Transport In Sudan
SUDAN HAS HAD, FOR ALMOST A CENTURY, A DIVERSIFIED TRANSPORT SYSTEM,CONSISTING OF ROAD, RIVER, AND RAIL travel, to which air has been added, and current plans are to continue developing these means of
transport to retain the traditional diversity. Roads constitute a priority area for Sudan and the government has been making considerable progress in expanding the paved road network. Asphalt roads have, over the past 16 years,
increased from 2,456km to 6,500km. All parts of the country, West, South, North, Central, and East have benefited from this massive expansion. Another 50,000 kilometers of road are waiting to be paved and there is yet need for
new roads in this country covering more than 2.5 million square kilometers.
Responsibility for Sudan’s transport sector is divided between three ministries: the Ministry of Roads and Bridges, the Ministry of Civil Aviation, and the Ministry of Transport. The Ministry of Transport has under its domain
four large state-owned corporations: The Sea Ports Authority, the National Railways Corporation, the National River Authority, and Sudan Shipping Lines.
Sudan’s railroad system, comprising 4,599 km (2,858 mi) of track, links most of the major cities and towns. Supplementing the railroad system is traffic on 5,300 km (3,300 miles) of navigable waterways, in addition to roads. Rail transport carries about 2.5 million tons annually, but plans call for investment sufficient to increase capacity up to 4.5 million tons. Sudan Railway Corporation is interested in having a rail link between Sudan and Ethiopia that
would give the landlocked country of nearly 80 million people direct access to Port Sudan. Rail links with Chad and Central African Republic are also of interest to SRC.
With increased investment and expansion of the economy, the need for a thorough transport network is pressing, while the government’s resources need to be supplemented with investments. Basically, the strategy is to reorganize
the transport sector with privatization and deregulation. As per the privatization law, the government
would retain 25-30% in any privatized operation, but thus far, this arrangement has proved rewarding for both private investors and government, as well as the Sudanese capital markets, where regularly yielding bonds are issued backed by the state’s performing assets.
Urban public transportation is provided by privately owned buses of various sizes, but the 23-seat minibus imported from Asia is the most commonly operated. Small 9-seat buses can be joined at a premium rate, while taxis are generally old and somewhat dilapidated. However, there is a considerable number of car hire services,providing late model luxury vehicles.