Sudan basically operates a free market economy model. Overall, it is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. It is currently ranked the 17th of the fastest growing economies maintaining a high growth rate in spite of the economic challenges. Though agricultural products formed the backbone of the Sudanese economy for many years, recent discovery and the resultant trade in oil has boosted the economy greatly. The country now has surplus incomes. Under the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), Southern Sudan shares the incomes from oil with the North. The GoSS share percentage is determined by the actual production on a monthly basis.


Southern Sudan also produces agricultural crops such as cotton, gum, sorghum, sesame, and peanuts which play a key role in the country's economy. The country is also rich in mineral resources. It exports some natural gas, gold, silver, chrome, asbestos, manganese, gypsum, mica, zinc, iron, lead, uranium, copper, kaolin, cobalt, granite, nickel and tin. The country also exports animal products from camels, goats and sheep to Egypt, the Middle-East and Europe.


Sample bank note


The industrial sector in Sudan is essentially composed of light consumer goods industries involved in manufacturing handicrafts, building and construction, electricity and water, and mining. Southern Sudan also has a vast forest cover which is rich in diverse tree species which provide rare timber, wood fuel, fruits, medicinal barks or roots, and oil. The forest also creates a good environment which may be used to cultivate agricultural products such as mushrooms. Most Southern Sudanese understand the value of forests and collaborate with authorities in conserving them. Un-necessary bush cutting and felling down of trees is discouraged and is heavily penalized.


There are several banks and forex bureaux operating in Southern Sudan, especially in Juba. These include major financial service providers such as the Kenya Commercial Bank, Nile Bank, Buffalo Commercial Bank, and Equity Bank, among others. These institutions offer services such as money transfers, business financing, forex exchange, and money handling.


The economy also benefits from the service industry which is driven by commerce, restaurants and hotels, finance and insurance, real estate and business services, transport and communication and government services. There are also a number of NGOs and international organizations engaged in several economic sectors, especially humanitarian and infrastructural development.

In spite of this impressive economic growth, most Southern Sudanese are still poor. This can be attributed to historical factors including several decades of civil strife, war and gross marginalization.



This article was updated on Oct 20, 2009

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This article was updated on Aug 28, 2009