and full professors) at a university in Michigan, USA. He did reviews for development economics and environmental economics journals. He evaluated international study programmes in Tajikistan. This work was possible only in the form of virtual meetings, what limits considerably real evaluations. Tajikistan is reforming its study programmes also in the field of economics. The study programmes related to economics and business studies in Tajikistan intend to support also the research component, especially so in the direction of increasing the competitiveness of the Tadjik economy. It was found out during the meetings that more international cooperation of teachers and researchers and higher financial support for individual research programmes are quite necessary. While the leading staff persons of the  universities in Tajikistan are linked to the government offices and/or the traditional elites, the young teachers and researchers are mobile, motivated, mostly English-speaking, and interested to cooperate with universities in countries of the European Union and with universities in other geo-political regions (USA, China, Russia, India).

The Government of Bremen is on the move to develop a new “Innovation Strategy for the Country State of Bremen 2030” to replace the outdated Innovation Programme 2020 and the Cluster Strategy 2020. Professor Wohlmuth works on the issues of innovation and technology policy of Bremen since the 1980s when his institute produced a handbook “Bremen as a location for high technology industries”. In recent months, Professor Wohlmuth has contributed essays on new innovation policies for Bremen to support  in this way a new innovation strategy for Bremen. The COVID-19-crisis gave an additional push for reforms of innovation policies as many industries in Bremen are severely affected, because leading cluster industries (space and aircraft industries, automotive sector, logistics and transport industry, tourism, and others) have to overcome the crisis in the medium- to long-term. The main issue is to combine new cluster and innovation strategies with a strategy to navigate the industries out of the COVID-19-crisis. The Professor has emphasized five elements of an action programme for Bremen (institutional reform component; strengthening the regional innovation system; value-added-focussed and employment-oriented component; further developing the health, medical support, and care sector; and supporting digitalization).

Professor Karl Wohlmuth has accepted the offer of the University of Bremen Archives (Universitätsarchiv) to transmit a considerable part of his scientific research and teaching fundus, with materials classified on eight categories (first, Teaching  Projects since 1971; second, Integrated Introductory Study Programmes in the 1970s; third, Research and Consulting Activities on Sudan 1978-2021; fourth, Researches on African Development since the 1970s, Consulting on Africa since the 1980s, and Editing/Publishing the African Development Perspectives Yearbook since 1989; fifth, Shaping the development of the Faculty of Economics and Business Studies since 1971; sixth, Organising the research, teaching, advisory, and training activities as the Director of the World Economy Research Group since the 1970s and of the IWIM/Institute for World Economics and International Management since 1987; seventh, Developing the international cooperation projects since 1971 for the University of Bremen, for the Faculty of Economics and Business Studies, and for IWIM; and eighth, Documenting the personal development and the career of Karl Wohlmuth since the 1960s). Professor Wohlmuth celebrates in September 2021 50 years as professor of comparative economic systems at the University of Bremen, as he moved to the new university in September 1971. He came from the Institute for the Theory of Economic Policy at the FU of Berlin after work periods in Vienna and in Linz, Austria. He was part of a small group of professors who were in the first weeks of the new university appointed in meetings of the whole Senate of the Country State of Bremen, while months later the calls to Bremen and the appointments of professors were done by the Senator of Education and Science. An audio file of an interview with Professor Karl Wohlmuth about his life, his scientific work, and his experiences at the University of Bremen is also available in the University of Bremen Archives.

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“Towards A New Vision For Inclusive Development in Sudan” – First Conference of the Sudan Research Group (SRG) in November 2019 after the Sudanese Revolution in Khartoum

The Sudan Research Group (SRG) has now released its conference report
on the first conference held in Khartoum, Sudan which took place some months after the Sudanese Revolution and the instalment of the Transitional Government. The title of the report is “Towards Sustainable Inclusive Development in Sudan“. The participants were divided into eight clusters to discuss 31 papers around the Conference’s main themes: 1- Macroeconomic Management for Inclusive Development; 2- Bringing the Productive Sectors back in Sudan; 3- Governance and Institutions; 4- Management of Natural Resources; 5- Sustainable Infra-Structure; 6- Social Policy and Public Service Delivery; 7- The Role of the Private Sector; and 8- Gender. The Report was published in 2020 and contains Recommendations on Macroeconomic Issues, Reviving the Productive Sectors, Governance and Institutions, The Management of Natural Resources, Sustainable Infrastructure, Social Policy and Public Service Delivery, and the Private Sector. There are specific recommendations to the Transitional Government, to the Ministry of Finance and to other competent ministries, to International Donors, and to Civil Society Organizations. The full report contains information about all the clusters of the conference.

The Sudan Research Group (SRG) writes about its mandate: “The Sudan Research Group is a UK-based voluntary organization. It was formed in 2003 by a group of academics and researchers who felt a pressing need for a specialized network that brings together multidisciplinary academics, researchers, activists and policy makers in a forum devoted to in-depth discussions of the key and pressing issues that face the country. Dedicated to impact, it aims to produce and promote research and scholarship that may inform home-grown policies to address the country’s urgent economic, political, and social needs.” And the SRG reports about the conferences: “The main conferences and events organized by the Group so far include “Economic Challenges in Post-conflict Sudan” (2004), “Institutional and Governance Requirements for the Future Development of Sudan” ( 2005 ), “Education and Capacity Building” (2006), “Assessing the Peace-building in Darfur”, (2008), “General Education Crisis in Sudan” (with an Open Themes Group), (2016), Training in Communication for Sudanese NGOs” (2019), and a series of Webinars.” Then, “Towards Sustainable Inclusive Development in Sudan” (2019) was the first conference that SRG was able to convene in Sudan after the Sudanese Revolution which started in December 2018. It was convened for June 2019, but was then postponed to November 2019 (SRG 5TH Meeting Tentative Agenda).

