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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 09 November 2011 )