Sudan was largely cut off from formal commerce with the outside world. Everything from agricultural equipment to pharmaceutical goods and medical technology became hard to procure. In 2008, Sudan’s national carrier, Sudan Airways, was grounded for failing safety tests because it could not access spare parts. With very little to export – apart from gum arabic, a binding agent used in soft drinks, which was exempted from the embargo thanks to the successful lobbying of large soft drinks manufacturers – the foundations of Sudan’s already weak economy began to tremble. Unable to make money, the government began to print it, and Sudan’s economy entered a spiral of inflation.
If that combination of Colin Hines’ “progressive protectionism” and Richard Murphy’s MMT were correct then Sudan should be gloriously wealthy right now.
Just so difficult to explain, isn’t it?