The state-owned airline Sudan Airways was transformed in 1993 into a joint-stock company with the participation of local and foreign private capital. The company has at its disposal 3 passenger and 7 cargo aircraft. In 1999, an intention was announced to build a new international airport 20 km east of Khartoum with two runways.
The telephone network of Sudan consists of 99 thousand lines. In 1997, a mobile telephone network was put into operation for the province of Khartoum. Subsequently, other provinces will join it. Since February 1999, a project has been implemented to increase the number of subscribers of the Sudanese telephone network from 180 thousand to 1.5 million by 2003. Up to 70% of telephone lines operate in the capital, the rest in 10 large cities.
In 2001, for the second year in a row, the foreign trade balance had a positive balance of $50 million. Exports are $1.23 billion, imports are $1.18 billion. Commodity structure of exports (%): crude oil – 70, sesame – 8, gasoline – 4.5, gold – 4, livestock – 4, cotton – 3, gum arabic and sugar. Import structure (%): machine tools and equipment – 28, manufactured goods – 20, medicines – 7, wheat – 9.7, oil products – 6. Extraction, processing and export of oil completely changed the situation with Sudan’s foreign trade. If earlier the main export commodity was agricultural products, now oil and oil products. Sudanese oil supplies cover 80% of Ethiopia’s needs for oil products.
Main trading partners: Saudi Arabia, Great Britain, Egypt, France, China, Japan, Italy, Germany, Ethiopia.
The issue of Sudan’s accession to the WTO is being considered.
In 2000, the government of Sudan launched a banking reform to strengthen the economic system in the country. The tax policy of the state is also undergoing changes.
Sudan is in arrears on external loans, and a few years ago there was a question of suspending its membership in the IMF. In 1993, the Foundation stripped Sudan of its voting rights (the first time such an action had been taken against a member country of the Foundation). However, after the start of oil exports, Sudan resumed regular payments to the World Bank for debt service, as a result of which, since August 2000, its relations with the IMF have normalized. Sudan’s total external debt is $20 billion.
To overcome financial difficulties, the Central Bank of Sudan announced measures designed to stimulate development, lower inflation, stabilize the exchange rate, and support macroeconomic liberalization. According to the developed program for 1998-2003, GDP should increase by 6%, and inflation should fall to 5%.
The IMF lifted nine years of sanctions on Sudan as the country managed to reduce debt and carry out economic reforms. In May 2000, Sudan introduced a Value Added Tax (VAT) of 10% of the value of transactions for goods and services, and capital goods were exempted from import obligations. The government of Sudan also plans to expand the program of privatization of agro-industrial enterprises, transport, communications.
The economic growth rate in 2001 was 6.7% (in 2000 8.3%). This was achieved due to the rapid development of the oil industry. In the 2000 budget, revenue is provided for 298 billion court. dyn., expenses – 335 billion court. din.
Science and culture of Sudan
Sudan is a country of rich and distinctive culture. The ancestors of the Sudanese (Meroites) are considered the creators of alphabetic writing. However, in modern Sudan there is a question of eradicating illiteracy. The program adopted in this regard after independence made it possible to reduce illiteracy from 88% in 1956 (79% among men and 97.3% among women) to 49.4% in 1993 (respectively 35.6 and 62.5%). Nevertheless, the country’s illiteracy rate remains one of the highest in the world, with Sudan ranked 10th in the number of illiterates.
According to craftinlearning, primary education for children under the age of 13 is free. Secondary education for children from 14 years old lasts 3 years. The higher education system of Sudan includes more than 30 higher education institutions, incl. 12 universities, 10 institutes. The University of Khartoum was founded in 1956, the University of the Two Nile – in 1993, the University of Juba – in 1977, the Gezira University – in 1978, the Islamic University in Omdurman – in 1912. A significant number of Sudanese study in other countries (in Egypt, Syria, Germany, USA, UK, RF, Ukraine, etc.).
Contemporary Sudanese literature is young. The spirit of the national liberation movement in the first quarter of the 20th century. found reflection in the works of revolutionary romanticism. With the end of World War II, an autobiographical genre appears in Sudanese literature. Sudanese poetry of the post-war period is distinguished by revolutionary-democratic pathos, and the realistic trend is gaining momentum. A characteristic feature of Sudanese literature in the 1950s and 60s. becomes topical, attention is drawn to everyday life, to the issues of life of the middle and lower strata, the peasantry, the position of women in the family and in the Muslim world. In the 1970s such well-known Sudanese prose writers as at-Tayib Salih, Ibrahim Hardello, Isa Khilva, Ayyub al-Khal, Nabil Ghali and others appeared. The literature of the peoples of the South developed only after Sudan gained independence. To the beginning 21st century
The patterns of development characteristic of Arab-Sudanese and South Sudanese literature can be traced in the musical culture and in the fine arts of Sudan.