Governance and Social Action in Sudan

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Meeting of African Junior Researchers in Hanover at Herrenhausen Palace, VolkswagenStiftung

Meeting of African Junior Researchers in Hanover at Herrenhausen Palace, VolkswagenStiftung

A great event for the postdoctoral fellows who are supported by the VolkswagenStiftung.  180 junior researchers, representatives from African Universities and African Research Organizations and experts on African development met at the rebuilt Conference Center of the Herrenhausen Palace in Hanover. The VolkswagenStiftung started its Africa Initiative early in 2003 and so celebrated with this event in Hanover also 10 years of support for African researchers who work in cooperation with German research partners and their respective institutions. While in earlier years (2003 - 2008) research projects and fellowships were granted for research projects with graduate and doctoral students, since 2008 the VolkswagenStiftung is funding a programme for postdoctoral students.

At the Conference in Hanover the junior researchers presented their projects – in lectures, presentations and poster sessions. A broad spectrum of research issues was made visible. Research programmes and fellowships were financed for the subjects Natural Resources, Livelihood Management, Social Sciences, Humanities, Engineering Sciences, and Neglected Tropical Diseases. Among the African countries with a greater number of funded postdoctoral fellows were Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzani, South Africa, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Chad, Ghana, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Sudan and Burkina Faso.

Professor Karl Wohlmuth from the University of Bremen was invited as an expert on African Development. He was involved in a research project of the VolkswagenStiftung as director and cooperation partner for the project “Governance and Social Action in Sudan after the Comprehensive  Peace Agreement of January 9, 2005”, a project which started in 2005 and ended in 2012 (see Governance Project Link:


The Conference Participants in Front
of the Herrenhausen Palace, Hanover


See more information about the Meeting (Link VolkswagenStiftung:, about the Programme (Link
VolkswagenStiftung:, about the  Portraits of funded Researchers (Link
VolkswagenStiftung:, and about the Research Funding Procedures (Link VolkswagenStiftung:


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UNMISS in Juba and Professor Karl Wohlmuth from the University of Bremen agree to cooperate on assessing the developments in South Sudan:

Professor Karl Wohlmuth from the University of Bremen and UNMISS (United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan) have agreed to cooperate in assessing the situation with regard of peace, security and development in South Sudan. UNMISS has a mandate since 9 July 2011 to consolidate peace and security and to establish conditions for development (see the link to UNMISS: Professor Karl Wohlmuth and a representative from UNMISS have recently agreed in Bremen to exchange information and to assess the situation in South Sudan. Professor Wohlmuth works since 1978 on development in Sudan, researching on economic development and the political economy of Sudan. Since 2005 the professor researches on the implications of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) between the North and the South, and since 2011 he works about the modalities of a strategic cooperation between Sudan and South Sudan (see the link: Sudan Economy Research Group/SERG and the project Economic Policies in Sudan after the Referendum of 2011). Recently a documentary film by ARTE has shown the tremendous difficulties to establish the foundations for a viable state of South Sudan (see the link to the film by ARTE:, and see also the Documentary Film "South Sudan - Birth of a State"). Any progress will depend on a strategic cooperation between Sudan and South Sudan as the border region between the two countries is so important for peace, security, growth  and development in both countries.


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Macroeconomic Policy Formation in Sudan and South Sudan - The Need for a Strategic Economic Cooperation

This is the title of Unit Three for the forthcoming volume of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook with the title "Macroeconomic Policy Formation in Africa". The Editors of the Yearbook took the event of South Sudan's Independence on July 9, 2011 as an obligation to plan for a whole Unit on the Sudan and the South Sudan for the new volume of the Yearbook. As the separation of the South is of tremendous importance not only for the two countries Sudan and South Sudan but also for the whole continent of Africa, the Editors have invited leading researchers from the University of Khartoum, the University of Kassala (both in the North) and the University of Juba (in the South) to write on the macroeconomic policies and the macroeconomic policy formation processes of the two countries. Dr. Dirk Hansohm, Macroeconomic Advisory Services Nairobi, Kenya, currently working as a consultant in Khartoum, a former member and collaborator of the Sudan Economy Research Group (SERG) at the University of Bremen, also has contributed to the Unit Three. While the essay on the Sudan considers the macroeconomic consequences of the secession of the South, based on an analysis of the major economic problems and shocks of Sudan since the 1970s, the essay on the South Sudan concentrates on establishing fiscal planning and building fiscal management as cornerstones of macroeconomic stability. Macroeconomic aspects of the two countries are considered by all the authors with having a longer run view in mind (see the Synopsis of the new volume of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook). 