Contact Information about SRG: Email address:; Website:

About the Report on the SRG Conference November 2019 in Khartoum, Sudan: “The Sudan Research Group (SRG) is pleased to introduce a summary of the proceedings of its Fifth Conference, with the title “Towards Sustainable Inclusive Development in Sudan”. Held only three months after the formation of the Transitional Government that followed the end of three decades of dictatorship, the conference sought to provide a neutral space for open discussions that help in shaping the agenda for change. More than 160 researchers, policy makers, private sector and civil society participants engaged in three days of constructive - and sometimes heated debate - about immediate reform programs and long -term development policies. This report provides a brief summary of the discussions on the key themes of the conference and its substantive findings. It should be noted that the messages and ideas summarized are not intended to indicate a consensus and they do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the SRG”. The report is available for download as a PDF under: Final SRG 5th Conf. 2019. Professor Karl Wohlmuth had the privilege to be invited to the conference as a speaker for the cluster Infrastructure. Professor Wohlmuth follows the studies and projects of the SRG carefully.

Dr. Gamal Al-Tayib from UNECA in Addis Ababa is one of the founders of the SRG.

Another important development about Sudan as two thinktanks are cooperating: SRG is joined by SWEA in development work

In the new Sudan independent NGOs can be founded and have space for action. SWEA (see below) is now ready to mobilise the women economists. There are links between SRG and SWEA. SERG in Bremen is cooperating with these groups.

Sudanese Women Economists Association (SWEA): Empowering the Women in the Peripheries through Capacity Building Projects

Women economists work together for a peaceful and prospering Sudan. Sawsan Musa Adam Abdul-Jalil from the Ministry of Finance in Khartoum, Sudan is a co-founder of the Sudanese Women Economists Association (SWEA). SWEA was founded in June 2020. SWEA is collaborating with the Sudan Research Group (SRG) in a capacity building project. The first (and so far the only) project was an online training on a research proposal writing for the students of Nayala, El Fahser, Gedaref and Kassala, but much more is in the pipeline. Sawsan Musa Adam Abdul-Jalil from the Ministry of Finance in Khartoum, Sudan is working now with the Aid Coordination Unit of the Ministry to restructure their strategy. We cooperate from the SERG in Bremen with SRG and SWEA to learn more about the reforms ongoing in Sudan and to support the process of change in the country. It is intended to cooperate on the new Yearbook project of the Research Group on African Development Perspectives Bremen (see the International Call for Papers Volume 23).


The Sudanese Women Economists Association (SWEA) is becoming an important partner for democratic development, inclusive growth, and economic change in Sudan.

Source: Website SWEA


About the Mandate of SWEA:

“The Sudanese Women Economists Association (SWEA) was founded in June 2020, on the ground of redeeming the prevalent gap of women economists participation in the policy and academic spheres in Sudan. Fuelled by the enthusiasm of its founders and members, SWEA aims at building capacities, encouraging and amplifying the contribution of women economists, and of young women pursuing degrees in economics. SWEA strives to achieve this by providing a platform to convene Sudanese women economists, offering networking opportunities and enriching the economic research space by the contributions from its members.”

The Vision of SWEA:

“SWEA’s vision is to advance Sudanese women economists’ participation in academic and public policy spheres in Sudan. Our aim is to promote solidarity between Sudanese women economists across generations, as a key step to build capacity of young women in economics and to amplify the voices of Sudanese women in economic research and practice.”

The website of SWEA is:

Source: Website SWEA

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New Publications on Sudan’s Regional Development: Food Security and Agricultural Development in Kassala State, Sudan

Professor Samia Nour from the University of Khartoum, Sudan has published (in cooperation with Dr. Eltayeb Mohamedain) a working paper and two policy briefs on Food Security and Agricultural Development in Kassala State, Sudan. These are publications of the CMI (Chr. Michelsen Institute). The CMI Sudan Working paper Number 1 (21 July 2020) and the two CMI Policy Briefs (21 July 2020) are of interest as the focus is on research done by regional universities and for advice to policymakers in peripheral regions in Sudan. The two policy briefs are based on the findings in the CMI Sudan working paper number 1 (21 July 2020) that analyses agricultural development and food security with the use of survey data from Kassala State. This research is conducted as part of the Agriculture and Food Security cluster in the Assisting Regional Universities in Sudan (ARUS) programme. The ARUS programme is a collaboration between CMI, the University of Khartoum, Ahfad University for Women, the University of Bergen, and several regional universities in Sudan. The programme is funded by the Norwegian Embassy in Khartoum. The importance of these studies is that regional universities in Sudan are participating, and that key issues of peripheral areas like food security and agricultural development are more deeply researched.

