Supporting the consolidation of Sudan’s democratic transformation.
WHY USAID/OTI IS IN SUDAN
In August 2019, following months of a nationwide nonviolent movement, the establishment of a civilian-led transitional government represented a historic democratic transformation, and an opportunity to further U.S. interests in Sudan and the region. However, the military takeover of Sudan’s government on October 25, 2021 interrupted the democratic transition, spurred an economic crisis, and led pro-democracy activists to take to the streets en masse. In April 2023, after concerted efforts to restore civilian rule in Sudan, the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) turned on each other, plunging Sudan into violent conflict. OTI’s ability to adapt its programming to these shifts in the political landscape remains crucial, as the program continues to work with partners in support of a democratic transition in Sudan.
USAID/OTI’S ROLE IN SUDAN
Recognizing the fluidity of the political and security situation, OTI prioritizes flexibility to remain responsive to changes in Sudan, while engaging and amplifying Sudanese civilian voices calling for a future democratic state. OTI supports civic action and space in this critical period for Sudan by:
- Supporting efforts that enable the pursuit of democratic change to continue;
- Improving citizen access to timely, accurate information about efforts to pursue democratic change; and
- Supporting pro-democracy citizens to model democratic behaviors.
OTI supports a Sudanese women’s empowerment organization that trains other women activists to establish and manage women’s empowerment clubs. Located across Sudan, the clubs facilitate discussions on human rights and women’s participation in community affairs; women are also trained to run book clubs, facilitate film screenings, and provide psychological support for women in need. These safe places for female-only activities have given women from diverse backgrounds and ages the chance to engage with each other on political and social topics.
- In Khartoum, OTI supported the rehabilitation of a building that had previously been associated with decades of oppression. Now a vibrant cultural library, it serves as a safe space for youth from different ethnic and political backgrounds to explore democratic values through workshops, book clubs, cultural events, and other awareness-raising activities. In early 2023, library patrons put study into practice by electing an executive board, exemplifying the democratic values and processes the library promotes.
- OTI supports independent media by providing equipment and skills to help outlets, journalists and influencers provide accurate, reliable, and unbiased content.