The Unit Three is also a contribution to the understanding of the economics of post-conflict countries in Africa. It came out from the two papers that despite of quite different endowments and initial conditions the two countries have to pursue similar economic policies so as to strengthen the weak economic policy institutions, to redirect production and exports towards diversification, to lay the foundations for macroeconomic stability and fiscal decentralization, and to establish basic social policy systems. As well the huge defense sector in both countries has to be scaled down because of the fiscal burden and the diversion of resources from productive activities, especially agriculture and manufacturing. The abundant natural resources in the two countries could be used more fully by appropriate strategies. New economic strategies and macroeconomic policies have to be based fully on a medium to long-term planning approach, and growth and employment diagnostics approaches are recommended to enhance local development. Professor Karl Wohlmuth introduced the Unit with an essay on New Economic Policies for Sudan and South Sudan and the Need for a Strategic Economic Cooperation. Five elements of a new macroeconomic policy framework were outlined for the two countries, and the contours of a Border States Development Programme (BSDP) were discussed. Such a programme should guide the  development of the now eleven states in the North and in the South along the international border between Sudan and South Sudan. This programme would allow it to develop the abundant natural resources in the area to the benefit of the people in both countries.


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25 Years of Sudan Conferences in Hermannsburg, Lower Saxony:

25 Years of Sudan Conferences in Hermannsburg, Lower Saxony:

The 25th Sudan /South Sudan Conference will be held October 31 - November 2, 2012. Leading personalities from Sudan and South Sudan will attend the conference to exchange views on the current situation and to discuss strategies to create conditions of lasting peace and to provide preconditions for economic development and mutually beneficial cooperation. 

Since 1987 every year an international Sudan Conference was held in Hermannsburg, organized by the Sudan Forum e. V. and the Sudan Focal Point Europa. The open exchange of views in Hermannsburg between Sudan Government representatives and SPLM representatives has since 1987 contributed to the process that ultimately led to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) of January 9, 2005. Now the new problems between Sudan and South Sudan have to be addressed – the  still open separation issues and the unsolved CPA issues. Although nine agreements between the two countries were signed on September 27, 2012 in Addis Ababa, major issues are still open. Also the implementation of the nine agreements has to get started.

This year the conference is sponsored by Brot für die Welt and by Misereor. Main topics of the Sudan/South Sudan Conference 2012 are the preconditions of lasting peace and the recognition of the rights of the people, the moves towards sound economic policies in the two countries and a strategic economic cooperation between Sudan and South Sudan, and the ways to overcome the conflicts in Abyei, Darfur, South Kordofan, Blue Nile, and in other areas of the two countries (Link to Programme).


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Sudan Governance Research Project 2005 - 2011:

After six years of research and training the Project "Governance and Social Action in Sudan after the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) of January 9, 2005" has ended. The interdisciplinary Research Project covering economics, political science, history and geography disciplines had two components, a research component and a training component.

In the Research Component the project partners (professors of the partner universities in Sudan, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya and Germany who were funded in their research programmes related to the project) and the students (PhD and Master students who were financed by the project) worked on specific issues of governance, reconstruction and development after more than two decades of civil war in Sudan. The purpose was to investigate into the conditions of reconstruction, development and governance reforms after the conclusion of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. This was done in order to follow up the actions and policies in Sudan in the transition period to the Referendum in South Sudan on Independence and then the Independence Declaration of South Sudan. Major issue was to derive lessons from the two peaceful periods of Sudan for future cooperation and development in Sudan - the period of 1972 - 1983 after the Addis Ababa Agreement and the transition period of 2005 – 2011 which started after the CPA of January 9, 2005. These were the only peaceful periods in the history of independent Sudan. Since the Independence Declaration of South Sudan on July 9, 2011 the hostilities between Sudan and South Sudan have intensified again (parallel to conflicts within the two countries).

