Last updated in December 2017

Political relations

The German 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 is supporting the African Union’s efforts to establish peace in Sudan as well as the National Dialogue process that is underway in the country, while also providing support for the Comprehensive Peace Agreement between North and South Sudan within the European Union and the United Nations. Germany is a major financial contributor to the African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), and is also contributing police and military personnel to the mission. It is also supporting UNAMID by providing training and equipment to the contingents of African troop contributing countries. 

Germany is one of the largest donors of humanitarian aid for the approximately 2.1 million internally displaced persons in Darfur.

Economic relations and development cooperation

Economic relations between Germany and Sudan, though modest, are characterised by a high regard for German goods and services. As the German Government has so far been unable to offer export credit guarantees, known as Hermes insurance, 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 contracted by the Sudanese Government. The Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry (DIHK) and the German Chambers of Commerce Abroad (AHK) have no representatives in Sudan, and Germany Trade and Invest (GTAI) has no correspondents in the country.

The volume of German foreign trade with Sudan is low. In 2016, Germany exported goods worth 170.5 million euros to Sudan. During the same period, Germany imported goods worth only 16.5 million euros from Sudan. In first six months of 2017, German exports to Sudan totalled 148.5 million euros, while German imports from Sudan remained modest at 10.8 million euros. Traditionally, Germany’s main imports from Sudan are cotton and gum arabic as well as small quantities of sesame, nuts and leather. Germany’s main exports to Sudan are machinery and equipment as well as finished products, chemicals, foodstuffs and textiles.

In the area of development cooperation, the German Government is committed to supporting measures dealing with migration-related issues as well as measures that enhance resilience and food security and promote peaceful reconstruction. These measures aim to provide sustainable support for refugees, internally displaced persons and host communities; strengthen the resilience of disadvantaged segments of the population against drought- and crisis-related shocks; and assist with the internationally supported peace process in Darfur. There is no traditional bilateral financial or technical cooperation with the Republic of Sudan. Development policy measures are implemented through international and non-governmental organisations. The vocational training and reconstruction measures of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) are being implemented as part of the German Government’s engagement in the peace process in Darfur as well as its involvement in a trilateral cooperation with the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).

Cultural relations

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 in Khartoum there is an active network of people with an interest in Germany.

Since its reopening in 2008, the Goethe-Institut 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 emerging intellectual elites, who attend the neighbouring university institutes. The Goethe-Institut’s language courses are increasingly popular.
The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) has a German Studies lector working in Khartoum who is responsible for awarding scholarships for study and research stays in Germany and for advising students.

German has been taught as a foreign language at Sudanese universities since 1990. There are currently just under 100 students enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Arts with Honours programmes at the University of Khartoum. It has so far 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 University for Women in Omdurman and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and Technische Universität Berlin in the fields of women’s studies and development studies, as well as contacts between the University of Gezira and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin in the fields of agriculture and archaeology and between the University of Gezira 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. Staff from Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, the University of Cologne, 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. 

This text is intended as a source of basic information. It is regularly updated. No liability can be accepted for the accuracy or completeness of its contents.

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