It has been known that the most of the period since independence in 1956 is military-dominated. This is because more than three-fourths of the total independence period, around 35 out of 45 years was under the domination of three military rulers, which are the Abboud regime (1958-1964), the Nimeiri regime (1969-1985) and the Bashir regime (1989).
Based on overall performance measured by macro-economic fundamentals, namely, growth rate, savings and investment rates, balance of payments, foreign exchange reserves, inflation and unemployment, the decade of 1980s seems to be the worst. While the performance during the initial two decades after independence in the ...view middle of the document...
The relationship between regime type measured by the degree of democracy and economic growth being promoted by economic freedom is not unique. The success of the East Asian tigers might suggest that the autocratic or semi-authoritarian governments may enjoy the dual benefits, which are the insulating the state decision-making authority from the pressure groups, and also the introducing basic reforms warranted by rapid economic growth.
Based on the score of democraticness (SD), the average values of the coefficients of SD for Sudan at 56 for the whole of the 1960s and 68 for the 1970s compare much favourably with a number of other oil-rich or better-off West Asian and North African countries like Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, UAE, Oman, Nigeria, Jordan, Iran, Libya and Egypt. The index of higher economic freedom is expected to explain the higher level of human development through higher economic growth. But based on the findings of the Freedom House Survey (1998-99) and Index of Economic Freedom, the average annual growth in per capita GNP for 1996-97 does not seem to be associated with the human development index (HDI) of the corresponding period.
The better growth of Sudan during the mid-1990s could not also be immediately translated into better performance in human development which requires a long time to materialize. This may be because the HDI being a very complex variable is the resultant effect of so many other socio-economic factors such as access to education, health and real per capita income that must have been in operation for quite some time. If physical quality of life index (PQLI) is used as a proxy for development, the development or Growth-Democracy-freedom and human rights associations particularly in the mid-1980s, the post-Nimeiri regimes appear quite interesting.
The obvious question now arises as to why the authoritarian-cum-military dominated regimes could achieve in terms of higher human development in South East Asia, but could not be achieved by similar type of either authoritarian or class-biased democratic regimes in the Sudan. The essential ingredients such as personal and political freedom, social and economic justice, respect for human rights, equality of citizens before the law, and etc were never given due importance, even by the short-lived three civilian-dominated regimes for 10 years during 1956-58, 1964-69 and 1985-89 periods.
In 30 years of independence (1956-1985), there have been civil wars for 23 years, three military coups, two military uprisings and three civilian sectarian multi-party coalition governments. The primary cause of the prolonged civil wars and of the instability and sufferings of the Sudanese particularly in the South has been Khartoum’s sectarian rule and the failure to evolve a government based on overall national consensus. The failure of the leadership to establish a level of democracy acceptable to all the Sudanese in general and the Arab Muslim-dominated northerners in...