Doing Business in Sudan May 2021​

SMEs are the engine that drives economies and the stepping stone to industrialization for developing economies such as Sudan. Notably SMEs play a significant role in reducing poverty, boosting countries’ GDP and providing employment for the population. While SMEs are important for economic development, the challenges they continue to face within the Sudanese ecosystem has hindered long term survival. 


It has been recognized that the growth of SMEs in Sudan requires adequate supply of financial capital. However, lack of finance has been an impending threat to such growth. The inability to access finances remains a major hindrance to SMEs survival and growth. Access to finance allows small businesses to undertake productive investments and contribute to the development of the national economy. In addition, without external finance, small and medium enterprises will probably not be able to compete in an international market, to expand the businesses and strike linkages of business with large firms.

Attracting investments in Sudan can elevate  many challenges that SMEs face, in the meantime we at SAVANNAH are working  to upskill Sudanese entrepreneurs to ensure that they are ready to handle the incoming capital and abundant opportunities.


The Paris Conference that took place on May 17th, aimed to encourage public and private international investments in Sudan after its removal from the US list of state sponsors of terrorism (SST) ushering Sudan back in to the global arena. 


To further attract investment into Sudan and highlight the importance of SMEs in Sudan’s economy, The European Chamber of Commerce in Sudan hosted a side event to the conference on May 18th  at Station F, the largest startup campus in the world. The event was for SMEs from Sudan and Europe to network and highlight the state of play in the SME sector and business ecosystem in Sudan.  Speakers at the event included: 


  • Ahmed Dirdiri, founding partner of DirNour & Co. Law Firm, who spoke on the legal perspective of doing business in Sudan. 
  • Tarig Elsayed, CEO of Althagip Dry Stores, spoke on how we can improve agricultural commodities value through reducing post-harvest losses. 
  • Yousif Yahya, Founder and Managing Director of Savannah, provided an update on the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Sudan and spoke on the growth and potential that exists within the ecosystem as well as the challenges that startups face in Sudan. 


May Journal

  1. In this episode of “The Story Behind Knowledge Sharing”  we sat down with Zainab Osman Mahjoub, the founder of Studio Urban, a multidisciplinary research studio based in Khartoum that focuses on urban studies, urban spaces, their history, and dynamics, and finally how all this affects the experiences of individuals.

Learn more about the tools Studio Urban uses to reflect and communicate diverse information and knowledge to the largest audience in this episode!


To see the interview check out our Facebook page and Youtube channel 


  1. The Spanish Embassy in Khartoum, with the Spanish Cooperation Agency, collaborated for a creative writing workshop “The Road to the World Theatre”, hosted with SAVANNAH and led by Marco Magoa. Marco is an actor, director, playwright and producer with extensive international experience. The workshop targets both Sudanese writers and Spanish language translators. In the workshop each artist created their own piece that was then translated to Spanish.  Some of the pieces will be included in the theatrical performance “The Same Pain” by Marco Magoa, to  be held across various cities in Morocco this upcoming fall.

Marco Magoa is an actor, director, playwright and producer with extensive international experience. He studied acting at the Institute of Dramatic and Performing Arts in Gijón. In 2017, the Arab-Spanish Cultural Forum awarded him the Gold Medal in honor of his career.

Suggestion of the Month 

This month we highly recommend the “Musing of a Wannabe African VC (MWAVC)” newsletter by Ato Bentsi Enchill on finance, investing, venture capital and more. Ato Bentsi-Enchill is a creative thinker and entrepreneur. He has extensive experience in building companies that solve real world problems. He is a Partner at Black Adam Africa, a boutique private equity and transactional advisory firm, providing Small and Growing Businesses (SGBs) in Africa access to financing through its investor network.

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