Professor Samia Nour is now also Book Reviews/Book Notes Editor of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook. She has advised the editors of volumes 20 (2018) and 21 (2019) and is Unit editor and Volume Editor for volume 22 (2020/21). She is also collaborating with various international research organisations. She has recently published in the SERG discussion papers of IWIM on Sudan’s revolution (see Number 44 of the SERG discussion papers with the title: “Overview of the Sudan Uprising”:

Access to these three CMI publications (see links below) which are co-authored by Professor Samia Nour:

CMI Sudan Working Paper Number 1: “Food Security and Agricultural Development in Sudan: The case of Kassala State”, CMI Sudan Working Paper Number 1, CMI (Chr. Michelsen Institute), Bergen, Norway, 21 July 2020, pp. 1-113. Link: Food Security and Agricultural Development in Sudan: The case of Kassala State

See the Abstract (shortened) below.

Sudan CMI Policy Brief Number 3: “Food Insecurity in Sudan as seen from Kassala State ”, Sudan CMI Policy Brief Number 3, CMI (Chr. Michelsen Institute), Bergen, Norway, 21 July 2020, pp. 1-4. Link: Food Insecurity in Sudan as seen from Kassala State

“This policy brief discusses the incidence of food insecurity, explores families’ survival strategies, and recommends measures that may combat food insecurity.”

Sudan CMI Policy Brief 4: “Agricultural development and food Security in Sudan as seen from Kassala State”, Sudan CMI Policy Brief Number 4, CMI (Chr. Michelsen Institute), Bergen, Norway, 21 July 2020, pp. 1-4. Link: Agricultural development and food Security in Sudan as seen from Kassala State

“This policy brief uses data from Kassala State to assess the close link between agricultural development and food security, and investigates factors and policies that can strengthen agricultural development, thereby increasing food security in Sudan.”

Abstract (shortened) of Sudan Working Paper 1, 21 July 2020

Food Security and Agricultural Development in Sudan: The case of Kassala State,

by Prof. Dr. Samia Mohamed Nour and Dr. Eltayeb Mohamedain, Bergen: Chr. Michelsen Institute (Sudan Working Paper 2020:1)

This research discusses the relationship between agricultural development and food security, the determinants of the supply of food and of the demand for food, and the determinants of food insecurity in Kassala State. In so doing, it provides a significant contribution to the current literature. Used are new primary data from a Food Security Household Survey which was conducted in Kassala State (2019). It was found that the majority of households are food insecure (77%), out of which 32.9% of the households are severely food insecure, while fewer households are fully food secure (23%). There is a large variation in households' food insecurity between localities, with rural Kassala having most of the food insecure households. This may be explained by the variation in monthly income between localities.

Three hypotheses are examined. A first hypothesis is verified that the most significant determinants of production of food are the size of agricultural land, the available livestock, and the irrigation systems. There is support for the second hypothesis that the family's own production of food and the household income have positive effects on food consumption. It is found that the significant determinants of the production of sorghum (the main staple food) are the size of agricultural land and the available livestock, and that the significant determinants of consumption of sorghum are the family's own production of sorghum, the household income, and the family size. For small farmers, their own consumption of sorghum is to a larger extent determined by their own production of sorghum. Therefore, enhancing production of sorghum among smallholders would contribute to enhancing consumption of sorghum and hence supporting food security. The third hypothesis is verified that better working conditions of the farmers are crucial for family own production of food and are then supporting food security; the probabilities of households being food secure increase with better working conditions for higher family own production .

Investigating the gender gap related to food production and food security has led to the results that male-headed households produce more food and are more food secure than female-headed households. Some reasons for this observation are analyzed. Also, it was found out that agricultural production is impeded by the lack of agricultural land, the cultivation of only few crops, an insufficient irrigation system, and shortages of agricultural services, which are mainly related to the provision of agricultural technology. Therefore, the major policy implication is that measures aimed at increasing household incomes and enhancing family own production of food are important for eliminating food insecurity. Recommended are therefore policies that may increase household incomes and may enhance smallholders' own production of food. Relevant policy instruments may be increases of agricultural land ownership, increases of the size of cultivated land for smallholders, more diversification of agricultural food crops, an improvement of irrigation systems, measures for enhancing female participation in agricultural activities and food security, steps towards improvement of agricultural services, mainly related to the adoption of technology, improving access to clean drinking water and proper sanitation systems, and, in general terms, improved infrastructure which may help in access to food, to inputs, and to production requirements.

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Die „Sudanesische Revolution“, die Demokratisierung und die Perspektiven der Bürgerbewegung - Vortrag von Professor Karl Wohlmuth an der Universität Mainz

Im Rahmen einer Ringvorlesung „Afrika - Der zurückgelassene Kontinent“ referierte Professor Karl Wohlmuth über die Chancen der Demokratiebewegung im Sudan und über die Perspektiven der Bürgerbewegung (vgl. die PDF mit der Präsentation von Professor Karl Wohlmuth zur Bürgerbewegung und zur Demokratisierung im Sudan). Professor Wohlmuth ging zunächst auf die aktuelle Lage im Sudan nach dem Sturz des Bashir-Regimes ein und skizzierte dann die Entwicklung und die Struktur der Bürgerbewegung, die den Regimewechsel maßgeblich herbeiführte. Um aber auch einen nachhaltigen Systemwechsel zu ermöglichen, ist es nach Meinung des Bremer Professors notwendig, die Rahmenbedingungen für eine erfolgreiche Bürgerbewegung zügig zu schaffen. Dies setzt voraus, dass die Machtpfeiler des Systems (Militär und Sicherheitsapparat; Parteien und parteiabhängige Organisationen; Regierungen und Bürokratien auf zentraler und lokaler Ebene; islamische Bruderschaften und abhängige islamische Gruppierungen; große Unternehmen und Kapitalgruppen; professionelle Vereinigungen, Gewerkschaften und Arbeitgeberverbände) auf Grund ihrer ökonomischen Vernetzung als „Elemente eines tiefen Staates“ begriffen werden.

