One of the methods of assessing a current condition of a state, company or factory etc. before taking a major step is what is known by SWOT _ Strength, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats – Now Sudan is on the verge of radical change. Running the following SWOT analysis assists in the formation of the new look of Sudan:
(A) Elements of Strength
1. Strategic Location
It is right in the heart of Africa between the Arab/African countries in the north and the African countries in the south. It shares land borders with seven countries and coastal border with one: Total land borders 6819 kilometers and one coastal border of length 853 Km with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) on the Red Sea. Land borders: Central African Republic 174 km; Chad 1403 km, Egypt 1276 km; Eritrea 682 km; Ethiopia 744 km; Libya 382 km; South Sudan 2158 km.
2. Sudan is rich in water resources of rivers and rain. The River Nile is the longest in the world of total length 7081 km, Amazon number 2 of length 6575 and Mississippi number 3 of length 6082 km. River Nile is a composition of two rivers – The Blue Nile from Ethiopia in the east and the White Nile from Uganda in the South. They both meet at the confluence of Khartoum flowing north as the River Nile till the Mediterranean Sea. Total volume of water flowing in the River Nile is 85 billion cubic meters annually. 84% from the Blue Nile and 16% from White Nile. According to the Nile Basic Agreement of 1929 amended 1959 the share of Sudan is 18.5 billion cubic meters and Egypt 55.5. The balance 11 billion left to cater for evaporation. Till now Sudan has never used all of its quota. Usage of water in Sudan is now about 11 billion cubic meters; the rest goes to Egypt annually since 1929. Rain water in Sudan as estimated by World Data Atlas (WDA) is 470 billion cubic meters annually, Egypt rain water is only 51 billion cubic meters i.e. 11% of that of Sudan.
3. According to WDA the arable area of Sudan in 2016 was 164 million acres i.e. 27% of the arable land of the 44 million cares only 4 million irrigated, the 40 million is rain-fed. So Sudan has a potential of cultivating more 120 million acres.
4. Animal, fishery and poultry resources: Livestock in Sudan is 125 million annually – cattle, sheep, goats and camels. Poultry production was 40 thousand tons; fishery production was 40 thousand tons and estimated annual fish volume at 100 thousand tons.
5. Sudan has a preferential advantage of producing 85% of the global Gum Arabic estimated as 110 thousand tons annually. Gum Arabic is an essential element in all food preservation industries, sweet, medicine and space craft’s.
6. Oil reserve in Sudan is 1.5 billion barrels expected to reach 6 billion in few years. Sudan is rich in rare minerals e.g. gold, silver, copper, mica, chrome, iron and zinc. In 2012 Sudan exported 46 tons of gold. Reserve of gold in Sudan is estimated as 300 tons. Price of one ton of gold is about 40 million dollar.
(B) Elements of Weakness:
1. Corruption: According to Transparency International Sudan ranks number three of the most corrupt nations in the world.
2. Incompetent members of the civil service. Almost all qualified cadres of all professions – doctors, engineers, administrators, agriculture experts, veterinary doctors etc. were forced and expelled from the civil service and now they are all in exile in America, Europe, Canada, Australia and Gulf States. This explains the enthusiasm of taking to streets in those countries in support of those who demonstrated in Sudanese since December 19, 2018 till now.
3. Collapse of all historical agricultural schemes together with their irrigation systems.
4. Collapse of the transport sector, – Sudan Railways, Sudan Airways, Sudan Shipping Line and River Transport.
5. Drastic deterioration of the economy after the secession of South Sudan and the consequent loss of 75% of the oil export proceeds. Revenues of the budget reduced by 80% and expenditure maintained at a high level due to wars, large federal governance structure. Trade deficit reached US$6 billion, inflation 70%. People under poverty line shot to 60%.
6. Unstable foreign policies between the conflicting axes in the region and the world.
1. Taking a correct step of leaning to one axis i.e. Either Qatar or KSA axis and normalization of relations with America and Europe.
2. Working hard and diligently to have Sudan name removed from the list of states sponsoring terrorism.
3. Rehabilitation of the failed and collapsed schemes in agriculture, transport sector and industry.
1. Slipping into chaos after a total economic collapse and peaceful demonstrations turns to violence, destruction, looting etc.
2. Government resorting to use of excessive force killing thousands.
3. International intervention under Chapter VII of UN Charter which will lead to an unwelcome rule which will lead to disintegration of Sudan.