VENTURES AFRICA – Sudan launched a major dam project on Christmas Day as it wanted to enhance power supply and agricultural irrigation.
Officials believe there is all likelihood the plan will nurture farmland exports and entice more Gulf investment to the African country as it deals with an economic crisis.
Sudan is faced with the loss of most of its oil reserves after South Sudan’s secession last year. It plans to increase exports of agricultural goods, such as wheat, fruits, oil seeds and gum arabic.
Oil is the primary source of income for the country’s budget as well as dollars needed to fund imports.
Officials told Reuters the dam’s power supply would now rise by 50 percent to 1.800 megawatts, feeding power to several Sudanese states – a relief for ordinary people in a country with frequent outages, even in the capital Khartoum.
The dam will also boost power supply at Sudan’s second largest dam called Merowe north of Khartoum, as it benefits from higher Nile water levels.
According to Industry Minister Abdul-Wahab Mohammed Osman, the expanded Roseiris dam will also provide irrigation for 2 million feddans (acres or hectares) of new farmland in several states which will boost agricultural production.