Manolis Cucinkas is a 45-year-old Greek investor who moved from Athens to find investment opportunities in the Sudan.
Back in Greece his family had been working in the bread and confectionary industry. When his father retired, Cucinkas took over the family business, but in July 2013 he decided to move to Sudan after learning that the country offered plenty of investment opportunities in various industries.
“Despite the instability from which Sudan has been suffering the past years and what foreign media are telling people, Sudan is a secure and stable country with financial opportunities and the Sudanese are a generous and kind people. After assessing the market in Khartoum for possible investments, I decided to go into partnership with some Greeks and Sudanese living there, and open a pastry shop,” Cucinkas said.
He started his business by bringing modern machinery and professional equipment from Greece. He also brought with him his family recipes. “We make different types of cakes, eastern and western kunafa, pasta, basbousa, biscuits, bread and other types of Greek cakes. Our products are distributed to embassies, shops, organizations, individuals and to private and public corporations,” he added.
Greek traders first went to Sudan in 1883 and in the early days they worked as shoes sellers, dentists, in the pharmaceutical industry and in various government ministries. The Greek community expanded over the next twenty years and Greeks extended their business activities to coffee shops, restaurants, offices, clinics and commerce.
Nowadays, about 200 Greeks live in Sudan and most of them reside in Khartoum. They have been working in different business fields, such as commerce and industry. Sudan also exports vegetables, fruit, wheat and other food products to Greece.