Last updated in March 2016
The Federal Government is endeavouring to help resolve the various conflicts in Sudan with a view to ensuring peaceful, secure and sustainable development throughout the country.
Germany supports the African Union’s efforts to establish peace in Sudan and the country’s National Dialogue as well as providing support for the Comprehensive Peace Agreement between North and South Sudan within the European Union and the United Nations. Germany is an important contributor of funds to the joint United Nations and African Union peacekeeping mission (UNAMID) in Darfur, seconding police officers and troops for the blue-helmet mission. Germany also supports the mission by conducting training measures and supplying equipment for contingents of African troop providers.
Germany is one of the principal donors of humanitarian aid for the approximately 2.5 million internally displaced persons in Darfur.
Economic relations and development cooperation
Economic relations between Germany and Sudan, though fairly low-key, are characterised by the high regard in which German goods and services are held. As the Federal Government has so far been unable to offer Hermes export credit guarantees for Sudan, prospects for an expansion of bilateral trade remain limited.
Major projects to expand the Sudanese telecommunications sector, build power stations and develop the transport sector have attracted the interest of German companies, which are mainly providing engineering services on Sudanese government contracts. There are no representatives of the German Federation of Industry and Commerce (DIHK) or the German Chambers of Commerce Abroad (AHK) or Germany Trade & Invest (GTAI) correspondents in Sudan.
German foreign trade with Sudan is modest. In 2013, German exports to Sudan were worth approximately EUR 224 million and German imports from Sudan EUR 15.1 million. Traditionally, Sudan’s main exports to Germany are cotton and gum arabic as well as small quantities of sesame, nuts and leather.
Sudanese imports from Germany mainly comprise machinery and equipment as well as finished products, chemicals, foodstuffs and textiles.
In development cooperation, the Federal Government has pledged EUR 16 million for reconstruction in Darfur, EUR 6 million of which is to be used for a vocational training project of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), which is scheduled to begin in late 2015 or early 2016.
Cooperation in the area of culture and education is well developed. German culture and research enjoy an excellent reputation in Sudan. A large number of Sudanese citizens have studied or worked in Germany and maintain in Khartoum an active network of people with an interest in Germany.
Since its reopening in 2008, the Goethe Institute in Khartoum has, through its programme and language work, been a cornerstone of cultural relations with Sudan. With its cultural programme (theatre workshops, concerts, roundtable discussions, etc.) and its on-site café, it serves as a meeting place for Sudan’s rising intellectual elite, which attends the neighbouring university institutes. The Goethe Institute’s language courses are increasingly popular.
The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) has an academic teacher in German Studies working in Khartoum who is responsible for awarding scholarships for study and research stays in Germany and for student counselling.
German has been taught as a foreign language at Sudanese universities since 1990. There are currently just under 100 students enrolled in the BA and BA Honours programme at the University of Khartoum. So far, it has not been possible to learn German at Sudan’s schools.
On the academic front, there are a number of cooperation programmes between Sudanese and German educational institutions involving student, postgraduate, researcher and faculty exchanges. These include the cooperation between the Ahfad Women’s University in Omdurman and the Humboldt-Universität Berlin and the Technische Universität Berlin (women’s studies and development policy) as well as contacts between Gezira University and the Humboldt-Universität (agriculture and archaeology) and a number of other universities.
In the area of cultural preservation, there is close cooperation between the Sudan Antiquities Service and various German archaeological institutions. Workers from the Humboldt-Universität Berlin, Cologne University, Berlin’s Egyptian Museum and the German Archaeological Institute regularly carry out restoration and conservation work at antiquity sites in Naga, Musawwarat es Sufra and Gala Abu Ahmed. Artefacts found at these sites are regularly loaned to Germany for exhibition purposes.