chapter  12
5 Pages

Programs and special plans for the development of Abyei proposed by a joint HIID–Sudanese expert team, 1977

Several meetings and visits were undertaken between November 24 and 28, 1976, by representatives of various organizations, financing groups, and planning institutes-including Harvard Institute for International Development-to investigate and exchange views on the possibilities for coordinating international and local approaches for the development of Southern Kordofan Province. It was agreed that a group of consultants, headed by Professor David C. Cole of Harvard Institute, would visit the area and exchange views with the various executive branches in order to draw up both short-and longterm development plans for the area. It will be recalled that HE President Nimeiri solemnly pledged in his

Independence Day speech earlier that year, to take personal responsibility for the development of Abyei. He stressed that the area was not only strategically important but also constituted a significant meeting point for both Arab and African cultures in the Sudan. Being both remote and isolated, the area is short of services and lacks the essential inputs for development. After a meeting chaired by Dr. Husayn Idris, Minister of State for Agri-

culture, Food, and Natural Resources, and attended by Dr. Francis M. Deng, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, as well as the visiting team of experts from Harvard Institute and others, it was recommended that:

1. A technical committee be immediately set up to finalize plans for long-and short-term development as well as to follow up the execution of these plans.

2. A development body or commission for Abyei be established with a view to its being an integral part of a wider development commission for the whole of Kordofan Province.