In the Training Component the PhD and Master students participated in altogether 15 workshops in Sudan, South Sudan, Kenya, Ethiopia and in Bremen, Germany to discuss research topics, methodologies and draft papers and chapters. New research methodologies and research concepts related to governance, development and the reconstruction of institutions were presented. Major results of the workshop presentations and of PhD and Master researches were published in the IWIM Book Series as numbers 15 and 18 (Link: IWIM Book Series) and in the IWIM Report Series as number 40 (Link: IWIM White Series Papers). With the exception of the Report Series Number 40 all other books are sales publications. Other research results from the workshops were published with James Currey (Link: A further volume will be published on the results of the final workshops of the research project in Juba and Khartoum. Beside of the joint studies numerous publications were done by the Project Partners and by the Project Students on an individual basis. They will be listed in the Final Project Report.

The project was directed by Professor Karl Wohlmuth and by Dr. Elke Grawert, a former IWIM staff. The Project was funded generously by the Volkswagen Foundation with around €€ 800,000. The Project Coordinator over the six year period, Dr. Elke Grawert, is now preparing the Final Report on behalf of the Project Partners from Sudan, South Sudan, Kenya, Ethiopia and Germany.

Dr. Elke Grawert, now working as a Senior Expert at BICC in Bonn, is organizing the next International Sudan Studies Conference to be held at the Rheinisch-Westfälische Universität in Bonn which is planned for July 2012. Professor Wohlmuth continues with a new Research Project on "Economic Policies in Sudan after the Referendum of 2011" (Link: The purpose is to reflect on sustainable economic policies but also to investigate into new models of economic cooperation between Sudan and South Sudan.


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The “Governance and Social Action in Sudan after the Comprehensive Peace Agreement of January 9, 2005” Research Project

The key elements in this research are governance, on the one hand, social action, on the other, and both are being investigated in a multi-level perspective.

Governance relates to the institutions, organizations, networks and activities that are involved in governing society in the region under consideration (Sudan and some neighbouring countries). Most of the participants in this project apply governance in the sense that it includes activities and structures aiming to creating and delivering common goods and services for the broader society. The actors of governance include public and private organizations, and the institutions established in order to govern after the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) are negotiated between actors of governmental organizations, between private actors, and between actors from both sectors. Actors and organizations involved originate from all levels, ranging from local up to supranational.

A minority among the project participants investigates rule, which has to be distinguished from governance. They try to figure out which actors and interests are de facto involved in governing the Sudan and interfere in or even undermine "governance" in the above sense.

Social action denotes the activities of groups of society related to the CPA itself, the changes brought about by the CPA, and in response to developments that are indirectly linked to the end of the civil war. The project participants who examine social action in our research look also into conflictive issues and the varying ways societal groups have been dealing with conflicts since 2005, compared to the period before the CPA was concluded. Their studies refer to societal groups within Sudan as well as across the borders, mainly to Ethiopia and Kenya. Social action analyses comprise local, national and the sub-regional level.

On this basis, the project is split up sub-topics which can be aggregated to the following five main research fields:

  1. Political participation and decision-making processes after the CPA
  2. Return and repatriation of internally displaced people and refugees after the CPA
  3. Continuing conflicts after the CPA
  4. Investment, reconstruction and capacity building after the CPA
  5. Sub-regional and international relations after the CPA

Since some of the researchers are not present at this conference, their topics are briefly mentioned here. The PhD projects will be presented by the researchers after this introduction.



General Research Objectives

General research objectives of this project are to generate knowledge about:

  •  Social, political, cultural and economic processes in societies after the formal ending of civil war,

  •  Ways to sustain peace on the basis of implementing a formal peace agreement with economic, political and development-oriented dimensions

  •  Reasons and motives for renewed or ongoing conflict

  •  Approaches and possibilities to transform violent conflicts into non-violent negotiations within the framework of a formally negotiated peace agreement between major warring parties,

  •  Economic, social and political repercussions of ending a long-lasting civil war with regard to the sub-region.



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