Industry in Sudan

Industry in Sudan Last updated on Saturday 24th April 2010

The Sudan is a potentially wealthy country, with rich reserves of oil and minerals. Yet these reserves are barely exploited, with industry contributing as little as 4% to the total national economy.

Oil and natural gas reserves have been discovered in western areas, but, as yet, only small amounts have been mined and refined.

Other minerals to be found in the Sudan are mica, marble, chromites, gypsum, iron ore, uranium, manganese, zinc and copper.

Gold has also been found in the Red Sea Hills but, again, little of these riches are mined or processed.

Some manufacturing industries exist, but these are in a very early stage of development. These mostly consist of the processing of agricultural products, but there is also some industry associated with textiles, paper, footwear and cigarettes. Sugar and petroleum refineries have also been established.

Unsurprisingly, the tourist industry is almost non-existent. The crippling cost of the continuing war has resulted in poor economic conditions, and the dangers inherent in traveling in certain areas mean that the Sudan is a far from popular place to visit. The latest UN figures record that only 52,000 visitors entered the country in 1987. Today's figures would probably be lower even than this.

Oil-related industries emerged in the 1990’s as a result of the development of oil deposits in the Sudan. In June 2000, an oil refinery was opened in Aj-Jaili, 30 miles north of Khartoum. In August 2000 the National Petroleum Company announced plans to lay pipelines to supply Ethiopia and Eritrea with oil derivatives.

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