Um den „tiefen Staat“, der innerhalb von 30 Jahren (1989 - 2019) im Sudan geschaffen wurde, durch Bürgerbewegungen und demokratische Prozesse zu kontrollieren, müssen die sozialen, organisatorischen und ökonomischen Verflechtungen zwischen diesen Machtpfeilern erkannt und beeinflusst werden. Die vorliegenden Untersuchungen zum „tiefen Staat“ im Sudan kommen von zivilgesellschaftlichen sudanesischen Nichtregierungsorganisationen und von internationalen Organisationen. Die Studien zeigen, dass es nur teilweise gelungen ist, diese Verflechtungen im vergangenen Jahr seit dem Sturz des Bashir-Regimes aufzubrechen. Im Vortrag wurden die Verflechtungen im „tiefen Staat“ an Beispielen dargestellt und die Perspektiven einer „Demokratisierung von unten“ wurden erläutert. Strategische Sektoren, wie die Telekommunikation, die Goldgewinnung und andere Bergbauaktivitäten, die Pharma- und Chemieindustrie, die Bauwirtschaft, und die Rüstungsindustrie, werden nach wie vor von Militärs, Milizen, Geheimdienstoffizieren, Politikern der National Congress Party, und von der Familie von al-Bashir kontrolliert. Kapitalgruppen, die im Rahmen der Privatisierungspolitik des Bashir-Regimes entstanden sind, geben den Mantel für diese Verflechtungen.

Gezeigt wurde im Vortrag auch, dass die Reformen im Sudan nach wie vor durch internationale Sanktionen, durch mangelnde finanzielle und logistische Unterstützung von Seiten westlicher Länder, und durch regionale Krisenfaktoren behindert werden. Interne Faktoren dominieren aber unter all den Hemmnissen für einen Systemwechsel. Ansatzpunkte für Reformen ergeben sich auf vielen Ebenen, doch zeigen die Erfahrungen seit der Unabhängigkeit im Jahre 1956, dass die Demokratiebewegungen im Sudan schwach blieben und demokratisch gewählte Regierungen immer nur von kurzer Dauer waren. Professor Karl Wohlmuth arbeitet derzeit an einer Studie, die externe und interne Krisenfaktoren in ihrem Zusammenwirken bei der Blockierung von Reformen seit der Unabhängigkeit des Sudan analysiert. Grundlage sind die Studien, die seit 1978 in Bremen über den Sudan angefertigt wurden. Besondere Aufmerksamkeit wird dem „tiefen Staat“ im Sudan in der Periode seit 1989 gewidmet werden.

Quelle: Salzburger Nachrichten, 9. April 2020 (Vor allem die Frauen trugen die Revolution im Sudan).

Professor Karl Wohlmuth hat in mehreren Arbeiten die Wirtschaftsdoktrinen des Bashir-Regimes untersucht und aufgezeigt, dass praktisch alle Maßnahmen der Bashir-Regierung seit 1989 dem Ziel untergeordnet wurden, die Ressourcen des Landes (Öl, Gold, Wasser, Land) und die öffentlichen, privatisierten und privaten Unternehmen der National Congress Party (NCP) nutzbar zu machen. Diesem Ziel wurden die Privatisierungspolitik, die Handels- und Technologiepolitik, die Industrie- und Wettbewerbspolitik, aber auch die Infrastruktur- und Landwirtschaftspolitik untergeordnet. Auch der vom Regime initiierte gelenkte Föderalismus wurde in den Dienst dieser Politik gestellt. Die Verflechtungen von Militär, Milizen, Sicherheitsapparat und Wirtschaft wurden auf allen Ebenen vertieft, bis hin zur Stärkung der Military Industry Corporation (MIC); die Instrumentalisierung von Konflikten im Sudan und mit Nachbarländern wurde wichtiger Teil dieser Politik. In der Diskussion nach dem Vortrag wurde immer wieder die Frage artikuliert, ob denn im Sudan Potentiale für erfolgreiche Bürger- und Demokratiebewegungen gesehen werden können (vgl. zur Thematik des Vortrages die Studien, die im Rahmen der Sudanforschungsgruppe/Sudan Economy Research Group/SERG angefertigt wurden; die Nummer 38 der SERG Discussion Papers gibt einen Überblick über diese Veröffentlichungen in: „Sudan Studies 1979 - 2011 in Bremen“, January 2011; Zugang mit dem Download:

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Sudan Expert Consultation on Development, Conflict and Peace at the Foreign Office in Berlin - Professor Karl Wohlmuth speaks about “International and regional economics and politics impacting on conflict and stability in the Sudan”

