In the first more than six months of 2012 ,the Khartoum State have approved 544 industrial investments projects and 279 agricultural investments projects compared with 445 and 115 consecutively, the Media was informed in an interview with the Alahram Alyam (21 July 2012) by the State Investment Commissioner Osama Faisal .
This means that from 2011 to date the Khartoum State has approved 999 industrial projects and 394 agricultural projects, if this becomes a reality on the ground it can be a large step in the development of the State and in reducing unemployment by providing many job opportunities.
But, we have some remarks about this statement; first it is not clear why the reporter did not ask the Commissioner about the total investment vale of these projects. The second remarks concerns the monitoring and follow up of implementation, for example what are the present stage of implementation of the last year approved projects (445 +115).
There have been many experiences in the past years of investments projects approved, concessions and privileges granted and in the end it comes to the imports equipments and materials free of tax, fees and customs to be sold in the market and all lose, the Government and the people.
We want the Khartoum State Investment Commission to be very transparent and publish a full list of all the approved projects and let the Media and the public follow up whether this are real investments or just other white elephants . This does not need a lot of effort, the Commission can easily establish a web page in which all approved projects and locations are posted and up-dated on daily or weekly or even monthly bases. This way the Media and the public can assist the Commissioner in the follow-up and mentoring process.
There is no dispute that genuine private investments are the major road to economic and social development but this needs strict implementation of the investment regulations and guidelines to achieve the utmost benefits from them both for the real investors and the national economy. This is what the Asian tigers and Malaysia have done and we can do it too if we have the political will to do so, in addition to an effective and transparent investment administration that coordinates with the different other concerned government institutions in the issues of concern to investors.
What the Commission should be commanded on is that this large number of projects have focused on the two most important sectors, industry and agricultural which to some extend reverse the dominant trends of the last more than a decade of the focus on services and buildings and so there success is vital for a sustainable economic and social development, just what is needed is the follow up that insure that they are on truck and resolve any obstacles that may hinder them from achieving their targets.
We close by saying that the Commissioner have raised in the interview, the important issue of youth participation and said that the Investment law allows youth to forum partnerships with foreign investors. In our view this is a step that should find the utmost support because in most experiences youth were the engines of genuine sustainable development.