Salient Features: Government-dominated mixed
economy. Modern agriculture sector and most of modern industry
controlled by government corporations directly or through joint
ventures; virtually all small- and medium-sized industry, most
services, traditional agriculture, and handicrafts controlled
privately. Civil war in south, massive influx of refugees from
neighboring countries, and drought in 1980s and 1991 have hampered
economic development. New economic recovery program announced
June 1990 to end economic stagnation, develop agriculture, liberalize
trade, abolish most government monopolies, progressively eliminate
budget deficit, and develop energy resources.
Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries, and Forestry:
Agriculture and livestock raising provided livelihood for about
80 percent of population and roughly 95 percent of exports in
early 1990s. Agriculture characterized by modern market-oriented
sector of irrigated and mechanized rainfed farming concentrated
in central part of country and large traditional sector engaged
in subsistence activities elsewhere. Principal modern sector crops:
cotton, sorghum, groundnuts, sugarcane, wheat, sesame. Traditional
sector crops: sorghum, millet, sesame, groundnuts. Fisheries still
largely subsistence occupation. Apart from gum arabic, a major
export, forests used mainly for fuel.
Manufacturing: Public enterprises dominant in
modern manufacturing activity, mainly foodstuffs, beverages, textiles.
Output of government plants generally well below capacities because
of raw materials shortages, power outages, lack of spare parts,
and lack of competent managerial staff and skilled laborers. Three-quarters
of large-scale modern manufacturing in Al Khartum State.
Mining: Contributed less than 1 percent to gross
domestic product (GDP) in 1990. Most petroleum exploration operations
ended in 1984 because of civil war in south and had not resumed
as of mid-1991.
Energy: Chief sources of energy in 1990: domestic
wood, charcoal, hydroelectric power, imported petroleum; large
hydroelectric potential only partially exploited. Central area
of country served by electric power grid; some towns elsewhere
had local generating facilities.
Foreign Trade: Agricultural products (cotton,
gum arabic, groundnuts, sesame, livestock) dominate exports. Large
trade deficit since late 1970s, accentuated by increased costs
of petroleum imports. Main destinations of exports in 1986: Saudi
Arabia, Japan, Britain, other European Community (EC) members.
Main suppliers: Saudi Arabia (petroleum), Britain, other EC members,
United States, Japan, China.
Data as of June 1991