To prepare for the impacts of the escalating political and economic crisis in Sudan, the Foreign Office in Berlin has invited key international researchers on Sudan, representatives from German and UK ministries, representatives from thinktanks, and representatives from international NGOs to discuss under Chatham House rules about ways to address the Current Dynamics in Sudan, the Future of the International and Regional Interventions in Darfur, and the Regional Dynamics of Sudan. Professor Karl Wohlmuth gave a presentation on Sudan’s economic problems and perspectives, highlighting the internal economic problems and the cross-border issues which are affecting the development of the country (see the Presentation on Sudan by Karl Wohlmuth). Main emphasis in the presentation was on the need to revise the national economic policy of Sudan towards stability, innovation and diversification and towards a more balanced and mutually beneficial cooperation with the seven neighbouring countries, especially so the South Sudan

Professor Wohlmuth referred to the challenges and opportunities of economic and political cooperation programmes of Sudan with South Sudan which would yield high returns for the people and the economy of both countries – because of the high interdependence of the countries on oil production and oil transport issues, the economic role of the states (provinces) along the international border of Sudan and South Sudan, and the necessity to end conflicts in Sudan and in South Sudan through negotiated peace and development programmes. The end of the regime of Omar al-Bashir in Sudan may now provide a window of opportunity to start a “development-friendly” cooperation between the governments in Khartoum and Juba, and to build an alliance for peace and development along the international border between regions in Sudan and South Sudan.

Professor Karl Wohlmuth also presented his blueprint for an economic reform programme for Sudan and South Sudan as based on publications in the SERG Discussion Papers (see the links: and Recently, Volume 20 (for 2018) of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook has brought interesting articles towards a strategy on Sudan’s science, technology and innovation (STI) policies, and on Sudan’s industry and agriculture policies. This part of the Yearbook on Sudan (Unit 2) builds a frame for a strategic reorientation of the Sudanese economy towards structural transformation, economic revitalization and diversification (see on this volume the links:, and:, and:

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African Development Perspectives Yearbook: Volume 20 on “Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Policies For Inclusive Growth In Africa – General Issues And Country Cases” just published

In volume 20 of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook with the title “Science, Technology and Innovation Policies for Inclusive Growth in Africa - General Issues and Country Cases” major strategic and policy issues are analysed. The guiding issue is how to make Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Policies relevant for inclusive growth strategies in Africa so that socio-economic transformation strategies will take off. Although STI polices are considered as indispensable for sustainable growth in Africa, the steps towards such policies and strategies are not yet streamlined enough. Therefore, it is necessary to learn from the successful cases of STI development in Africa and in other emerging countries.

African Development Perspectives Yearbook 2018:
On Science, Technology And Innovation Policies For Inclusive Growth In Africa

In this volume a new approach is envisaged. Based on Africa’s deep-routed structural problems, the STI policies are related to Africa’s economic transformation agenda. In a first part of Volume 20 the general issues of introducing effective STI policies are presented, based on visions, strategic plans and the requirements of functioning national innovation systems. In a second part, country case studies highlight the new approach. Specific case studies, such as for Sudan and Nigeria, are presented, as these two countries have a long history of STI development. Strategies and policies for more coherent STI policies are presented (see the Cover of volume 20: PDF 91042-4 Alabi).

Complementary to this volume is Volume 21 with the title “Science, Technology and Innovation Policies for Inclusive Growth in Africa - Human Skills Development and Country Cases”. In the first part of Volume 21 the role of human skills development for capacity building in STI systems is discussed. This is based on examples from Cameroon, Nigeria and Mauritania. In the second part the national innovation systems and STI policies of North African countries (Egypt and Tunisia) are evaluated, to assess how they can be directed towards economic transformation and inclusive growth.

With Volume 21 the African Development Perspectives Yearbook project is approaching 30 years of activity as the first volume was published in 1989 under the title “Human Dimensions of Adjustment”. In these 30 years the African Development Perspectives Yearbook has become the major annual publication in English language on Africa in Germany. Guiding principle is the inclusion of authors and editors from Africa, the publication of essays which are also readable by media people, development actors and policymakers, and the presentation of successful policies, projects and programmes which highlight that Africa can succeed in regard of its ambitions and that it can rise in growth and development.

The Research Group on African Development Perspectives has just released the International Call for Papers for Volume 22 (2020) and invites Abstracts and nominations for the position of Guest Editors (see International Call for Papers Volume 22, for the year 2020).

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International Call for Papers for: Volume 22 of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook on “Sustainable Development Goal 9 (Infrastructure, Industrialization, Innovation) and African Development – Challenges and Opportunities”

Invited are contributions for Volume 22 (2020) of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook with the title “Sustainable Development Goal 9 (Infrastructure, Industrialization, Innovation) and African Development – Challenges and Opportunities”. See the International Call for Papers for Volume 22 (for the calendar year 2020). The contributions should be evidence-based and policy-oriented. High academic standards are requested and will be checked by referees. Non-technical papers with deep analysis, which are readable by practitioners in development cooperation and by media people, have a high priority in the selection process. The concept of the contribution and the methodological framework of analysis should be outlined in the Abstract which is submitted to the Editors, Professor Karl Wohlmuth (Bremen) and Professor Tobias Knedlik (Fulda).

