Welcome to Sudan

My name is Mojtaba and I live on the outskirts of Khartoum, the capital of Sudan. You can find out more about where I live and the many cultural traditions we have from the videos I have been making. You can also find out what young people think about the recent separation of Sudan into two countries - Sudan and South Sudan.

Economy & Industry

An economy dependent on oil

Though agricultural produce and gum arabic are important exports for Sudan, the country’s economy is dependent on oil.


Across the rest of the world, absolute poverty has halved over recent decades, but in Africa it has barely fallen.

About two-fifths of the population of sub-Saharan Africa survive week by week on what someone in the UK earns from just one hour's work on the minimum wage.

Tourism & Communications

Seeing the ancient sites

The power and majesty of the ancient Egyptian/Nubian kingdoms can still be felt at historical sites along the Nile valley north of Khartoum.

Saturday breakfast

Breakfast discussions

Every Saturday the children at the SOS Village in Khartoum enjoy a big breakfast and sit together to talk about what's been happening in their lives.


Around one in six children born in sub-Saharan Africa don't live to see their fifth birthday and life can be tough for those who do.

What are the common challenges facing African children and how do their lives compare with those of children in the UK?


A woman’s status varies by country and region across Africa. In many parts, women struggle against inequality in laws, education, pay and domestic responsibilities.

Women’s health is also at risk from traditional practices such as early marriage. But with better education, girls can make more informed choices, leading to the greater development of African nations.

Sudan map

Explore Sudan

Have a look at some of the regions, features and places of interest in Sudan.

Agriculture & Famine

A quarter of the population of sub-Saharan Africa is undernourished and famines can impact whole regions.

Land is available to grow more food locally, but investment is needed in  technologies such as irrigation for land to be used effectively. Farmers must also adapt to climate change if they are to feed the continent's rising population.

The Nile

Life of the Sudanese people

In Sudan, the Blue Nile and the White Nile meet at Khartoum. Mojtaba points out where the rivers join. You can see quite clearly where the two different colours of the waters run side by side.

People & Culture

Arab or African?

Though many Sudanese are of mixed Arab and African ancestry, Arabic-speaking people tend to view themselves as Arabs first and foremost.

Poverty & Healthcare

Standard of living varies by region

In the most developed regions of Sudan, rates of poverty and malnutrition are low and over half the population have water and sanitation facilities. But in some states, many households have poor nutrition and no running water or toilets.


Africa has a high number of communicable diseases, which place a huge burden on healthcare systems. The vast majority of malaria cases and HIV/AIDS-related deaths occur in Africa; these two diseases currently represent the greatest threats.

With low investment in healthcare and a severe shortage of medical staff, many countries struggle to meet the health needs of their people.

Climate & Agriculture

Nile waters

While areas to the south receive more rainfall, much of Sudan is dry and arid. The Nile therefore provides a vital source of water for the towns and agricultural regions along its banks.


The first humans are thought to have lived in Africa and powerful African empires formed from the medieval age onwards.

However, today's African nations were shaped by the European powers who colonised this vast continent. Having gained their independence, many African countries are still coming to terms with the legacy left by their colonisers.

Facts & Figures

Facts about Sudan

An estimated 30 million people live in Sudan, though population figures have yet to settle as some people relocate to South Sudan.

Prayer time with Mojtaba

Praying five times a day, every day, no matter what you're doing or where you are, is part of daily life for many Sudanese people. Mojtaba shows how it's done.

Food & Daily life

Life in Khartoum

The Nile waters flow through Khartoum and the city’s dwellers take respite from the hot, dusty streets along the river’s banks. Here, many refugees to the capital earn money by offering drinks to passers-by.


Africa is a massive continent, with a range of climates. Some regions are hot and dry, like the Sahara, Kalahari and Namib deserts. Other parts are wet or covered in tropical rainforest. Conditions also vary by altitude, from the dry salt pans of the Danakil Depression (one of the lowest points on earth) to the snowcaps (at certain times) of the highest mountains. Weather-wise, Africa has it all!

Children's stories

'The Fisherman' and 'Be careful when the rain comes'

Watch the films created by the children at the SOS Children’s Village in Khartoum. They were given the opportunity to take part in a film-making workshop to learn the skills they needed.

Welcome to Sudan

Hello and welcome to Sudan.  My name is Mojtaba.

In July 2011, Sudan separated into two countries - Sudan and South Sudan. I live in Sudan, on the outskirts of the capital Khartoum. You can find out more about where I live and the history of this great city from the videos I've been making.  You can also find out what young people think about the recent separation of Sudan.   

Life of a girl

A girl's life

Girls living in Sudan are expected to act and dress in a certain way, according to Sudanese culture and the Muslim faith.

History & Politics

A mainly Muslim country

The main influence on the country today came with the arrival of the early Arab traders and the Islamic conversion of dominant groups from the 1500s. Conflict has been caused by the strong influence of the Muslim government of Khartoum over minority peoples in outlying regions.

Geography & Wildlife

With its varied geography and diverse habits, the African continent is home to a wide range of flora and fauna. Though famous for its 'big game' animals, Africa has huge numbers of fish, mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian and insect species, as well as many tree, plant and flower species.

Geography & Wildlife

Mostly flat

Though much of Sudan is flat, three highland areas rise up to the east, south and west.


A considerate practice

Part of the Sudanese culture is to offer water to passers-by from pots which are left outside houses. It's called Sabeel.

Games & Sport

Africa is home to arguably the oldest-recorded games and sports. While some are only known through archaeology, modern-day games and sports such as Mancala/Mankala and Nubian wrestling are very much alive today.

Of course, new sports have come along to claim the attention of Africans. You may have heard of one - it's called football.

Education & Jobs

Khartoum is a university city

Khartoum is a seat of learning and the city has many colleges of higher education. However, on leaving school many boys look for work in order to support their families.


Africa has some of the most distinctive cuisines and flavours in the world. Food varies widely, but there are commonalities across regions. Depending on what's grown locally, dishes are also influenced by the traders, immigrants and rulers who settled across the continent. Arab, Asian and European elements blend in with traditional African cooking.


‘People are the real wealth of a nation.’ This is the belief of the United Nations, whose Millenium Development Goals provide a framework for improving the lives of millions.

It helps when nations are peaceful, stable and growing economically. But where even the poorest countries focus on health, education and creating fairer societies, more Africans have the chance of a better life.

Sudan divided

Sudan divided

How do the young people of Sudan feel now their country has been divided? What does it mean for their friendships with people in the south? They give their opinions.

Sudan topics Facts & Figures Poverty & Healthcare Food & Daily life Life of a girl People & Culture Geography & Wildlife Climate & Agriculture The Nile Saturday breakfast Welcome to Sudan Sudan divided Economy & Industry Prayers Education & Jobs Children's stories History & Politics Sabeel Sudan map Tourism & Communications