Khartoum: Sudan has set a three-year target for it to overcome the economic impact of its separation with the south and the loss of petroleum revenue.

"Though Sudan has been economically affected by the separation of the South and the loss of the petroleum revenues, still we have plans that would help us overcome this loss in three years," Dr Nafie Ali Nafie, the Assistant to President Omar El-Bashir, told Sudan News Agency (SUNA) in Cairo, Egypt.

Nafie said through focusing on non-petroleum exports like gold and other minerals, as well as agricultural produce, the country would overcome the impact of the oil revenues loss.

In the past five years, oil constituted over 70 per cent of the revenues for Khartoum. Last month, the south officially became independent following a January referendum during which over 90 per cent of southerners wanted a separate state.

On Wednesday, the African Union officially welcomed South Sudan as its 54th member.

"We have a clear economic vision to overcome such an economic situation and find remedies soon," Nafie said.

The Sudanese official, the third in rank after President El-Bashir and Vice President Ali Osman Taha, said the government would slash expenditure, drop imports and encourage more exports, to cut demand for foreign currencies.

He also said agricultural cooperation between Cairo and Khartoum would help provide agriculture produce for the two nations, using Egyptian expertise and the Sudanese arable lands.