Source: United Nations
Sustainable Development Goal Nine (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure) and African Development

Upon acceptance of the paper, the Contributors will receive Editorial Guidelines and a Template. Accepted papers will be grouped into Thematic Units, and the respective Unit Editors will contact the contributors quite regularly during the process of finalization of the paper to discuss the various drafts. The African Development Perspectives Yearbook is published since 1989 (see the link to the website of the Yearbook project: The volumes 20 and 21 (for the years 2018 and 2019) were on the theme “Science, Technology and Innovation Policies for Inclusive Growth in Africa”. In 2019, the Research Group celebrates the event of 30 years of publishing the African Development Perspectives Yearbook. Each of the volumes 20 and 21 had three Thematic Units. Volume 22 will be related to the year 2020; in case of many high-quality submissions a Volume 23 for the year 2021 can be added. Guest Editors for various Thematic Units are also invited to apply. Editors of Thematic Units are also becoming automatically the status of Volume Editors. Guest Editors are responsible for a Thematic Unit with 3 – 5 contributions and an Introduction. For specific themes see the Main Issues proposed by the Editors for Volume 22 as presented in the International Call for Papers Volume 22 (2020). These proposals for themes are only examples. The Editors are open to further suggestions in the context of SDG 9..

The theme for volume 22 on “Sustainable Development Goal 9 (Infrastructure, Industrialization, Innovation) and African Development – Challenges and Opportunities” is related to the importance of Goal Nine in the context of the SDG Agenda 2030. SDG 9 is comprehensive and is focussing on “Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation”. The targets and indicators related to Sustainable Development Goal Nine focus on:

  1. a) developing quality, reliable, sustainable and resilient infrastructure;
    b) promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialization and raising significantly industry’s share of employment;
    c) increasing the access of small-scale industrial and other enterprises to financial services, and facilitating their integration into value chains and markets;
    d) upgrading infrastructure and retrofitting industries to make them sustainable in terms of resource-use efficiency and adoption of clean and environmentally sound technologies; and
    e) enhancing scientific research, upgrading the technological capabilities of industrial sectors, and encouraging innovation.

Focus in SDG 9 is also on facilitating sustainable and resilient infrastructural development, on supporting domestic technology development, research and innovation, and on increasing access to information and communication technologies.

The contributions will add to the knowledge about the role of SDG 9 for sustainable development and inclusive growth in Africa. Understanding the links to the other 16 SDGs of the Agenda 2030 is of great importance when drafting contributions for volume 22 of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook. The contributors should consider the links to, the spillovers from and the interactions with the other SDGs.

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A new research and strategy paper on “Sudan in the 21st Century: Seeking Pathways Forward” was published as the number 43 in the SUDAN ECONOMY RESEARCH GROUP (SERG) DISCUSSION PAPERS series at the University of Bremen (see the link to the SERG series: Author is  Dr. Mohamed al Murtada Mustafa, Former Undersecretary of Labour, Ministry of Labour, Sudan and Former Director of ILO Offices in Harare and Cairo. The paper argues that for a successful reconstruction of the Sudanese economy five pillars are needed: education, entrepreneurship, agriculture, industry and management. These five pillars represent the main sectors and functional areas which must interact for inclusive growth to occur. Interaction depends on institutional reform and on a developmental role of the civil service. The separation of South Sudan in 2011 has fundamentally changed the situation of Sudan, and it is no longer possible to pursue uncoordinated, short-term and small-scale policy changes. Much more is needed – long-term structural strategies and deep policy changes must be implemented in Sudan. Fundamental reforms are proposed in the study and policy recommendations are presented for these five pillars.

Source: Dr. Mohamed al Murtada Mustafa, Khartoum, Sudan
The Strategic Pillars for Sudan’s Development

The author emphasizes also the fact that the Sudanese government has seen a great number of advisory and consultancy reports on economic strategies since 1956 when the country became independent. All these proposals and suggestions from donors, think tanks and international organisations were well-minded and valuable but were repetitive in content and never were implemented (neither by democratic governments nor by military regimes). Therefore, a new approach is needed by focussing on a developmental civil service and a new leadership for the country which is based on a broader group of policy actors – coming from all regions of the Sudan, from representative political circles and from significant parts of the civil society.  Such an approach is formulated in the new SERG study. Professor Karl Wohlmuth from the University of Bremen has peer-reviewed and re-edited the paper by Dr. Murtada. It will also be circulated in Arabic language by the author.

The new volume of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook – number 20 for the year 2018 – has also a strong strategic focus on Sudan; emphasis is on the strengthening of the National Innovation System (NIS) and the Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Policies of Sudan (issue one), on developing new policies to support innovative industrial enterprises (issue two), on attracting foreign enterprises and stimulating the technology transfer to domestic firms (issue three), and on increasing the yield in agriculture through R&D and appropriate dissemination of research results to the farming sector (issue four). Over the years the African Development Perspectives Yearbook has published regularly on Sudan and South Sudan and so has participated actively to the discussion on new development strategies for these countries (see the link to the Yearbook editions: The research on Sudan by the SERG is summarized in the report on Sudan Studies in Bremen (see the link to number 38 on “Sudan Studies in Bremen 1979-2011”: Most of the papers published by  the SERG have a focus on strategies and policies to advance structural change in Sudan (and in South Sudan).

