Home Blog Page 82

The Obamas Talk About First Project ‘American Factory’ Under Their Netflix Deal


Barack and Michelle Obama recently sat down with the filmmakers of “American Factory,” the Netflix documentary and first release under the couple’s Higher Ground Productions.

In May it was announced the Obamas signed a deal with Netflix to create “a diverse mix of content” under their company, which will be composed of both scripted and unscripted series, features, documentaries and docuseries.

Michelle and Barack Obama talked about the first project released under their Netflix partnership. (Photo: The Washington Post/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar are the makers of “American Factory,” which tells the story of a Chinese company reopening “a shuttered factory in Ohio, but a culture clash threatens to shatter an American dream.”

During their sit-down, Reichert and Bognar asked the former president and first lady why they chose their project for their production company out of all the others they could’ve selected.

“You let people tell their own story,” said Michelle Obama. “Those first scenes of those folks on the floor in their uniforms, that was my background. That was my father. And that was reflected in this film.”

“A good story is a good story,” said the former president in another part of the clip. “Whether that’s in a documentary like yours or if it’s a scripted story that helps people understand something they didn’t understand before, we want to see if we can give voice to that.”

The “Becoming” author also said a true story like “American Factory” allows people to immerse themselves in the plights of others, which is important.

“We want people to be able to get outside of themselves and experience and understand the lives of somebody else, which is what a good story does,” she stated.

Elsewhere in the little over three-minute chat, The Obamas were asked why they went into media production after leaving the White House. And they said storytelling is something they’ve been doing in one way or another since leaving their respective law careers.

“American Factory” is now available for streaming on Netflix, and you can see the Obama’s sit-down below.

‘Reminder of Pain and Suffering’: South African ‘Apartheid Flag’ Banned By Court After It’s Likened to Swastika


A South African court has banned gratuitously flying the apartheid-era national flag as a sign of “hate speech” and “harassment.”

Judge Phineas Mojapelo ruled Wednesday in South Africa’s Equality Court that the “apartheid flag” can only be displayed for academic, artistic or journalistic purposes, according to Aljazeera.

Mojapelo called any unwarranted display of the old flag “racist and discriminatory.”

“It demonstrates a clear intention to be hurtful, to be harmful and incite harm and it, in fact, promotes and propagates hatred against black people … it constitutes hate speech,” Mojapelo said.

Although those who fly the flag in unapproved ways won’t face arrest, they will be subject to community service and fines, Aljazeera reported of the court’s decision.

The Nelson Mandela Foundation, a nonprofit aimed at promoting freedom and equality, tweeted its celebration of the decision Wednesday.

“The Apartheid flag is gone,” the organization said in the tweet. “The Equality Court has today ruled that gratuitous displays of the old flag are legally hate speech! A win for democracy and all South Africans!”

The Foundation Trust petitioned the court to ban the 1928 flag after it was displayed in October 2017 when white South Africans were protesting against killing farmers.

The old flag has horizontal sections of orange, white and blue and features the British Union Jack to represent the country that colonized South Africa and the flags of former South African republics, the Transvaal and Orange Free State.

It was replaced the same year Mandela was inaugurated as the country’s first Black president on May 10, 1994, but it has, according to Bloomberg news, occasionally been displayed at rugby matches and other gatherings.

“Our nation needs an opportunity to heal from the wounds of the past,” the Nelson Mandela Foundation said in a media statement Wednesday. “To heal means to recognise what has happened, to not shy away from history, but to look at history and call it by its name.”

The flag’s critics argued it’s seen as a sign of white supremacy. Before the landmark court decision, they shared tweet after tweet with #morethanaflag to urge the court to ban the flag. Some compared it to the swastika.

“This is the apartheid flag, a reminder of pain and suffering to my fellow black people in South Africa,” Twitter user Anele Mlozana said in a tweet March 8, “the government wants to ban the flag, white people in South Africa are asking why should it be banned as it’s part of our history, to us, it’s painful to see as the swastika.”

Help Create a Thriving Health Center for Villagers in Tanzania


Occasionally when someone sends a donation to help the poor in our missions, he or she will include a small note with their check. The notes are usually handwritten . . . asking if we will pray for someone in their family — perhaps a sick relative or a friend in need. We pass these notes along to the Missionaries living here — many who are retired — so that they can include these intentions in their prayers and Masses. Often, though, someone will write, “I know it’s not much, but I hope my small gift helps in some way.” That’s when I wish I could speak to that person directly and share the words of Helen Keller — a woman born blind yet gifted with incredible insight. I’ve shared one of herinsights at the top of my letter.

