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Historical Background
          India-Sudan relations go back in history to the time of the Nilotic and Indus Valley Civilizations (about 5000 years ago).  The pastoral Beja, some 5% of Sudan’s population, are a Hamitic people, claiming their origin from India. Their language, spoken from the chest (heart) rather than from the lips, could be related to ancient Prakrit.
2.      There is evidence that by the end of the 12th century, trade via the Red Sea between India and the ancient Nubian kingdoms of Sudan had started growing.  Visiting Sudan in the 16th century, the famous spiritual leader Tajuddin Al Buhari stayed with the renowned al-Hindi family of Sufis originally from India (the al-Hindis have been a leading political family in Sudan).
 3.      By 1699, Sennar, the capital of the Black Funj Sultanate, traded extensively with India through Sawakin Port in Silk, silver ornaments, leather and gold.

Bilateral Relations – 1900-1947
4.      The two famous steel suspension rail bridges in Khartoum and Atbara, still in use, were imported from India in the first decade of the last century.  Indian experts, starting in 1900, developed Sudan’s forestry sector.
5.      In 1935, Mahatma Gandhi stopped over in Port Sudan (on his way to England through sea) and was welcomed by the Indian community there. In 1938, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru stopped over in Port Sudan on his way to Britain and was hosted through a function at the home of ChhotalalSamji Virani. The Graduates General Congress of Sudan formed in 1938 drew heavily on the experience of the Indian National Congress.
6.      British Indian troops fought alongside Sudanese in Eritrea in 1941 winning the decisive battle of Keren (Bengal Sappers won a Victoria Cross for mine clearance in Metemma, now on the Sudan-Ethiopia border). The Sudan Block at India’s National Defence Academy was partly funded with a gift of one hundred thousand pounds from the Sudanese Government in recognition of the sacrifices of Indian troops in the liberation of Sudan in the North African Campaign during World War II.

Bilateral Relations – Post 1947
7.      The first Sudanese Parliamentary elections in 1953 were conducted by Shri Sukumar Sen, India’s Chief Election Commissioner (the Sudanese Election Commission, formed in 1957, drew heavily on Indian election literature and laws).
8.      A Sudanization Committee, established in February 1954 with budgetary support from India for compensation payments finished its work in April 1955. India opened a diplomatic representation in Khartoum in March 1955. In April 1955, the interim Prime Minister of the Sudan Ismail Al Azhari and several Ministers transited through New Delhi on their way to Bandung for the first Afro-Asian Relations Conference.
9.      At the 1955 Bandung Conference, the delegation from a still not independent Sudan did not have a flag to mark its place. Taking out his handkerchief, Jawaharlal Nehru wrote “Sudan” on it, thus reserving a place for Sudan in the international community.
10.    In 1958, India offered a six-acre plot (for a nominal price) in the Chanakyapuri area of New Delhi for the construction of Sudan Embassy.
11.    In 1993 and 1994 India voted against UN resolutions critical of Sudan and opposed moves in 1994 to expel Sudan from the IMF. On 23 June, 2016, a Presidential decree was issued for constituting a higher committee for monitoring the relations with BRICS countries. However, It was dissolved in October 2018. 
12.    Following mass protests, which were fully peaceful and non-violent and included elements of strike and civil-disobedience, President Bashir  was ousted in a military coup on 11 April 2019.  The Indian community and Indian interests in Sudan have not been affected. Bilateral relations at government and people to people levels are smooth and cordial. 
13.    Bilateral visits between India and Sudan are encapsulated in the table atAnnexure ‘A’.

Institutional Mechanisms

Joint MinisterialCommission
14.    The India-Sudan Joint Committee (formed in January 1995) was upgraded to a Joint Commission at Ministerial level in June 1997 during the visit of then Foreign Minister Ali Osman Taha to India when the first session at Ministerial level was held in New Delhi. The second meeting was held in Khartoum in April 2000 co-chaired by MOSs from each side. The third round of India Sudan JCM was held in New Delhi on 20-21 February, 2017 and was co-chaired by MOS (MJA) from the Indian side and Prof. Ibrahim A. Ghandour, Foreign Minister from Sudanese side.

