Sudan’s Economic Development
Development is something we do to make our way of life more comfortable. If we were not to develop we would still be living in the depths of the jungle feeding on bugs and things. But we have developed to become a more intelligent and happier race. In developing we take things we have and manipulate them into things we can use and sell to help our current situation and in turn make our way of life better.
The quality of life is very important. Some factors may be measured but inputs such as personal happiness, a sense of well being or self worth etc., are more difficult to measure because they are subjective. A study of development must contain both measurable objective and subjective aspects. The quality of life can be measured by other factors like infant mortality rate, life expectancy, literacy rate, GNP, and population-growth rate.
The quality of life is directly linked to the state of development that a country is currently at. To be developed a country has to have at the very least the basic necessities covered for the human population, e.g. clean water and a health system. To be highly developed a country would have to be up with the cutting edge of technology and health care, plus have a good education status etc.
This report will eventually draw up a conclusion of what state of development this country (Sudan) is at.
Sudan is situated in Northeastern Africa, the largest country of the African continent. It is bounded on the north by Egypt; on the east by the Red Sea and has Kenya, Uganda, DRC (formerly Zaire), Central African Republic, Chad and Libya.
Sudan has a total area of 2,505,813 sq. km. Khartoum is the Capital City of Sudan. Sudan has a maximum length from north to south of more than 2250km; the extreme width of the country is about1730km.
Divided into three separate regions, ranging from desert which covers about 30% of all Sudan, through a vast semiarid region of steppes and low mountains in central Sudan, to a region of vast swamps and rain forest in the south. Major features of Sudan are the great Nile River and its head streams the White Nile and the Blue Nile.
Sudan has a tropical climate, Seasonal variations are most sharply defined in the desert zones, where winter temperatures as low as 4.4 degrees Celsius are common. Summer temperatures often exceed 43.3 degrees Celsius in the desert zones, and rainfall is negligible. Dust storms frequently occur. In Khartoum the average annual temperature is about 26.7 degrees Celsius; and annual rainfall which often occurs between mid-June and September, is about 254mm.
The primary natural resources of Sudan are water. Supplied by the Nile River system, and fertile soil. Large areas of cultivable land are situated in the region between the Blue Nile and the White Nile. Small deposits of many minerals occur. The most important of which are chromium, copper and iron ore. Petroleum was also discovered in the late 1970″s.
The population of Sudan is composed mainly of Arabs in the north and black Africans in the south. Other ethnic groups in northern Sudan include the Beja, Jamala and Nubian peoples.
About 58% of the economically active people are engaged in agricultural or pastoral activities; a quarter are employed in services and less than 10% in manufacturing and mining.
Infant mortality rate indicates how many infants in every 1000 die soon after birth. Sudan has an infant morality rate of 77 in every 1000 live births. In developing countries the infant mortality rate is usually high and this lowers the overall life expectancy, along with generally poor health among adults. Sudan has a limited health system; it provides various vaccinations for the population but lacks overall medical treatment.
Sudan does not have a good life expectancy (52 years); this is probably due to the relatively poor health services. Only 48% of Sudan”s population have access to clean water and there are 11620 people per doctor.
(Population projection graph Appendix A)
(Sudan population pyramid Appendix B)
Sudan”s economic situation is not all that great. GDP/capita is only at $186 US, compared to other countries like Indonesia ($671), Togo ($559) and Costa Rica ($1774) Sudan needs to do a little work to get their GDP up. Sudan imports primary foodstuffs, petroleum products, manufactured goods, machinery and equipment, medicines and chemicals at a cost of 1.1billion dollars US annually. But they only export $535 million per annum in cotton (24%), livestock/meat (13%), gum Arabic (food additive in printing material)(11%). This has put Sudan into an $18 billion dollar debt.
The education status of Sudan is not very impressive either. An Adult literacy rate of 42.7% and only 52% of children in primary school the population doesn”t get the education it requires to develop properly.
About two thirds of Sudan”s population derives its living from crop farming or grazing, but only about 5% of the countries land is arable. Annual crop production in the early 1990″s included; sorghum, wheat, peanuts, dates, yams and pulses. Cotton is the leading cash crop of Sudan; it is produced in large amounts in the Al Jazirah region. The livestock population in the early 1990″s included about 21.6 million cattle, 22.6 million sheep, 18.7 million goats and 35 million poultry.
The constitution of 1973, establishing Sudan as a one-party presidential Republic, was suspended following a military coup in 1985. Open elections were held in 1986, but political activities in the court were banned after another military coup in 1989. After the 1985 coup a 15 member Transitional Military Council took control. In April 1986 the people elected members to a parliamentary assembly; the leader of the majority party became Prime Minister. This shows that the government up until 1985 the Sudanese government was unstable and needed reform.
It is quite clear that Sudan is not a developed country. This shows mainly in it”s economic factors, with the country being $18billion dollars in debt and having its exports much lower than its imports there doesn”t seem to be much hope of Sudan getting into or anywhere near the black. Also the majority of the population works in agriculture and only a limited number of people work in the industries.
The health system provides only limited support for the population. Over 11 000 people per doctor and 48% of the population with access to clean water, it is no surprise that the life expectancy is only 52 years.
(Basic demographic Indicators Appendix C)
Everyone knows that it takes money to make money and Sudan has a lot of its money channelled into the military. They could cut down on the army expenses and divide that money into other aspects like education, health and technology. Sudan can be an ally with neighbouring countries and trade goods; they could combine their forces and become one force.