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Military regimes favoring Islamic-oriented governments have dominated national politics since independence from Anglo-Egyptian co-rule in 1956. Sudan was embroiled in two prolonged civil wars during most of the remainder of the 20th century. These conflicts were rooted in northern economic, political, and social domination of largely non-Muslim, non-Arab southern Sudanese. The first civil war ended in 1972 but another broke out in 1983. Peace talks gained momentum in 2002-04 with the signing of several accords. The final North/South Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), signed in January 2005, granted the southern rebels autonomy for six years followed by a referendum on independence for Southern Sudan. The referendum was held in January 2011 and indicated overwhelming support for independence. South Sudan became independent on 9 July 2011. Sudan and South Sudan have yet to fully implement security and economic agreements signed in September 2012 relating to the normalization of relations between the two countries. The final disposition of the contested Abyei region has also to be decided.


north-eastern Africa, bordering the Red Sea, between Egypt and Eritrea

Natural Resources

petroleum; small reserves of iron ore, copper, chromium ore, zinc, tungsten, mica, silver, gold; hydropower

Population - distribution

with the exception of a ribbon of settlement that corresponds to the banks of the Nile, northern Sudan, which extends into the dry Sahara, is sparsely populated; more abundant vegetation and broader access to water increases population distribution in the south extending habitable range along nearly the entire border with South Sudan; sizeable areas of population are found around Khartoum, southeast between the Blue and White Nile Rivers, and throughout South Darfur

Arabic (official), English (official), Nubian, Ta Bedawie, Fur
KHARTOUM (capital) 5.129 million (2015)
Conventional long form
Republic of the Sudan
Conventional short form
Local long form
Jumhuriyat as-Sudan
Local short form
presidential republic
Geographic coordinates
15 36 N, 32 32 E
Time difference
UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; withdrew acceptance of ICCt jurisdiction in 2008
Sudan has experienced protracted social conflict, civil war, and, in July 2011, the loss of three-quarters of its oil production due to the secession of South Sudan. The oil sector had driven much of Sudan's GDP growth since 1999. For nearly a decade, the economy boomed on the back of rising oil production, high oil prices, and significant inflows of foreign direct investment. Since the economic shock of South Sudan's secession, Sudan has struggled to stabilize its economy and make up for the loss of foreign exchange earnings. The interruption of oil production in South Sudan in 2012 for over a year and the consequent loss of oil transit fees further exacerbated the fragile state of Sudan’s economy. Ongoing conflicts in Southern Kordofan, Darfur, and the Blue Nile states, lack of basic infrastructure in large areas, and reliance by much of the population on subsistence agriculture, keep close to half of the population at or below the poverty line.
External debt stocks
US$ 21,406,450,000
Total tax rate (% of commercial profits)
Real Interest Rate
Manufacturing, value added (% of GDP)
Current Account Balance
US$ -5,933,452,627
Labor Force, Total
Employment in Agriculture
Employment in Industry
Employment in Services
Unemployment Rate
Imports of goods and services
US$ 11,973,929,147
Exports of goods and services
US$ 9,394,847,021
Total Merchandise Trade
FDI, net inflows
US$ 1,736,764,247
Commercial Service Exports
US$ 1,638,909,720
cotton, groundnuts (peanuts), sorghum, millet, wheat, gum Arabic, sugarcane, cassava (manioc, tapioca), mangoes, papaya, bananas, sweet potatoes, sesame seeds; animal feed, sheep and other livestock
oil, cotton ginning, textiles, cement, edible oils, sugar, soap distilling, shoes, petroleum refining, pharmaceuticals, armaments, automobile/light truck assembly, milling
gold; oil and petroleum products; cotton, sesame, livestock, peanuts, gum Arabic, sugar
UAE 23.4%, Macau 23.3%, Saudi Arabia 20.8%, Egypt 9.6% (2015)
foodstuffs, manufactured goods, refinery and transport equipment, medicines, chemicals, textiles, wheat
Macau 22.7%, UAE 8.8%, India 8.4%, Egypt 6%, Saudi Arabia 4.6%, Turkey 4.3% (2015)
Country Risk Rating
The highest-risk political and economic situation and the most difficult business environment. Corporate default is likely.
Business Climate Rating
The highest possible risk in terms of business climate. Due to a lack of available financial information and an unpredictable legal system, doing business in this country is extremely difficult.
  • Reforms being undertaken in cooperation with the IMF
  • Strategic location between the Middle East and West Africa
  • Relative stabilization thanks to the oil agreement with South Sudan
  • Loss of oil revenue following independence of South Sudan
  • Unsustainable external debt
  • Lack of investment in infrastructure
  • Significant failings in terms of governance
  • Insecurity (in particular on the border with South Sudan)
  • High unemployment (particularly among young people) and poverty

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