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Sudan: From an oil-based economy to an agriculture-based and science-based economy?

Prominent Sudanese scientists from universities and research institutions in Sudan and at UNESCO Cairo and Professor Karl Wohlmuth from the University of Bremen are launching a new strategy for a transition of Sudan from an oil-based development path towards an agriculture-based and science-based development model. This is a part (Unit 2) of the forthcoming Volume 20 of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook on “Science, Technology and Innovation Policies for Inclusive Growth in Africa. General Issues and Country Cases”. Professor Dr. Samia Satti Osman Mohamed Nour and Professor Karl Wohlmuth contributed an Introductory Essay to the theme under the title: “Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Policies for Sudan’s Economic Revitalization - An Introduction”. The Unit 2 in Volume 20 of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook with the title: “Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Policies for Sudan’s Economic Revitalization”  has four additional essays. Professor Samia Satti Nour presents an analysis of the national innovation system (NIS) of Sudan, by focusing on three subsystems, the education institutions subsystem, the science & technology institutions subsystem, and the ICT institutions subsystem; the weaknesses of the NIS are highlighted and an agenda for action is proposed. She also presents in a second essay an analysis about innovative industrial firms in Sudan, focussing on two internationally active Sudanese conglomerates in the food industry, on two large-sized companies (belonging to the chemical and food industries) and on two medium-sized companies (belonging to the metal and textile industries). The purpose is to assess how innovative these companies really are and how they could improve their innovation performance. It is also measured by a new analytical approach how far away these companies are from the innovation frontier, and it is analysed what the government and the private sector can do to stimulate STI in the Sudanese companies.

Migdam E. Abdelgani, from the National Centre for Research (NCR), Environment, Natural Resources and Desertification Research Institute (ENDRI), and Nazar Mohamed Hassan, from the UNESCO Cairo Office, provide an essay on the impact of agricultural research on the agriculture yields in Sudan. ENDRI has recently launched the Environment and Natural Resources International Journal (ENRIJ), with volume 1 and number 1 published in 2016 (link:; ENDRI is a key research institution in Sudan. This essay is analysing the factors which are impeding yield increases in Sudan, but this essay is also using the example of the national crops campaigns in Egypt (such as for rice production increases) as a model of large-scale testing of agricultural research results in the field.

Finally, the Unit 2 on Sudan in Volume 20 presents an analysis by Mohammed Elhaj Mustafa Ali from the University of Kassala and the Sudan International University (SIU) about knowledge spillovers from foreign investors in Sudan to local companies. Although the oil-based growth in Sudan has attracted mainly investment for the oil sector, foreign investment was also incoming to supply the growing Sudanese consumption market and to invest in agriculture and services sectors of Sudan. The essay on knowledge spillovers from foreign direct investors to domestic firms in Sudan gives also an agenda of how to stimulate technology transfers from foreign firms to domestic firms.

In the Introductory Essay by Professor Samia Satti Nour and by Professor Karl Wohlmuth also an Agenda for Reforms aimed at Economic Revitalization through STI Development is presented. The Strategy proposed has short-term to medium-term to long-term implications for reforming institutions and policies. Professor Samia Satti Nour is a prominent researcher on STI development. She recently has obtained a full professorship at Khartoum University (see the PDFs of the Inaugural Lecture/ICT Development in Sudan and the Inaugural Lecture/Academic Profile of and Awards to Professor Samia Satti Nour, as well as the PDF on the Abstract in English and in Arabic of her Springer Book ICT in Sudan). Professor Wohlmuth was invited to attend the inaugural meeting at the University of Khartoum. Professor Samia Satti Nour is adviser to the African Development Perspectives Yearbook programme for Volume 20 and Co-editor of Volume 20. Recently she has presented a Policy Note on the multiple Digital Divides in Africa for The Nordic Africa Institute (see the PDF: NAI Policy Note).

Dr. Hassan Mohamed Nazar is also Co-editor of the Volume 20 of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook. He is Senior Science and Technology Specialist for the Arab States in UNESCO’s Cairo Office since 2009. He has massively contributed to the Introductory Unit 1 for Volume 20 (together with Professor Karl Wohlmuth), and he has participated as a speaker at the Launch Event for volumes 18 and 19 of the Yearbook in Kigali, Rwanda in October 2016 at the invitation of UNECA. In the Unit 2 on Sudan for Volume 20 he contributed with an essay on the role of agricultural research for increasing agricultural yields in Sudan, an essay which was written in cooperation with Migdam E. Abdelgani.  Dr. Hassan Mohamed Nazar has also established the Sudan Knowledge (SK) Platform  to make the intellectual capacities of the Sudanese researchers and other experts and policymakers known more widely and to allow for a broader use of these capacities for development. The SK Platform is a strong network of researchers, policy makers, educators, consultants and employers from all parts of the world to exchange knowledge and experience and to discuss current developments and challenges. This Directory of Capacities of the Sudanese can be used to help find, support and collaborate with experts from the SK network. The Sudan Knowledge Network aims also to bring together researchers and experts from the Diaspora (see the various links:, and:, and:

Migdam E. Abdelgani, from the National Centre for Research (NCR), is known for his study (in cooperation with other Sudanese researchers) about “Potential Production and Application of Biofertilizers in Sudan”, published in the Pakistan Journal of Nutrition 9 (9), pp. 926-934, 2010 (link: These ideas are relevant for an agricultural transformation strategy which is part of the economic revitalization programme for Sudan.

