K. Guérin - GEO212 - France

 

The Republic of the Sudan comes across North Africa, Eastern Africa and Middle East. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the southwest, Chad to the west, and Libya to the northwest. It is the third largest country on the continent (after Algeria and D.R. Congo).
Sudan gained independence from Egypt and the United Kingdom in 1956. But its actual form results from the independence of South Sudan on 9 July 2011.

PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY

The climate is very dry, almost desertic, in the north (Nubian Desert). Those regions are regularly plagued by sandstorms. The amount of rainfall increases southward. The rainy seasons lasts for about 6 months (June to November) in the South.

Sudan_physical_map_a


The terrain is generally flat plains, broken by several mountain ranges. The highest point, Jebel Marra (3 0428m), is located in Darfur, west of the country.

The White and Blue Niles rivers meet in Khartoum. They form the River Nile, which divides the country between east and west sides, and flows northward to the Mediterranean Sea. There are several dams on the Blue and White Niles. The most important are Sennar, Roseires and Jebel Aulia Dams. Merowe Dam (on Nile river) was inaugered on March 2009.

Merowe_Dam

DEMOGRAPHICS

According to the Sudan’s 2008 census, the northern part of the country (actual Sudan) was recorded to be over 30 million. The population of Khartoum and its suburbs is growing very fast and counted 5.2 million.

Khartoum


The population of Sudan is a combination of indigenous Saharan Africans, and descendants of migrants from the Arabian Peninsula. Due to the process of Arabisation common throughout the rest of the Arab World, today Arab culture predominates in Sudan. A majority of the population of Sudan adheres to Islam.

ECONOMY AND TRANSPORTATION

In spite of significant natural resources, Sudan is one of the poorest countries in the world. The United Nations' Human Development Index (HDI) ranks Sudan at 169 out of 187 countries and territories.

Sudanese economy is based on oil production and exportation while historically agriculture remains the main source of employment. According to the World Bank, the economy of Sudan has been slowly growing over the last ten years. Due to the secession of South Sudan, which holds over 80% of Sudan’s oilfields, the economic forecast is uncertain.


Transport in Sudan depends mainly on railroad system. The main line linking Khartoum to Port Sudan carries over two-thirds of Sudan's rail traffic Rail dominated commercial transport, although competition from the highways has been increasing rapidly. But the road network remains sparse and inadequate (very few all-weather roads).

Aviation in Sudan relies on its own air company - Sudan Airways - that provides both domestic and international flights, but there is lack of modern infrastructures with only one international airport in Khartoum and a few other airports with paved runways.

The Nile River, traversing Sudan from south to north, provides an important inland transportation route (5’310 km navigable). Moreover, Sudan has an operational deep-water harbour, Port Sudan, essential for oil exportation, and a small national merchant marine.

Sudan_transportation_map_a

 

FURTHER READINGS

CIA World Fact Book

World Bank: Projects and Programs in Sudan

UNDP: Human development indicators

Mo Ibrahim Index: Governance quality of African countries

Transparency International: Corruption perception index 2010

US Census Bureau: Demographic indicators

Population Reference Bureau

UNFPA Sudan

FAO: Country Profil

FAO GIEWS: Country brief

Crop Explorer

WHO: World Health Organization: countries

IRIN News: Humanitarian news and analysis

 

Republic of the Sudan (official website)

Sudan presidency

Sudan Tribune (press)

 

ITCZ in Africa

HydroSHEDS (Global Database)

Nile Basin

Earth Trends: Nile Watershed

 

 

World Gazetteer: Main cities

Tageo: Main cities

AirCraft Charter Wolrd: airports

Tropical to arid

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 09 November 2011 )