57 Interesting Facts About Sudan

Last updated on March 20th, 2020

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.

39. U.A.E., China, and Canada are the top export partners of Sudan, while China, India and Saudi Arabia are its top import partners.

40. Precious stones and metals represent the largest export items, while industrial machinery is the largest item category imported by Sudan.

Related: Interesting facts about Cameroon

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.

A traditional house in Wadi Halfa, Sudan. Image credit – David Stanley

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.

The pyramids of Meroe in the Sahara of Sudan.

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 day1 January 1956 (from Egypt and the UK)
Capital CityKhartoum
(15°38′N 032°32′E)
Largest CityKhartoum
(15°38′N 032°32′E)
Population45,561,556 (July 2020 est.)
Total area1,861,484 sq km
Suffrage17 years of age; universal
Literacy rate60.7%
Government typepresidential republic
Prime MinisterAbdalla Hamdok
National anthem"Nahnu Djundulla Djundulwatan" (We Are the Army of God and of Our Land)
National symbolssecretary bird
National colorsred, white, black, green
Agricultural land100%
Official LanguageArabic and English
BordersEgypt, Eritrea and Ethiopia, South Sudan, the Central African Republic, Chad and Libya.
CurrencySudanese pound (SDG)
Life expectancy at birth66.5 years (2020)
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.
Industriesoil, cotton ginning, textiles, cement, edible oils, sugar, soap distilling, shoes, petroleum refining, pharmaceuticals, armaments, automobile/light truck assembly
Exports$4.1 billion (2017 est.)
gold; oil and petroleum products; cotton, sesame, livestock, peanuts, gum arabic, sugar
Imports$8.22 billion (2017 est.)
foodstuffs, manufactured goods, refinery and transport equipment, medicines, chemicals, textiles, wheat
GDP - per capita (PPP)$4,300 (2017 est.)
Natural resourcespetroleum; small reserves of iron ore, copper, chromium ore, zinc, tungsten, mica, silver, gold; hydropower
Terraingenerally flat, featureless plain; desert dominates the north
Mean elevation568 m
Lowest pointRed Sea 0 m
Highest pointJabal Marrah 3,042 m
Climatehot and dry; arid desert; rainy season varies by region (April to November)
Birth rate33.8 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)
Death rate6.5 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)
Sex ratio1.01 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
Time ZoneEAT (UTC+3)
Internet country code.sd
Calling Code+259
Drives on theRight
Table last updatedMarch 24, 2020