As I have shared with you before, the kindness you extend to our Missionaries and those we serve throughout Africa is what makes our work possible! Your gift, whatever the amount, gives hope to those in need. That is why I am writing to you today.

Not long ago, I received a letter from Sr. Eliza Mwilafi — a Missionary Sister working in Migoli — a village in the Iringa region of Tanzania in East Africa. Migoli is in an extremely remote area of Tanzania. Because of the isolated location, many of the local villagers do not have access to health care. That in itself is a cause of concern. But considering that Tanzania has an emergency health crisis, that makes the need for healthcare even greater.

Tanzania has the third largest population at risk of malaria in Africa. Over 90% of the men, women and children in Tanzania live in areas where malaria is present. This year, between 10 and 12 million people in Tanzania will contract malaria. Additionally, more than 80,000 will die from the disease — most of them children. Sr. Eliza is seeing the crisis first hand. In her letter, she describes where the needs are greatest.

“The majority of people who are living at Migoli village are fishermen who depend on those activities to afford their daily life,” Sr. Eliza writes. “There are also groups of Maasai who raise cattle. In addition, there is an orphanage here and a primary and secondary school. In total, thousands of people rely on the services of our Health Center because the Regional Hospital is too far away for them.”


“The large number of people needing health services creates some substantial challenges for us at the Health Center. We lack equipment and supplies for pregnant women and young mothers with children. We do not have enough medicine for babies and the elderly. There are also a number of people in the area who are living with HIV/AIDS. We do not have enough medicine or medical supplies for them as well. There is so much that we need! I am hoping that you can help us.”

Along with her letter, Sr. Eliza included a list of some of the medicines needed at the Health Center: antibiotics, pain medication, anti-inflammatory drugs, and antivirals. Those who are suffering need our help!

In your own community, I am sure that there are those who could use your help as well. You might consider serving as a volunteer at a community clinic. Perhaps you could volunteer to serve meals at a local homeless shelter. Suffering people need our help.

I am also hoping that you will send a donation to help provide medicine, medical equipment and supplies to Sr. Eliza’s mission in Tanzania as well as to support other projects of the Missionaries of Africa throughout East Africa. While our hope is to raise at least $42,000 for this and other missions, please know that any gift you send — whatever the amount — will help us continue our work among the poor and those in need. For whatever you can give, thank you!

Your Missionary Friend,

Denis P. Pringle
Director of Development

Video: Royce White Rips LeBron James, Says NBA Is Blackballing Carmelo Anthony


Former NBA forward Royce White said he believes Carmelo Anthony is being “blackballed” and criticized LeBron James for not pushing the Los Angeles Lakers to sign his longtime friend.

Fanatics View interviewed White in Dallas about Melo while he was in town playing for the Enemies in the BIG3 basketball league Saturday (contains profanity NSFW):

Anthony has remained a free agent since being waived in February by the Chicago Bulls, who’d acquired him in a trade with the Houston Rockets.

In early August, the 10-time All-Star selection told ESPN’s Stephen A. Smithon First Take that Rockets general manager Daryl Morey told him he was no longer needed, which forced Anthony to evaluate his future.

“That was an ego hit. That was a pride hit,” Anthony said. “I started questioning myself after that. ‘Can I still do this? What did I do?’ I asked him this. … He just said it wasn’t working out.”

He added, “I know I can still play,” pushing aside the thought of retirement.

The Lakers have been speculated as a potential landing spot on several different occasions since he was waived by the Bulls. It’s never come to fruition, however, despite his connection to James and L.A.’s need for additional depth heading into next season.

White thinks the situation shows something is amiss with Melo’s extended stay on the open market.

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 20: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers and Carmelo Anthony #7 of the Houston Rockets wait for and inbound at Staples Center on October 20, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

On Women’s Equality Day, Mattel Honors the ‘Mother of the Modern Civil Rights Movement’ With the Rosa Parks Barbie


Photo: Barbie/Mattel

In 1955, Rosa Parks became a symbol of civil disobedience when her refusal to relinquish her seat sparked the Montgomery, Ala., bus boycott, a major turning point in the American civil rights movement. Now, Parks is being honored as the icon she is by another iconic brand, as a Barbie created in her likeness makes its debut today, Aug. 26, in conjunction with Women’s Equality Day 2019.

