States And Major Cities Of Sudan
UNDER A REORGANIZATION PROGRAM IN 1994, SUDAN IS DIVIDED INTO 26 STATES. THEIR CAPITALS AND DISTINCTIVE features are enumerated counter-clockwise on the map, starting from….
Red Sea State, accounting for about 10% of Sudan’s land mass, is located in the upper northeast corner of the country, containing the entire Red Sea coastline. From the south northwards, it extends from 18° latitude, where it touches Ethiopia up to 22° where it borders with Egypt. Its capital, Port Sudan, is the country’s largest city outside Khartoum State and the principal port of maritime trade entry and exit. It also contains an export focused industrial free zone. Petroleum pipelines culminate at Bashayier Oil Export Seaport. With a population of about one million,
Port Sudan has an international airport and a significant tourism industry. Apart from the attraction of the Red Sea beaches and fine food restaurant yachts, Port Sudan is a haven for Red Sea scuba divers. Higher education is provided by Red Sea University.Suakan, a first millennium B.C. commercial center, located 37 miles south of Port Sudan, is today a favorite site for tourists and artists.
Moving counter-clockwise from Red Sea State on the map, we come to River Nile (Nahr El Nil) State in Nubia. Public higher education is provided by Nile Valley University and the University of Shendi. Industrially, Atbara, one
of the major small cities in the state, produces about 30% of the country’s cement – 72,000 metric tons in 2003.
However, the pride of the state is its pyramids and other rich remains from ancient African civilizations, which it
shares with adjacent Northern State. In these two states are found the principal historical tourist attraction areas in Sudan, possessing the remains of the great Nubian/Kushite kingdoms.
The capital of River Nile State is ElDÇmer; Dongola is the capital of Northern State. The University of Dongola provides public higher education in the state. North Darfur State, of which Al Fasher is the principal town and capital, shares its northeastern borders with Northern State and its western borders with Libya and Chad. North Darfur is a major livestock production area and also produces crops. Its hides are bought by tanneries in Nigeria as well as Sudan.
Culturally, North Darfur has ancient links with Chad and many ethnic groups spread on both sides of the international border. Its southeastern borders are with North and West Kordofan states. The University of Al Fasher
provides public higher education in North Darfur. West Darfur State, located at the southwestern border of North Darfur and bordering with Chad, is part of Greater Darfur and similar in most socio-economic and ecological respects
to North Darfur. Its capital is Geneina. Public higher education in the state is provided by the University of Zalinji.
South Darfur, with Nyala as its capital, borders Central African Republic on the west and the Southern Sudanese states of West and North Bar El Gazal in the south. Its eastern border is with West Kordofan State. Although
there has been an armed struggle in the Darfur region over the past 2 years, the peoples of Darfur are rapidly advancing in the country’s commercial sector and other modern sectors. Nyala University provides public higher education in South Darfur.
West Bahar El Gazal is part of war-torn South Sudan. The state’s northeastern border is with North Bar El Gazel and its southeastern border with Warap State. It borders with Central African Republic in the west. Wau, the capital
of West Bar El Gazel, is one of the principal urban population centers in South Sudan. West Equatoria State, with Yambio as its capital, borders to the south the Democratic Republic of Congo and some ethnic communities spread across the international frontier. Juba, the principal city in South Sudan, is capital of the Southern region as well as of Bahar El Jabal State. In peaceful times, Juba, situated along the Nile, plays an important commercial hub role in the region between Congo, Uganda, and Kenya. Expectation for final ending of the civil war raises much hope for the
future of Juba. Juba University, which now has several campuses in Khartoum State, is one of Sudan’s four oldest government owned universities.
East Equatoria, east of the Nile, with Kapoita as capital, is an extension of the southern Sudanese rain forest zone from the two southernmost Sudanese states, as we now move on the map from west to east. It borders Uganda
and Kenya. This entire region has considerable latent development potential, but far sighted planning and good leadership are essential to a bright future, following decades of war ravages.
Jongolei, the capital of which is Bor, situated along the Nile, has produced many of the Southern political elite, including former Vice President Abel Alier and SPLM/A leader Dr. John Garang. It has remained under government
control throughout the civil war and is positioned to become a leading center of influence in the political and commercial affairs of South Sudan. The Dinka, which is the South’s largest ethnic group, comprises the bulk of
Jongolei’s population. Jongolei borders Kenya in the east.
Malakal, the capital of Upper Nile State, has, since colonial times, been a leading city in the South, perhaps second in importance to Juba. Located along the White Nile, just 85 miles from its source, Malakal is a major commercial
area, particularly for gum Arabic. As a gateway to the South, Malakal has experienced considerable ethnic and cultural fusion. Upper Nile State borders Ethiopia in the east. Upper Nile University at Malakal is the public higher education institution in the state.
