Monthly Archives: August 2016

E-Commerce commences in Sudan

The estimates as recent as 1st July 2016 revealed that there are 10,886,813 Internet users in Sudan. This is 26.4% of the population, which is quite high compared to many developing countries. ( Ref: However, the level of e-commerce is not commensurate with the users. There are technological and social hindrances for the growth of e-commerce in Sudan. Yet interestingly, the other day I found a ‘Garage Sales’ page in social media where one can buy and sell household items and rent apartments as well. Mobile cellular subscriptions in Sudan are as high as 72.2%, which makes it favourable for mobile banking. Zain Sudan has launched the country’s first ever mobile financial service, called ‘Hassa’, in partnership with the Bank of Khartoum. The easy, instant and secure service allows Zain customers in Sudan to complete a wide range of financial transactions and operations, including money transfers, paying bills and ATM cash withdrawals without a bank account. Hassa should get the first-mover advantage and scale to greater heights with millions of users.
Mishwar is the first transportation network company in Sudan which operates with mobile Apps. To avail the service of Mishwar one has to download the App. This allows consumers with smartphones to submit a trip request, which the software program then automatically sends to the Mishwar driver nearest to the customer, alerting the driver to the location of the consumer. I have availed of Mishwar services at least twice. The drivers use their own personal cars. The App automatically calculates the fare and both the customer and driver get to know. Interestingly the Drivers of Mishwar have never met the promoters of the company. They have been appointed on line.They pay through their mobile. The Managers of Mishwar must implement regulations for the Mishwar drivers and their vehicles.Some of the cars are as bad as the taxis.The Drivers must get daily trip targets and customers should rate their services on line. When all these criteria are in place, we can certify Mishwar to have brought ‘Uberisation’ in Sudan.

A Leader without A Title

‘Ink Man’ is the No.1 shop for repairing Printers in Sudan. They have many branches with equal repute and goodwill. I can vouch for them with my experience today. My HP Officejet 4500 Wireless printer had stopped scanning and photocopying. It was printing alright. Two of my friends directed me to ‘Ink Man’ in downtown Suk Al Arabi. The owner of shop named Nour got the problem fixed in a jiffy and refused to accept any payment, saying that the job was very small. Found him to be a gentleman with ethics and integrity. Many of his employees who learnt the skill from him earlier have opened shop in the neighbourhood. He is happy for them because Nour is a true leader. Next time you have any problems with your printer call Nour 0912190380.

70th Independence Day of India celebrated in Khartoum

Last Monday, 15th August was my fourteenth year in Sudan celebrating Indian Independence Day. As in the previous years the Indian community got together in the morning at India House, the residence of the Ambassador. The Ambassador of India H.E. Amrit Lugun unfurled the national flag with the singing of the national anthem. He then delivered his speech to around 200 people from the Indian Community which included both the people of Indian origin and Indian nationals. He recalled the historic moment at the 1955 Bandung Conference, where the delegation from Sudan, a country still not independent did not have a flag to mark its place. Taking out his handkerchief, Jawaharlal Nehru wrote “Sudan” on it, thus reserving a place for Sudan in the international community. India and Sudan have maintained cordial and friendly relations. Sudan Block in India’s National Defence Academy was set up with the funding of one hundred thousand pounds from the Sudanese Government in recognition of the sacrifices of Indian troops in the liberation of Sudan in the North African Campaign during World War II. Ambassador Lugun read out the speech of the President of India. To quote an excerpt “As we celebrate our seventieth Independence Day, I respectfully bow to the heroes of our independence struggle – known and unknown – who fought, suffered and sacrificed their lives to win freedom for us. Mahatma Gandhi’s luminous leadership finally made the British Quit India in 1947. When we gained independence in 1947, nobody believed that India will survive as a democracy. Yet, seven decades later, one and a quarter billion Indians with all their diversity have proved those forecasts wrong. The strong edifice of democracy built by our founding fathers on the four pillars of justice, liberty, equality and fraternity has withstood several threats from both within and without and has grown from strength to strength”.
The speech was followed by a cultural programme where children from Omdurman Indian School and Khartoum schools presented patriotic songs. The members of the Indian Ladies Club of Khartoum sang patriotic songs in a group. In spite of being a working day people took out time in the morning to pay tribute to their mother land.