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The country name comes from Arabic and means
something like "land of the blacks" (Bilad As Sudan).
Sudan is located in northeastern Africa and borders on
Libya and Egypt in the north, the Red Sea, Eritrea and
Ethiopia in the east, Kenya , Uganda and the Democratic
Republic of the Congo in the south, and the Central
African Republic and Chad in the west .
The landscape of Sudan is determined by the extensive
basin of the Nile, from which individual mountains rise.
To the east is the Ethiopian highlands and the mountains
on the Red Sea. In the south, the country is bordered by
the Asande and the Central African threshold. The
country's highest elevation (Kinyeti 3 187 m) is located
in the southern border area with Uganda. In western
Sudan, the Darfur Mountains rise to over 3,000 m (Jabal
Marra 3,088 m).
In the north, Sudan has a share in the Libyan and
Nubian deserts, which make up almost a third of the
country's total area and grow by around 5 to 10 km each
year. In the center of the country, the desert changes
into the Sahel region. Between the mountain ranges in
the east and west of Sudan, vast plains with sparse
vegetation stretch out. In the extreme south of the
country is the large swamp and flood area of the Sudd,
which consists of countless watercourses of the Nile and
its tributaries and often impenetrable vegetation and is
larger in area than Germany.
The Asanda threshold in the south represents the
watershed between the Nile and Congo systems, from where
the White Nile flows northwards, with the capital,
Khartoum (around 2 million residents in the city and
over 7 million in the catchment area) with the Blue Nile
united and flows into the Mediterranean in Egypt. The
Nile, the longest river in the world at 6,671 km, is the
most important permanent source of water in Sudan. 3 850
km of the course of the river are within the state's
The climate in Sudan is predominantly tropical with
very high temperatures. Khartoum has average
temperatures of 23 ¡ã C in January and around 31 ¡ã C in
July. In the desert regions of the north, the
temperature can also rise to 50 ¡ã C in summer and up to
40 ¡ã C in the winter half-year, although it cools down
considerably at night all year round. In the north, the
rainfall is very low, sometimes it does not rain for
years, which leads to great drought and drought. In
Khartoum, an average of 163 mm is measured annually. In
the Sahel region, months of dry spells can be followed
by downpours that lead to flooding. On average, 200 to
300 mm of precipitation falls here annually, with large
fluctuations from year to year.
Flora and fauna
The vegetation in Sudan is very different: in the
north there is a desert and semi-desert, there is almost
no vegetation at all. In the Sahel zone bordering to the
south there are thorn bushes, further to the south there
are extensive savanna areas with high grass and acacia
trees, occasionally there are baobab trees. Firewood and
overgrazing pose a great danger here and promote soil
erosion. The most fertile zone in the country is in the
south in the flood areas of the Sudd. Papyrus, reed
grasses, hyacinth plants and many different marsh plants
grow here, as well as remnants of tropical rainforests
with mahogany trees.
In addition to lions, hyenas and leopards, Sudan's
wildlife also includes gazelles, giraffes, ostriches,
buffalos and elephants, most of which live in the south
of the country. Their inventory is declining. Two
national parks and reserves are said to secure it.
Crocodiles and hippos as well as numerous water birds
live in the rivers. A large number of fish species live
in the Nile swamp area of the Sudd and represent the
livelihood of the local residents.
Sudan is one of the poorest countries in Africa.
Arabian North Africa and tribal Southern Africa meet
here, which leads to a multitude of conflicts. A total
of around 40 million people live in the state, mostly in
the north. The exact number is unclear because the war
(South Sudan secession movement; genocide in Darfur
2003) and the famines of the past few years have
resulted in several million victims.
About half of the population is black; Especially in
the south there are black African tribes such as the
Dinka (approx. 11%), the Nuba (approx. 8%), the Beja
(approx. 7%) and the Nuer (approx. 5%). According to COUNTRYAAH, Arabs make up
around 40% of the population. Other ethnic groups
include the Azande, the Fur and the Kawahla. In total
there are over 500 different tribes on Sudanese
territory, many of the tribes live semi-nomadic.
The state religion is Sunni Islam, about 70% are
committed to this belief, with many tribes mixing with
the practiced natural religions. About a quarter of the
population are animists, the rest are Christians, who
live mainly in the south of the state. The official
language is Arabic, but over 100 different languages
and dialects are spoken in the country.
Despite the existing compulsory education, the
illiteracy rate is estimated at almost 40%. Life
expectancy is low due to difficult living conditions and
poor medical care (women 50, men 48 years); almost half
of the Sudanese are under the age of 15. Population
growth is 2.2%.
According to the transitional constitution of 2005,
Sudan is a republic. The legal system is based on
Islamic Sharia law.
The head of state and head of government is the
President, who has been elected by the people for five
years (Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir since 1989). He is
also commander-in-chief of the armed forces and chairman
of the supreme judge's council.
The National Assembly with 351 members and the State
Council with 30 members (two per state) serve as the
Sudan is divided into 15 states (Wilayat).
The supply situation of the population is very bad,
extreme hunger disasters occur again and again; there is
also still no way for the state to provide debt service.
Sudan is one of the most indebted countries in the
world. Decades of civil war, mismanagement, political
instability and natural disasters are weighing on the
The importance of agriculture has decreased. Around
half of the employees here still generate 28% of the
gross domestic product (GDP). In many areas, however,
the cultivation of millet, wheat and sesame is only for
self-sufficiency. In addition, peanuts and vegetables
and dates are cultivated in the northern Nile valley.
Cotton is exported; Furthermore, about half of the
world's need for gum arabic, which is obtained from a
specific acacia species, comes from Sudan. Livestock
breeding (cattle, sheep, goats, camels) is of economic
importance, but thousands of animals are repeatedly
victims of drought.
Industry now generates 31% of GDP. In addition to
petroleum, Sudan has chrome and gold deposits. The oil
sector has become the engine of industrial development
in recent years, and pipeline and refinery capacities
have been expanded. However, due to the independence of
South Sudan in July 2011, Sudan lost the southern oil
fields. The raw material oil previously generated over
80% of export earnings. Sudan's first gold refinery
opened in 2012; this year gold became the most important
export good. Food (eg sugar), cement and textiles are
The main imports are machinery, transport goods,
medical and chemical articles, food and raw materials
from China, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
The buyers of Sudanese products are China, Japan and
The currency is the Sudanese pound (= 100 piastres).