Per a release from the brand:

“Rosa Parks was an incredible heroine of her time. She fearlessly took a risk that would help change the status quo and pave the way for future generations. Her story is an inspiring example of bravely standing for what is right in the face of adversity.”

Debuting alongside a Barbie in tribute to pioneering astronaut Sally Ride, the two new dolls are part of Barbie’s “Inspiring Women Series,” which premiered on International Women’s Day 2018—the start of Barbie’s 60th year—with the intention “to honor historical role models who paved the way for generations of girls to dream bigger than ever before,” according to a release by parent company Mattel. The first round of dolls included likenesses of Amelia Earhart, Frida Kahlo and “Hidden Figure” Katherine Johnson; the addition of Ride and Parks presents even more opportunity for young Barbie enthusiasts to learn more about the most iconic and inspiring female figures in history through the magic of play.

From Mattel:

Barbie knows that showing girls more role models (historical and present) and telling their stories can help close the Dream Gap*. Last year, the original girl empowerment brand announced the Barbie Dream Gap Project, a multi-year global initiative to raise awareness around limiting factors that prevent girls from reaching their full potential.

For those curious about the meaning of the Dream Gap, the team at Barbie shared that “research has identified that starting at age five many girls are less likely than boys to view their own gender as smart and begin to lose confidence in their own competence. Cultural stereotypes, implicit biases, and representation in media deepen this issue.”

Created in partnership with the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self-Development, Parks’ doll features authentic clothing and accessories, as well as educational information highlighting Parks’ contributions to society. The Glow Up spoke with Anita Peek, director of the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self-Development, via email about the tremendous honor; while the woman called the “Mother of the Modern Civil Rights Movement” didn’t have children of her own, Parks demonstrated an unwavering commitment to children’s development and empowerment during her lifetime, as does the institute founded in her and her husband’s names.

“Because of the educational deprivation historically suffered by children of color, Mrs. Parks believed that education was the road to freedom,” Peek told us. “The Institute honors that mission every day with their programming and community outreach.”

Along with the unique honor of being immortalized as a Barbie, Parks will also be honored by the Library of Congress this year with a major exhibition of her written works. Peek told us the institute is excited to share Parks’ still reverberating impact with younger generations.

“[W]e hope that the Rosa Parks Barbie will spark conversations about her contributions to society and encourage future generations of girls to fearlessly stand up for what they believe in,” she said.

This Black Woman’s Business is on the Cusp of $3 Billion in Revenues. Here’s How She Did It


By next year, Janice Bryant Howroyd has ambitious plans to boost revenues to $3 billion at her staffing solutions firm, ActOne Group. If realized, that would be a $200 million revenue gain for the nation’s largest certified, woman-minority-owned full-service staffing agency.

Howroyd’s business is a BE 100s company, capturing the No. 2 spot on the Black Enterprise annual listing of America’s largest black-owned businesses. It maintained that ranking with $2.8 billion in yearly revenues for 2018 and 2017. In her new book, Acting Up: Winning In Business and Life Using Down-Home Wisdom (Lioncrest Publishing, $22.99) out this month, she details growth tools and strategies for her California-based company.

“At the ActOne Group, we are a company of entrepreneurs all working under the belief that together, we win,” Howroyd says. “The key thing is having an inclusive decision-making team who, once a decision is made, rally to it.”


A businesswoman and entrepreneur for over 40 years, Howroyd is the first black woman to break the billion-dollar revenue mark with her company. Her book provides an inside look at how she made the transition from humble beginnings–growing up in a family of 11 children in the segregated South–to become one of the country’s richest African American women with a $400 million fortune.

She has evolved to become a top executive in the multi-billion-dollar staffing industry. Her firm is a global enterprise, offering employment, workforce, and procurement solutions to a broad range of industries, Fortune 500 organizations, local and mid-market companies, and government agencies. It operates in 19 counties, has 17,00 clients, and employs more than 2,600 people.

The book includes vital advice on how the next generation of entrepreneurs can tap into their own roots to achieve success. In Acting Up, Howroyd also chronicles how her ride to extraordinary success was not a cakewalk, including reflecting on barriers and adversity she faced. She offers a look at the philosophy she lives by and continues to practice as a leader. Also a mentor, educator, author, ambassador, and speaker, Howroyd shares how she strives for good, growth, and innovation in her business and family life. Further, budding and seasoned entrepreneurs can gain insight from the book on how to disrupt, innovate, and overcome in the challenging business world.Black Enterprise connected with Howroyd via email to get a glimpse of her fresh book.

