Sudan belongs to a group of the poorest and least developed countries in
the world. Its economy is very sluggish and underdeveloped.
Sudan's civil war and political instability have caused havoc on
economic sectors. There are labor shortages for almost all the
categories of skilled employment. The most recent
estimation is from 1996 and measured the workforce at 11 million. Of
that 11 million, 4 percent (or 440,000) were officially registered as
unemployed. Some estimate that the real unemployment rate is nearly 30
percent, however. Most of the population survives on
. Industry is limited to some textile and foodstuffs manufacturing
facilities, which operate at very low standards.
Since the late 1990s, the government has been trying to improve the
economic prospects of the country. If
it succeeds in breaking international isolation, mitigating the inner
conflict, and attracting more investment, the country could experience
significant growth. There were plans for developing the petrochemical
and chemical industry, improving textile manufacturing, and attracting
tourism. But by 2001, little progress had been made.