Blue Nile State, northeastward of Upper Nile State, also borders Ethiopia, has its capital, Al Damazin, along the river, and is one of the contested zones between North and South in determining the areas in which a referendum on
separation will be held in 2011. The University of Al Damazin was established by government to provide public higher education in the state. Sinnar is one of the historic regions of Sudan, having been the seat of the Islamic Funj
Kingdom (1504-1820). In the early 20th century, Fulani descendants of Sokoto Caliphate founder Uthman Dan Fodio established a sultanate at Maiurno, along the Blue Nile, 10 miles South of Sinnar city, 29 miles North of
Sinnar State capital Sinjah. The public institution of higher education in the state is the
University of Sinnar.
Al Gadarif State is home to Dinder National Park, Sudan’s principal game reserve, which extends in width from the Ethiopian border westward about 75 miles inside Gadarif State. Gadarif, located in the southeast third of the state, is the capital. Public higher education is provided at the University of Gadarif.
Kassala State separates Khartoum State from Ethiopia and Eritrea. It is a major agricultural production area, with irrigated gardens producing commercial quantities of fruits and vegetables. The state capital, Kassala city, is a trade
center known for hides, wheat, palm products, and gum arabic. With a population of approximately 300,000, Kassala city has a modest industrial sector dedicated mainly to tanning, flour milling, and vegetable processing. The University of Kassala provides public higher education.
Khartoum State contains the current national capital, Khartoum, and the pre-colonial Mahdist capital, Omdurman, which are the two largest cities in Sudan; the latter with a population of about 2.5 million and the former having over 3 million inhabitants. The population of Khartoum State is estimated at between 6.5 to 7 million. There are several
dozen higher education institutions campuses in the greater Khartoum area, including Omdurman where there is a concentration of private and public universities. Khartoum State also hosts an array of specialist medical centers and a number of scientific research institutes.
For 2005, Khartoum holds the distinction, “Cultural Capital of the Arab World,” but the city is rather cosmopolitan, reflecting a fusion of African, Arab, Turkish, and Western influences. There is a ceaseless procession of intellectual and artistic programs in Khartoum, Omdurman, and Bahri (Khartoum North), but the social life is for the most part family and neighbourhood oriented. Khartoum, located at the confluence of the White and Blue Niles, from archaeological findings, has a history of settlement dating back more than seven millenniums.
Khartoum North, a thriving city in its own right, used to host the main industrial park in the state; but now, there are second generation industrial zones in other parts of the state, the most notable being Giad Industrial City. Khartoum State borders River Nile and Northern State in the north and North Kordofan State in the west. El Obeid, capital of North Kordofan, is another one of Sudan’s principal cities. A market center, connected by rail to Khartoum, ElObeid, with a population of approximately 300,000, also hosts a petroleum refinery.
North Kordofan State has a small industrial sector and there are several institutions of higher education,including the University of Kordofan and a campus of Sudan University of Science & Technology at El Obeid. South of North Kordofan are West Kordofan and South Kordofan, their capitals Al Fula and Kadugli, respectively. The University of Al Dalanj provides higher education in the latter. These states contain the Nuba Mountains and might possibly be given referendums on separation from the main body of the republic.
South of West Kordofan is North Bahar ElGazal; Awil is the capital city. The University of Bahar El Gazal provides public higher education for North and West Bahar El Gzal, as well as for Warap State, the capital of which is
Warap. Situated between Warap State in the west and Jongolei State in the east are Lakes and Unity States, their capitals being Rumbek and Bantio, respectively. Unity state sits north of Lakes and borders South Kordofan in the North and in the northeast Upper Nile State. Rumbek has for some time been controlled by SPLA, which has designated it the movement’s South Sudan capital.
White Nile State produces the bulk of Sudan’s cement at its capital, Rabak. Flanked by North and South Kordofan States in the west, Khartoum State in the north, and Gezira and Sinnar States in the east, White Nile also hosts Africa’s largest sugar company, Kenana. Kenana has massive plantation areas in addition to refineries and ancillary industrial works in White Nile. Although Rabak is the capital, Kosti is the biggest city in the state.
Finally, we come to Gezira State on the southern border of Khartoum State. Relying on irrigated crop watering, Gezira has long been the ackbone of Sudan’s agriculture dominated economy; as the nation’s economic fortunes
have been decisively affected by its annual fortunes. Although the massive Gezira scheme has now been broken into private holdings, the state continues as a major cotton and grain producer. Wad Madani, the state capital, with
a population in the vicinity of 300,000, is the country’s leading cigarette and tyre manufacturer and hosts the University of Gezira.