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Building Sudanese nationhood

  • Wednesday, October 19, 2011


    PRINCESS ANNE, MD- (Oct. 14, 2011) Gary Imhoff, a UMES senior program and budget officer, recently presented a lecture on campus to give an overview of the development strategy to re-building the nationhood of Sudan. Imhoff spent five months in Sudan as a consultant supporting the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) programs carrying out its mission of worldwide humanitarian and development assistance for countries.

    Imhoff informed his audience of USAID's main focuses in Sudan, which are to improve education, health and the economy. Promoting cohesion and sharing a sense of community and identity are important as well, he said.

    Efforts to unify the Sudanese people are difficult, Imhoff said, because there are 110 tribes, which divides the country. "For 20-plus years, the south has been fighting the north," he said.

    Imhoff told his audience the typical classroom does not have walls. Only 20 percent of Sudan's classrooms are indoors; typically "one out of five students" are educated or learning under a tree.  Roughly 27 percent can read and write. Nonetheless, the Sudanese are very intelligent people he said.

    With the intention of focusing on youth and education, Imhoff said "AID has established a scholarship fund to allow highly motivated and young Sudanese kids to go to college in Africa, focusing on Kenya, Tanzania and countries with reputable and educational opportunities." In addition to the scholarship fund, the federal agency is focusing on university linkages with U.S institutions to share information - teacher training; to bring in more female teachers, policy development and curriculum.

    In response to the lack of the health systems in Sudan, USAID has financed 110 clinics to help the growing number of patients infected with HIV/AIDS and malaria. The agency also has focused on training medical staff in how to talk to patients who enter the clinic as well as dispersing information to patients coming into the clinic.

    "We need to remember that this is a long term process; a generational process. It will take years before we see a change" Imhoff said.


    2011 International Development Lecture Series

    Oct. 27            Dr. Jerome Wolgin    "Emerging Economies of Sub-Saharan Africa"


    Nov. 3             Dr. Tegan Blaine       "Climate Change Impacts on Sub-Saharan Africa:  How Do We Adapt?"


    Nov. 10           Jacklyn Claxton         "The Role of the Private Sector in Feed the Future Initiative and           African     Agriculture"


    Nov. 17           Jeffrey Humber          "USAID Support of Clean and Renewable Energy in the Electricity Sectors of Sub-Saharan Africa"


    Nov. 29           Dr. Yeneheh Belayneh "The Role of Stewardship in Pesticide Delivery Systems"