Dr. Mohamed Elhaj Mustafa Ali, as the author on the essay about knowledge spillovers from foreign investors to domestic firms in Sudan, is lecturer at the University of Kassala and at the Sudan International University (link: He is expert on foreign direct investment in Sudan and has recently published a Policy Brief on the relevant issues of foreign investment in Sudan in Bremen at the SERG/IWIM platforms (see the PDF: Mustafa Ali -Policy Brief). He has also published a Policy Brief for the Economic Research Forum (ERF) in Cairo on “Measures to Protect Poor Sudanese Households from the Risks of Catastrophic Health Expenditures” (see the PDF: PB28-Mustafa Ali).

There are intentions to continue to cooperate in the future on the most important issues of STI development for Sudan. The Sudan Economy Research Group (SERG) Discussion Paper Series is still open for researchers from Sudan to publish on these most important issues (see the links to the series:, and:

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A New Development Strategy for Sudan: “Sudan in the 21st Century - Seeking Pathways Forward”

The outline of a new development strategy for Sudan was prepared by Dr. Mohamed al Murtada Mustafa. Dr. Murtada was the first permanent Undersecretary for Labour in the Sudan, the Director of the African Regional Labour Administration Centre (ARLAC) for the English-speaking African countries in Harare, Zimbabwe, and then the Director of the International Labour Office in Egypt before retiring to academic and philanthropic endeavours in Khartoum. He was educated at Addis Ababa University, Harvard University, the University of Wisconsin, Northeastern University, and the International Institute for Labour Studies in Geneva. Dr. Murtada was an early collaborator of the Sudan Economy Research Group (SERG) in Bremen. He has supported the research work on Sudan in Bremen tremendously. Now he pays again tribute to his country by presenting to key policymakers the contours of a new development strategy for Sudan which is based on decades of experience as a civil service official and member of the Government of Sudan and as an employee and head of offices of the  ILO with working times in Khartoum, Geneva, Harare, and Cairo. Dr. Murtada has published in IWIM publication series, such as in the SERG Discussion Paper Series, but also in the IWIM Book Series (see the link to the IWIM Homepage, Publications:

The frame and the basic ideas for a new development strategy for Sudan are summarised below in the words of Dr.  Murtada (taken from the Strategy Paper, which will be published as the number 43 in the SERG Discussion Paper Series, with the links: and

The earliest studies by the International Labour Office (ILO) in conjunction with the Sudanese Government (Ministry of Labour) and the University of Bremen (SERG) in 1976 up to today repeat almost the same recommendations to enhance and improve the Sudanese economy. The recommendations were, just to mention some key ones: Improve infrastructure; develop industry; link agriculture to manufacturing; increase vocational and technical training; reform taxes to encourage industry and exports; support small industries, the vulnerable people, and remote regions; institute rule of law; ensure contract enforcement and transparency to encourage foreign investment;  and provide for sustainable economic policies via effective institutions and a responsible macroeconomic policy formation. Whether from lack of political will, leadership, economic means, or external financial investment, the neglect of all these recommendations along with conflict, civil war and international sanctions has continued to disintegrate the development options in the Sudan. After decades of conflict and civil war, the government of Sudan now faces the burden of reconstructing the country, the society and its economy, of repatriating internally displaced persons (IDPs) and providing training and jobs for them in urban and rural areas, also to replace redundant cattle-herding livelihoods and to initiate agricultural projects for food security in depleted environments. While the discovery of oil brought revenue before the great country of the Sudan split into two republics, the oil money was not properly used to expand and to develop the economy. The agricultural sector, the industrial sector, the civil service, and the education sector deteriorated from the satisfactory state they were left in by the British at independence. Although the country since independence has presented a lot of plans and programmes, implementation was always weak or non-existent.

This strategy paper by Dr. Murtada outlines changes which are necessary to get the economy back on track in five major sectors stemming from and supporting institutional revisions: education, entrepreneurship, agriculture, industry, and management. While the short-term and the long-term solutions are outlined, the Sudanese people themselves need to pull together, to stop competing for power and land, to produce and support fresh leaders, and to begin to consider the long-term conditions of the country for the good of its own people. The Strategy Paper is structured as follows: After the Introduction (section 1) the section 2 is on Building Capacity, Growth, and Employment through Education, with Recommendations for Education. The section 3 is on Combatting Unemployment, Promoting Growth through Entrepreneurship, with Recommendations for Entrepreneurship. Section. Section 4 is on Improving Growth and Employment through Agriculture, with Recommendations for Agriculture. The section 5 is on. Growth and Employment through Industry, with Recommendations for Industry. The section 6 is on Management, by Improving Civil Service, People, Goods, and Resources, with Recommendations for Management. Section 7  is on. Results of Past Efforts and Lessons Learned. The Section 8 is Towards a New Strategy. And the final section 9 is on Conclusions, followed by References on the history of policymaking in Sudan.             

Professor Karl Wohlmuth from the University of Bremen has given advice to the author during the process of finalizing the Strategy Paper and has peer-reviewed the paper. The research on Sudan and South Sudan is continuing at the University of Bremen (see the links to the websites: and:

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