Sudan has an abundance of natural resources, including agricultural produce, minerals and crude oil. Despite this, the growth of Sudan industry sectors has been slow, as the nation continues to be heavily dependent on its primary sector. In fact, according to CIA reports, the agriculture sector in Sudan accounts for employment of a staggering 80% of the nation’s total labor force. Industrial production growth rate, although positive, has been a meager 2.1%.
Sudan Industry Sectors: Major Contributors
Petroleum exploration and refinery are the biggest players in Sudan’s industry sector. While Sudan has been an oil producer for decades, the nation began exporting oil only after 1999. Sudan had oil reserves of over 6.8 billion barrels in 2010, accounting for 0.49% of total world oil reserves, according to CIA World Fact Book. Presently, oil accounts for over three-quarters of Sudan’s total exports, with Japan, South Korea, China, Indonesia and India being Sudan’s key oil importers.
Other key players of Sudan industry sectors are:
One of the oldest industries in Sudan, the government is actively involved in boosting the Sudanese textile industry by setting up spinning and weaving mills to increase the industry produce. The Sudanese government had also created a motto for the industry, "Let's wear what we produce ourselves", to bridge the gap between production and consumption.
Sugar production is a key industry in Sudan, considering the nation is Africa’s third biggest producer of sugar. To support this industry and facilitate sugar cultivation, the Sudanese government has funded several plans for enlarging sugar fields near the Nile River. The Kenana Sugar Company is a joint venture of the Sudanese government with private investors. The success of this venture encouraged the government to open the state-owned Sudanese Sugar Company to private investment in early 2000.
Sudan has an electrical generation capacity, hydroelectric and thermal, of over 300MW. Over 70% of the nation’s hydropower is generated from the Roseires Dam. A new dam construction project in the Merowe region is expected to produce about 1250 MW of electricity. The government has also proposed several projects to expand thermal and hydropower production, but is struggling to arrange sufficient financing.
Despite several measures undertaken by the government, Sudan’s industry sectors continue to suffer from several chronic problems, including a lack of raw materials, labor force and investments. If these problems are tackled by the Sudanese government, the nation’s dependence on imports would decline and its economy would grow significantly.