Foreign Office Consultations
15.    Foreign Office Consultations between India and Sudan have been held periodically with the first taking place in September 2000 in Khartoum and the 8th one in New Delhi on 3 December 2018 at the level of JS(WANA).

Joint Working Group on Oil and Gas
16.    The first meeting of the India-Sudan Joint Working Group on cooperation on the Oil and Gas sector pursuant to the MOU on Cooperation in the Oil sector signed in 2009 was held in Khartoum in November 2010.

Bilateral Trade:
17.    India is a significant trade partner of Sudan.A snapshot of our bilateral trade in US $ million is given in the following table:

(Jan- Dec)

India’s Exports

 India’s Imports

Total Bilateral Trade





















Source: DGCIS, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, India
18.    India primarily exports food stuffs, petroleum products, manufactured goods, machinery and equipment, chemicals including pharmaceuticals and textiles to Sudan. Sudan mainly exports sesame seed, gum Arabic, cotton, water melon seeds, hides and skins and ground nuts to India.

 Economic Relations
19.    Indian public sector undertakings, ONGC (V) invested over 2.3 billion in undivided Sudan in 2003 in Blocks 1, 2, and 4 in undivided Sudan. The Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas of India and the then Ministry of Energy and Mining of Sudan signed a Memorandum of Understanding on promoting Cooperation in the Oil and Gas Sector on 8 December 2009 in India 
20.    In January 2007, President Omer Al-Bashir inaugurated Sudan’s first solar photo-voltaic module manufacturing plant built with Indian technology and equipment (supplied by CEL) at the Energy Research Institute in Khartoum.
21.    Sudan is a beneficiary of India’s DFTP Scheme for Least Developed Countries (LDCs)since 2009 and Exports to India from Sudan have been gradually rising with Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of over 6%.  It is observed that out of top 20 exporting items from Sudan, India provides Duty free access to 17 items and preferential duty on another item. The DFTP Scheme grants duty free access on about 96% of India's total tariff lines, preferential access (Positive List) on about 2.2% of tariff lines and only 1.8% tariff lines are under the Exclusion List.

Other Indian investments in Sudan
22.    A number of Indian companies have presence in Sudan in different fields such as pharmaceuticals, agriculture, Mining, energy services etc.  Indian experts and workers are also present in different sectors like information technology, pharmaceutical, sugar factory, steel industry, ceramic industry etc. and are making a significant contribution. A number of steel units are owned by Persons of Indian origins such as Liberty Steel, Omega Steel and Aarti Steel which is a subsidiary of Bhusan Group. Persons of Indian Origin with Gujarati roots have been staying in Omdurman area for last 150 years. They own manufacturing concerns such as packaging, plastics, food and beverage, etc., but most of them are in trading activities. Indian pharmaceutical companies are very active in Sudan and are a source of formulations and active pharmaceutical ingredients(API).Indian Pharmaceutical machinery manufacturers have put up a number of lines of manufacturing units for the Pharmaceutical industry of Sudan.  Vegetable Oil machinery manufacturers and consultants have put up a number of manufacturing lines for the major food groups in Sudan. Orient Fan which has a major share and is a market leader in Sudan is represented by an Indian origin businessman.  Major Indian brands in Pharma like Sun Pharma, Cadila etc. have representations here and so do major automotives companies like Tata, Mahindra, and Bajaj.  As per National Investment Authority of Sudan, total Indian investments in Sudan up to December 2019 amounted to more than US$ 471.5  million with 86  investment projects including 51  industrial projects, 21 service projects and 14 agricultural projects.

 Capacity Building
23.   As per the decisions taken during IAFS- III held in New Delhi in October 2015, the number of ITEC slots for Sudan had been increased to 220 and now to 270 from the year 2019-20. The number of annual ITEC slots being offered to Sudan is the maximum to any country under WANA division. A number of Sudanese government employees are also seeking various special customized training courses under ITEC &also under the IAFS-III.  Sudanese scholars are also selected for the prestigious CV Raman Fellowship Programme. Besides, Sudanese diplomats have been attending Professional Courses for Foreign Diplomats (PCFD) organized by Foreign Service Institute (FSI), Ministry of External Affairs. 46 Sudanese diplomats attended 15-days special tailor made course at FSI in February 2019; 40 Govt. officials were sent for a special English language proficiency course to Hyderabad from 18-Sep to 20-Nov-19; 25 Judges sent to Bengaluru from 10-23 December 2019; 50 officials attended English course in Hyderabad from 22-Jan to 4-Mar-20; 16 IT engineers attended special e-ITEC from 01-Feb to 26-Mar-21. Also Sudanese students avail of scholarships for higher education in India offered by Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR).
 24.    The details of ITEC/ICCR slots offered to Sudan are as follows:


