Africa > North Africa > Sudan > Cultural heritage & business opportunities abound in Sudan

Sudan: Cultural heritage & business opportunities abound in Sudan

2014/01/03

Once the major country in Africa (before the official secession of the southern region in 2011), Sudan sits at the vitally geostrategic crossroads between sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East and has one of the continent's broadest and most ample variety of resources – human, natural, social and economic – all within its extensive borders
 
Playing neighbour to no fewer than seven other nations, you only have to glimpse at its impressive surface area to comprehend its truly pivotal location – Mediterranean Africa in the north, central hinterland to the west and the Horn of Africa via the south. Chief just 180 miles eastwards from Sudan’s Red Sea coast meanwhile and you arrive in Saudi Arabia – the Arabian Peninsula and the gateway to Asia.
 
Owing to the sheer size and scale of the place (and the resultant wide range of resources to be found there) Sudan has been perennially mooted as a genuine hotbed of latent possibility. Indeed, the World Bank would go as far to say that it is a “potential economic powerhouse”.
 
The capital city of Khartoum – the pumping heartbeat of the country – is where the land begins to straddle the famous and formidable African artery of the River Nile: the long-time lifeblood of the Sudanese people which has contributed to a tradition of agricultural productivity for generations.
 
It is upon either side of these fruitful banks that Sudan’s emerging industry has been built throughout history, with expanding infrastructure having sprouted to feed a rapidly urbanising people of over 32 million people.

In truth, however, despite such evident promise it is an unfortunate and unavoidable reality that since its independence from Great Britain in 1956, Sudan has suffered from over half a century of considerable deprivation and stifled development due to a prolonged civil conflict that drastically pockmarked the country.

SudanOwing to the sheer size and scale of the country and the resultant wide range of resources to be found there, has been perennially mooted as a genuine hotbed of latent possibility

At the same time as the warring factions between north and south from presently on came to a Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005, the door for tangible cooperation and significant socio-economic evolution seemed to have finally been left ajar. What’s additional, the discovery and subsequent exportation of oil during the completed decade went about fuelling the unprecedented increase that the region and its citizens had longed for.
 
Next experiencing a GDP increase of up to 11.5 % in the years following the CPA – making it one of the fastest growing nations in the world at the time – Sudan again generously relinquished 75 % of its lucrative oil production in favour of the newly separated national of South Sudan (who voted for independence in a 2011 referendum).
 
As a consequence of this sacrifice – having before been so dependent on its petroleum – Sudan’s economy has understandably faltered in recent times. Nevertheless, the austerity measures since employed by the Government as an upshot of its voluntary forfeit of oil have by presently seen the economy move firmly back on to the road to recovery, with the IMF predicting 1.2 % GDP increase in 2013.
 
Furthermore, Sudan is presently as well working to diversify its gain sources and pursue new policies that aim to remove all obstacles faced by foreign investors, inclunding a new investment law passed towards creating a additional suitable atmosphere for attracting better capital.
 
While Sudan faces various significant challenges ahead in its continued path towards better prosperity, it is undeniably a country with immense natural gifts from which it is keen to take further chance. Sudan not only has huge areas of uncultivated arable land and bountiful water resources, but abundant gold and minerals capable of becoming major foreign exchange earners, while oil reserves are as well still ripe for further exploration. Aside from this, it is a country that enjoys areas of outstanding beauty and diverse cultural heritage, with additional ancient pyramids remaining here than nearby Egypt.
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