Last updated on November 12th, 2017
Facts about economy and trade
#30. Petroleum is Sudan’s major natural resource.
#31. After the separation of South Sudan from the North, an estimated 5-7 billion barrels of oil reserves have been lost to South Sudan.
#32. Sudan has 18,630 km² of irrigated land.
#33. A significant part of the economy of Sudan is the ox-driven water wheel. The wheel, which was first introduced in Sudan about four centuries before Christ, is still in operation in the country.
#34. The country also has significant deposits of chromium ore, copper, iron ore, mica, silver, gold, tungsten, and zinc.
#35. Sudan suffers from periodic droughts, desertification, soil erosion, declining wildlife and inadequate supply of potable water.
#36. Soil in Sudan can be divided into three categories: the sandy soils of the northern and west central areas, the clay soils of the central region, and the laterite soils of the south.
#37. A haboob, a type of an intense dust storm, can occur in Central Sudan (May through July), reducing visibility to zero.
#38. The domestic processing of crude petroleum began in late 1964 when the Port Sudan oil refinery went into operation.
#40. Precious stones and metals represent the largest export items, while industrial machinery is the largest item category imported by Sudan.
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Civil wars in Sudan
#41. The first civil war occurred in the country during 1955-1972, and the second civil war happened during 1983-2005.
#42. In 1972, the first civil war ended after 17 years. The end was marked by the signing of the Addis Ababa Agreement between the two parties.
#43. The signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2005 brought an end to the second civil war.
#44. The second civil war in Sudan became the reason for the death of two and half million people.
#45. The reason behind the conflict in Sudan is not just religious differences. The conflict is also caused by a lack of availability of limited natural resources like water and pastureland to sustain life. Oil reserves are another cause of the conflict. One country – South Sudan – has an abundance of oil reserves, while the other – North Sudan or the Republic of Sudan – has the machinery to process it.
#46. Sudan is the 16th largest country in the world by land area.
#47. On August 20, 1998, the United States launched cruise missiles that destroyed a pharmaceutical manufacturing facility in Khartoum. The company was alleged to be manufacturing chemical weapons under the sponsorship of Osama bin Laden.
#48. In September 2004, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell deemed the Darfur conflict a genocide and called it the worst humanitarian crisis of the 21st century.
Cultural facts about Sudan
#49. Sudan is nicknamed the Arab world’s food basket, as it accounts for 45% of arable land in the Arab world.
#50. In Sudan, priests and high-ranking officials would often be buried with a small pyramid atop their grave.
#51. The Neur tribe of southern Sudan has a tradition of “ghost marriage.” A man may marry a woman as a stand-in for his deceased brother. The children that are born of this union will be considered descendants of the dead man–the “ghost”. The ghost is the socially recognized father.
#52. In Sudan, the minimum age for a male to get married is 18 or above, while that for a female is 16 years or above.
#53. Hospitality takes center stage in Sudan. When a visitor arrives, refreshments are served almost immediately, followed by meals. Irrespective of the host’s economic situation or the contents of their refrigerator, the guests will be offered everything they have.
#54. Sudan boasts the first female parliamentarian in Africa and the Middle East (1965), and the first female Minister of Health (1974).
#55. Sudan brought the Middle East its first female judge, cinematographer, football referee, army members and police officers.
#56. Recent excavations at Meroe and Mussawwarat es-Sufra revealed temples with walls and statues covered with gold leaf.
#57. Omar al-Bashir, Sudan’s president since 1989, has been indicted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity, and his country ranks near the bottom of the press freedom index.
Sudan – country at a glance
|Independence day||1 January 1956 (from Egypt and the UK)|
|National anthem||"Nahnu Djundulla Djundulwatan" (We Are the Army of God and of Our Land)|
|Total area||1,861,484 sq km|
|Suffrage||17 years of age; universal|
|Government type||presidential republic|
|Prime Minister||Bakri Hassan Saleh|
|National symbols||secretary bird|
|National colors||red, white, black, green|
|Population||36,729,501 (July 2016 est.)|
|Official Language||Arabic and English|
|Borders||Egypt, Eritrea and Ethiopia, South Sudan, the Central African Republic, Chad and Libya.|
|Currency||Sudanese pound (SDG)|
|Life expectancy||64.1 years (2016)|
Life expectancy at birth indicates the number of years a newborn infant would live if prevailing patterns of mortality at the time of its birth were to stay the same throughout its life.
|Time Zone||EAT (UTC+3)|
|Industries||oil, cotton ginning, textiles, cement, edible oils, sugar, soap distilling, shoes, petroleum refining, pharmaceuticals, armaments, automobile/light truck assembly|
|Exports||$3.703 billion (2016 est.)|
gold; oil and petroleum products; cotton, sesame, livestock, peanuts, gum arabic, sugar
|Imports||$9.345 billion (2016 est.)|
foodstuffs, manufactured goods, refinery and transport equipment, medicines, chemicals, textiles, wheat
|Natural resources||petroleum; small reserves of iron ore, copper, chromium ore, zinc, tungsten, mica, silver, gold; hydropower|
|Terrain||generally flat, featureless plain; desert dominates the north|
|Climate||hot and dry; arid desert; rainy season varies by region (April to November)|
|Birth rate||28.5 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)|
|Death rate||7.5 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)|
|Sex ratio||1.02 male(s)/female (2016 est.)|
|Internet country code||.sd|
|GDP - per capita (PPP)||$4,500 (2016 est.)|
|Drives on the||Right|
|Data sources||CIA, Wikipedia|
|Table last updated||September 2, 2017|