The busy market in Khartoum opened with optimism after the United States lifted Sudan from its terror sponsor list on Monday.

The move unlocks the way for aid, debt relief and investment to the country going through a rocky political transition and economic hardships.

For nearly three decades, the United States had blacklisted Sudan over harbouring Islamist militants.

“This decision will help boost the Sudanese economy,” said sports journalist Ali Adam Hamed Abouna.

“By removing Sudan from the blacklist of states that sponsor terrorism, there will be many investments, and many American and other companies that couldn’t operate here will now be able to do so.

“And the Sudanese economy will benefit from the presence of these companies.”

For months, Sudan’s currency has been hammered by hyperinflation, soaring by 254 percent year-on-year in November.

On Monday, in another sign of optimism over the US move, the value of the Sudanese pound against the US dollar went from 250 to 240 on the black market.

When former president Omar al-Bashir was deposed in April 2019, one US dollar equalled 76 Sudanese pounds.

‘Opportunity in our hands’

Abouna also believes a more dynamic, globalised economy will help shrink corruption and the black market, which remains a feature of the country’s landscape, much to the chagrin of many Sudanese.

“I think this will contribute to bringing the price of (the) dollar down, and therefore weaken the black market,” he said.

But the move could also help the world’s perception of the country.

“It means a lot of hope,” said medical student Suha Anas, a 21-year-old woman.

“I definitely think that people will no longer think of me as a terrorist… It shows that we are a peaceful country, that we don’t like conflict” she said.

Al-Bushari Moussa, a 48-year-old mechanical engineer, was somewhat more cautious, seeing the US move as just the beginning of a long process.

“Of course the news… is a cause of joy for any Sudanese and for any person who wants the best for his country,” he said.

“But my view is different. I think that an economic turnaround is in the hands of the Sudanese people.”

Still, Moussa remains optimistic.

“Now, we have an opportunity in our hands,” he said.