Congressmen Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) and Dan Kildee (D-MI) Visit Sudan

Delegation at U.S. Embassy
Ms. Soraida Gutierrez, Rep. Gutierrez, Dr. Al Khalafalla, Rep. Dan Kildee, Ms. Kathy Kildee,
U.S. Charge’ Steve Koutsis, HDO program Director Steve Ginther

HDI, in collaboration with the American Global Institute (AGI), arranged for Members of the U.S. Congress Luis Gutierrez and Dan Kildee to visit the Republic of Sudan April 27, 2018 to May 2, 2018.   This program followed the ongoing series of international Congressional delegations with the aim to enhance and foster greater understanding on the part of the U.S. Congress of various countries around the world through direct dialogue and an exchange of ideas with government officials and other thought leaders.  Rep. Gutierrez was accompanied by his wife Soraida, and Rep. Kildee was accompanied by his daughter Katy.

While in Sudan Congressmen Gutierrez and Kildee were honored guests at the Sudanese Parliament   and Rep. Kildee was invited to address a session of the National Assembly. In addition to the legislative visits, the Congressmen visited the First Vice President of Sudan as well as representatives of the Foreign Ministry. The National Dialogue, an organization formed to institute constitutional reforms, was also an important appointment for both delegations, leading to valuable insight on the legal frameworks on which the government operates. The Congressmen also met with the National Intelligence and Security Services of Sudan for a briefing on their work.

Rep. Gutierrez and Rep. Kildee were also able to take advantage of visits by the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom which took place during the visit to get a fresh perspective on issues represented by these groups. It should be noted that the visits were greatly aided by the tremendous support and security provided by the Embassy.

The delegation was cheerfully received at the Ahfad University for Women, a pioneer higher education institution in Sudan fostering women’s education, development, and empowerment. Representatives of the university plan to visit Rep. Kildee’s district to develop collaboration with the University of Michigan – Flint. The delegation also met with the Center for Development and Public Policy, a think tank providing public policy and development advice, capacity building, research, and technical assistance to civil society in Sudan.  Another crucial meeting was with the United Nations Country Team Sudan. The delegation met with several UN entities including, UNDP, UNHCR, UNMAS, the World Bank, FAO, IFAD, UN Women, UNICEF, WHO, WFP and IOM. Along with a short briefing on the work of these organizations, the delegation also spoke with representatives of the U.N. peacekeeping agencies for Darfur and Abyei.

l. to r. HDI Chair Dr. Al Khalafalla, U.S. Charge Steve Koutsis, Ms. Kathy Kildee, Rep. Dan. Kildee, Rep. Luis Gutierrez
Meeting with Sudanese Parliamentarians
Dr. Al Khalafalla Presenting a Gift of Welcome to Rep, Luis Gutierrez (D-IL)  and Rep. Dan Kildee (D-MI)