Sudan: Is It Being Exploited by Foreign Powers?

Sudan: Is It Being Exploited by Foreign Powers?
Sudan: Is It Being Exploited by Foreign Powers?

Opposition leaders in Sudan say its military rulers are being exploited by foreign powers, eager to take advantage of the country’s natural resources and strategic location. According to Central Bank of Sudan, main destinations of Sudan’s exports in 2018 are respectively the United Arab Emirates (UAE), China and Saudi Arabia. The UAE buys most of the country’s lucrative money-earner, gold. China imports significant amounts of crude oil and Saudi Arabia buys mostly livestock from Sudan. Sudan has agreed to lease millions of acres to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Turkey and China, and is in the process of making similar deals for other countries, including Jordan, Egypt and the UAE.

Sudan’s coastline on the Red Sea, is an important shipping route, close to the continuing war in Yemen. Most of the country’s trade currently passes through Port Sudan. In addition, a big contract has been agreed to develop another port facility, in the city of Suakin, south of Port Sudan. In March 2018, Turkey and Qatar signed a deal worth $4bn to support Sudan in the development of this port. This is seen as both a highly strategic move and a politically sensitive one – as it could allow Turkey to establish a military presence on the Red Sea. But both Turkey and Qatar are political rivals to Sudan’s increasingly influential backers, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE, having provided an aid package of about $3bn to Sudan since the military took power in April, have been putting pressure on the government to cancel the deal. Sudan is also a recipient of significant amounts of Chinese infrastructure investment as part of China‘s Belt and Road Initiative to create a global trade route.


Center for Africa Studies (AFRAM) which located in Ankara, is an organization facilitating under the administration of African Affairs Council (AFAC). It makes various researches about Africa to enhance economic and cultural bounds between Africa and Turkey. AFRAM’s publishings has been shared with different institutions as they require to obtain.


Africa Observatory is one the publishing of AFRAM and it has been published each two weeks. It has been delivered to different institutions via e-mail.

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