BE: Where do you see future growth coming from for your company?

Bryant Howroyd: One of the areas of growth I’m pumped about is our newest staffing brand, AllSTEM Connections Inc. As a diversity certified staffing agency, AllSTEM streamlines job fulfillment through expert-level recruiting and sourcing specialists who understand the nomenclature, nuances, and screening methods necessary to ensure we are delivering leading STEM talent to our clients.

AllSTEM fulfills the work and the dream I have engaged in guiding careers and transforming a business! It was only natural I turned to one of my most valuable executives, Peter Carvalho, to lead this initiative of creating a multi-generational talent stream of uniquely-skilled jobsters to connect with companies worldwide.

It’s not just exciting for me to ‘play’ in this STEM sector; it’s a mission. Ensuring minorities and women are getting the champion career sponsorship and guidance that we are so good at means a lot to me. AllSTEM offers direct hire and contract opportunities to the diverse community working population, of which I am a part.

What are among the biggest ongoing challenges for your company and how do you overcome them?

The inherent challenges minorities and women face are not dispensed based upon size and often–surprising to many–grow larger as the businesses grow. One area that is as rich in challenges as in opportunities is making the right technology decisions. Develop, buy, or aggregate? This is a very green space; and for any company not engaging true technologists to help make decisions, obsolescence can quickly occur. This is an expensive decision area, as well. So, I, like any leader, must keep learning in this iterative area.

As a noted top executive in your industry and a towering inspiration for many black entrepreneurs, what prompted you to write the book now?

Over the last two years, I’ve visited many campuses and attended many conferences. The questions I’m most asked at these are the ones I answer in Acting Up!

What are the biggest obstacles that halt entrepreneurs from becoming profitable and how can they overcome them?

The obstacles halting entrepreneurs from becoming profitable are as many as the misses. They include, but by no means are limited to, not valuing good financial advice when their own skillset may not lean there, not knowing when to pivot or break, poor hiring practices, and not creating strong banking relationships that respect them.

You talk about leadership philosophy ranging from empowering teams, running a business in challenging times, staying positive despite setbacks, and dealing with success itself. How can exercising those principles help business owners experience and sustain growth?

While these philosophies certainly help to sustain and grow businesses, they help to sustain and grow the individual. Too many big, successful businesses are being led by small, unhappy people. It doesn’t have to be that way.

You have been phenomenally successful as a black woman entrepreneur. What top advice would you give to the next generation of black entrepreneurs before they open or expand a business? 

The advice I’d give to the next generation of black entrepreneurs on opening or expanding a business is the same I’d give to any entrepreneur: Be clear about why you’re doing it and honest to those who invest it in. Have a vetted, banked recovery plan for year two that sustains the business if it’s expanding. Respect the power of technology. Share the rise. Keep your Black Enterprise subscriptions updated and followed! And…for black entrepreneurs: Racism isn’t dead, but don’t you help to keep it alive!

Black-Owned Construction Firm Revitalizes Housing Units in Atlanta to Combat Gentrification


Impoverished African Americans in Atlanta are getting hit hard by gentrification. While gentrification can spur the makeover of old buildings and help attract new businesses in low-income areas, the process can also create soaring home prices and force residents who grew up in those communities to become displaced. That calamity is occurring in Atlanta’s center city and other areas, reducing affordable housing options for many black residents. But H.J. Russell & Co., an Atlanta-based construction firm, is stepping up to help change the bleak picture in one of the nation’s largest cities for blacks. With revenue of just over $178 million, the company ranked No. 25 on Black Enterprise’s BE 100s list, an annual ranking of the top black-owned businesses in the nation.

H.J. Russell & Co. and its sister real estate development arm, Russell New Urban Development L.L.C., recently finished the $22.3 million renovations and reopening of 210 affordable housing units. One property, Maggie Russell Towers, caters to seniors. The other, Capitol Vanira Apartments, houses families. The units, respectively, are in the Old Fourth Ward and Reynoldstown, neighborhoods experiencing extensive gentrification.

“Our investment to enhance affordable housing underscores our dedication to building communities, and at the same time, enhancing the living environments of some of the city’s most vulnerable residents who also deserve quality housing in the heart of Atlanta,” H. Jerome Russell president of H.J. Russell & Co. and Russell New Urban Development L.L.C. stated in a press release. “With the completion of these renovations, along with the stipulations on these projects, we have effectively preserved a significant amount of affordable housing for seniors and families in the heart of Atlanta for the next 20 years.”

