*Associate Professor in Political Science, Dept. of Evening Studies, Panjab University, Chandigarh.
poverty line. Rich mineral resources are available in North Sudan including: petroleum, natural gas, gold,silver, chromites, asbestos, manganese, gypsum, mica, zinc, iron, lead, uranium, copper, kaolin, cobalt,granite, nickel, tin and aluminum. South Sudan too contains many natural resources such as petroleum, ironore, copper, chromium ore, zinc, tungsten, mica, silver, gold, and hydropower. However, after South Sudan became an independent nation in July 2011, no agreement has reached on how to split the revenue from thesouthern oilfields.
Petroleum exploration began in Sudan in the mid-1970s and commercial quantities of oil began to be exported in October 2000, reducing Sudan’s outflow of foreign exchange for imported petroleum products. Oil has emerged as an important commodity exported to Japan, China, South Korea, Indonesia, andIndia. Increase in daily oil production (currently at about 520,000 barrels) has revived industry, expandedexport processing and has helped the country to sustain GDP growth at about 6%. Most of the oil fields areoperated by oil consortiums from China, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and Yemen.
Gas deposits,detected on Red Sea continental shelves are being drilled.Due to lack of skilled labour force, raw materials, and investments, both the Sudans have a smallindustrial sector. Industry accounted for an estimated 17 percent of GDP in 1998
About 80 percent of theindustry is privately-owned. The main industries in erstwhile combined Sudan included tanning and leather production, weaving and spinning mills, gum arabic production, paper mills, minerals, ores, and rawmaterials extraction. The tannery industry created 6 percent of the country's exports. It produced furs for thefootwear industry, belts, and artificial leather. There were 7 big tanneries, 72 leather factories, and 290traditional manufacturers. Textile industry in the country included government supported weaving andspinning mills. Sudan produces arabic gum (extracted from the resin of Senegalese acacia trees) used infoodstuffs, chemical industry, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and lithography to meet 80 percent of the worldconsumption. Sudan has been the third largest producer of sugar in Africa, after South Africa and Egypt producing more than 450,000 tons every year.
Traditionally trade deficit, Sudan became trade surplus due tooil exports after 2000. Other exports included oil seeds, sesame, vegetable oil, and sugar cotton, sheep andsome gold. It imports foodstuffs, steel and alloy products, spare parts, audio and video devices, refrigerators,cars, buses and trucks etc. In 2000, Sudan imported about $17 million worth of irrigation materials fromChina. Sudan’s major trading partners include Saudi Arabia, UK, Egypt, Italy, India, France, China, Netherlands and Japan.Both the Sudans are rich in resources but remain poor country and full of starvation. They have very lowindicators on United Nations Human Development Index. Resources have not been properly developed.Corruption in high offices has reportedly been rampant. The battle to control oil resources was one of themajor bones of contention which caused the division of the country. Fighting between the Sudanese ArmedForces (SAF) and the Southern Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) over control of oil resourcesrendered thousands of people homeless and disabled. Many families lost everything fleeing their country'sviolence, drought, or floods in the west and the south of the country.
Darfur region homing racially mixed peasant tribes were subjected to systematic displacement and