The revamped projects come as Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms in June 2019 launched “One Atlanta Housing Affordability Action Plan.” The citywide effort includes investing $1 billion in public and private funds to battle surging housing costs and displacement of established residents. Some backers call it the most comprehensive housing plan of its type in Atlanta’s history.

In terms of the combined Russell projects, 150 of the units at Maggie Russell Towers are specifically for persons 62 years and older or disabled. The remaining 60 units at Capitol Vanira are for families. All of the 210 units are targeted toward a population earning no more than 30% of the Atlanta area median income, which is $79,700 for 2019, according to Mack A. Hancock, senior vice president at Russell New Urban Development, which managed the renovations.

All 210 of the units are subsidized based upon the household’s income. With the subsidy, no household pays more than 30% of their household income for rent. For instance, say Ms. Jones receives $14,172 annually, or $1,181, monthly from Social Security Income. Her monthly rent would be $354. In comparison, the market-rate rent in the gentrifying area where Jones lives typically range from between $1,028 – $2,610.

Hancock added both project properties have extended use agreements associated with their specific affordability programs that run a minimum of 20 years and up to 30 years, meaning they would only be required to limit rents to no more than 30% of their household income during that period.

Maggie Russell Towers is 91% occupied and is expected to be fully occupied by late September. Capitol Vanira Apartments is 100% occupied and has a substantial waiting list.

H. Jerome Russell reflected on the significance of the fresh projects. “Maintaining these properties and keeping them earmarked as affordable housing encourages not only racial diversity in the city’s most sought after neighborhoods, but it also encourages economic diversity.”

Helping Black Women-Owned Businesses Succeed One Pitch at a Time


The fastest-growing market of entrepreneurs is women. Fueling this growth are black women-owned businesses. In fact, the number of businesses owned by black women has grown 164% since 2007. Despite this extraordinary statistic, access to funding is still a challenge for most black women founders.

To combat this issue, Ariel Shaw, MBA (pictured), created an organization that provides a foundation of support and funding for women-owned businesses. “We must do all we can to support women-owned businesses and women in business,” Shaw says. “The ability to help shape our ecosystem through support is an amazing opportunity.”

Shaw founded the Henry County Women in Business, a subsidiary of Southern Crescent Women in Business, where women do business with each other. The organization also provides resources to help women increase their business visibility and financial sustainability. “The mission of Henry County Women in Business is to unequivocally foster business relationships to help sustain and grow our businesses and local economy,” Shaw says.

Black Women-Owned Businesses to Pitch for Funding

Shaw is paving the way for local women-owned businesses to access funding by hosting The Southern Crescent’s First Funding Pitch on August 28, in Stockbridge, Georgia. A la Shark Tank, local women-owned businesses will discuss their business or idea and pitch why they should win the funding opportunity. In addition to funding, the winner will receive a financial consultant and business coach to assist in strategic accountability and growth. Investors from major corporations looking for possible future partnerships will be present as well.

The power-packed panel of business leaders includes celebrity chef Carlos Brown, Henry County Chamber Chair Sharon Ponder, JW Event Suite co-owner Angela White, and financial expert and author Tarra “Madam Money” Jackson. U.S. Small Business Administration District Director Terri L. Denison will also be one of the special guests.

Furthermore, contestants and attendees can connect with event sponsors, which include The Coca Cola Company, Henry County Development Authority, Heritage Bank, Georgia Power, Minute Man Press, JW Event Suite, AS Consulting LLC, and Macaroni Kid.

For more on the funding pitch, click here.

DeMarcus Cousins Is Married! Lakers Star Weds Longtime Love Morgan Lang in Atlanta Wedding


DeMarcus Cousins just scored — a beautiful bride!

The center for the Los Angeles Lakers married his longtime girlfriend Morgan Lang on Saturday in a lavish Georgia ceremony..

Cousins, a 29-year-old father of two, and Lang, 28, tied the knot at The St. Regis Atlanta, in a soiree planned by Lily V Events, who also provided rentals for the ceremony and reception.

“The entire event was amazing from TOP to Bottom… Literally,” the couple tells PEOPLE.


“We translated a millennial’s interpretation of old Hollywood and what it would be like in current times using Morgan’s love for flowers and ensuring the arrangements were just as towering as Demarcus,” wedding planner Lynn Ehumadu of Lily V Events says. “Demarcus’ sense of style made this modern glam wedding our clients’ dream come true!”

The bride walked down the aisle in a gown by couture designer Daughters of Nonyelum, while Cousins —  who proposed on July 4, 2018 — opted for a tux by Rich Fresh.

Groomsmen included NBA stars John Wall and Eric Bledsoe as well as brother Jaleel Cousins, who plays in Europe. Also in attendance were former Golden State Warriors teammates Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston as well as new Lakers teammates Anthony Davis and Quinn Cook, and former Lakers star Matt Barnes.

Guests dined on food catered by the St. Regis, and enjoyed a delicious cake by Julie Miller Cake Design. Entertainment was provided by Trey Daniels Music and DJ Franzen.




The wedding comes after a difficult year for Cousins, who tore his ACL earlier this month, according to ESPN. The injury followed a quadriceps tear in April, and a left Achilles tear last January. Cousins had just signed a one-year deal with the Lakers in July, after spending much of last season out with his injury while playing for the Golden State Warriors.

Sudan Needs At Least $10 Billion To Rebuild Economy


Abdalla Hamdok previously worked for the UN.

Sudan needs $8 billion in foreign aid over the next two years to cover its import bill and help rebuild its ravaged economy after months of political turmoil, its new prime minister said on Saturday.

, sworn in three days earlier to head a transitional government after the ousting of veteran leader , said up to another $2 billion of foreign reserves deposits were needed in the next three months to halt a fall in the currency.

The 61-year-old economist, who has worked for the U.N. Economic Commission for Africa, said he had started talks with the IMF and the World Bank to discuss restructuring Sudan’s crippling debt, and had approached friendly nations and funding bodies about the aid.

Mounting public anger over shortages of food, fuel and hard currency triggered mass demonstrations that eventually forced Bashir from power in April.

“We are in communication to achieve this,” Hamdok said in his first interview with a foreign media outlet. “The foreign reserves in the central bank are weak and very low.”

“However,” he said, “there won’t be a forced prescription from the IMF or the World Bank on Sudan.”

Sudan Needs At Least $10 Billion To Rebuild Economy

On the politically tricky topic of government subsidies for bread, fuel, electricity and medicine, Hamdok said any changes would only be made after “deep discussions” with the people.

“The people are the ones who will make the decision on this issue,” he said.

He also said he had been talking with the United States to remove Sudan from its list of state sponsors of terrorism – a designation which has left Khartoum isolated from most of the international financial system since 1993.

There was no immediate comment from the U.S. government, the IMF or the World Bank.

Devalued Currency

Sudan has been in economic turmoil since it lost the bulk of its oil production in 2011 when South Sudan seceded after decades of civil war.

It has devalued the pound several times but not been able to halt the fall. One dollar currently fetches 65 pounds in the informal economy versus the official rate of 45.

“We will work to unify the exchange rate, and to manage the exchange rate using a flexible managed exchange rate,” Hamdok said, without going into details.

He said Sudan needed to restore trust in the banking system.

Hamdok, who studied agricultural economics, has also worked at the African Development Bank and most recently as a special advisor at the Trade and Development Bank in Ethiopia. He said Sudan needed to tap its agricultural potential.

Sudan is rich in agricultural resources but high taxes, corruption and mismanagement have held back investment in the sector for decades.

“We want to take the Sudanese economy from an economy based on consumption and imports to a productive economy, and stop exporting products such as livestock and agriculture as raw materials,” Hamdok said. “Instead, we will aim to process them so as to create added value.”

He also said he wants to focus on peace-building in a nation that has seen conflicts flare in multiple parts of the country, and endured a civil war that ended in the succession of the South.

“Stopping war, which represents 70% of the expenditure in the budget, will create a surplus that can be invested in production and particularly agriculture, livestock, and related industries,” he said.

Shortly after Bashir was ousted, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia pledged $3 billion in aid to Sudan, in the form of a $500 million deposit in the central bank, which Sudan has already received, as well as fuel, wheat, and medicine.

The generals who forced Bashir from power took over and then, after months of wrangling and further violent protests, agreed to set up a transitional body including civilians to pave the way to elections in three years time.

Many hope Hamdok can shepherd Sudan through the transitional period, but some opposition members and analysts worry that the power-sharing deal may fall short of expectations in a country where the military, backed by Islamists, has dominated for decades.

By: Nafisa Eltahir and Ulf Laessing