ICCR Slots

Actual Utilization

ITEC slots





















25.    Under Government of India’s “Pan-African E-Network” project for first phase which ended in 2017, Sudan utilized the services of Tele-education and tele-medicine.  Government of India has launched the second phase of this project with enhanced capacity and superior equipments called e-Vidya Bharati (tele-education) and Arogya Bharati (tele-medicine) [e-VBAB]. This project will be set up in three educational institutions and one hospital in Sudan. MoU already has been signed on 23 October 2019 to this effect. 

 Projects and Lines of Credit
26.    A number of Lines of Credit [Credit extended US$756.68 million and disbursed so far by EXIM Bank US$611.82 for 49 projects out of 51] have been extended to the Government of Sudan beginning with Rs. 20 million Line of Credit in 1980. During President Kalam’s visit in 2003, US$ 50 million line of credit was extended to Sudan (the first ever on a Government-to-Government basis) for Indian goods and services in power, solar energy, railways and laboratory equipment. Following table shows various Lines of Credit extended by the Government of India to the Government of Sudan, through EXIM Bank of India:
27.    As on 31 May, 2021, the dues of LOC from Govt. of Sudan have piled up to USD 88.28 million [including interest, penal interest and principal], despite the LoCs dues being restructured twice.

28.    In April 2006, India’s Ministry of Non-conventional Energy Sources funded a solar electrification (implemented by Central Electronics Ltd) for Khadarab village about two hours road journey from Khartoum, bringing light for the first time into the lives of some 1,500 villagers. The project has been replicated in several other villages.

 Kosti Thermal Power Plant
29.    Kosti Thermal Power Plant built by Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (Bhel) is located at Um Dabaker in Sudan with capacity of 500 MW (4 X 125 MW).  This is the largest thermal power plant in Sudan, the biggest combined cycle project built by BHEL in Africa, and it is BHEL's largest oil-fired thermal power plant in the overseas market and also its first crude-oil fired thermal power plant in Africa.  The project is financed under GoI Line of Credit of US$ 350 million to the Government of Sudan.  The power plant was commissioned and dedicated to the nation by President Bashir in Feb 2016. The project was to be delivered in 2010 but significant delay took place.  Significantly, this is Bhel executed this project on engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) basis.  

Humanitarian Assistance/HADR
30.    India donated tents and medicines for flood victims in Gezira state in 1978 and gifted medicines to control the leishmaniasis (kala-azar) epidemic in South Sudan in 1983. India gifted 22,560 tonnes of wheat in 1985 and another 6,000 tonnes in 1987.
31.    Following devastating floods in Khartoum in late 1996, India airlifted urgently needed medicines. In October 2003, India announced a grant of US$ 50,000 of medicines for the victims of the floods in Kassala region.
32.    In response to the Sudanese government’s request, India donated 20,000 tons of wheat as humanitarian assistance to the people of Darfur in March 2005.
33.    ONGC Videsh Ltd has donated generously for a school for special children, sports equipment, prostheses etc. In July 2007, at the request of elders of the Shilluk community, and with the endorsement of the Embassy, OVL donated a powerful generator to Kodok town in Fashdoda County of Upper Nile State which is now in South Sudan. In early 2008, India donated tents and medicines worth US$ 100,000 for flood relief in north and south Sudan. In the year 2016, OVL donated Solar street lights to a village in Ombadda area of Khartoum State.
34.    On 15 August 2007, the private sector Indian company Angelique International Ltd gifted US$ 5,000 to renovate the Indian school in Kassala town, while OVL helped to refurbish the Indian Club in Port Sudan. Several Indian companies in Sudan contributed generously for repairs of a school in Kadugli done by the Indian army battalion posted there in UNMIS.
35.    Following record breaking floods in July-August 2020 and the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, GOI donated 100 MT food aid (75 MT white flour and 25 MT sugar) as HADR supplies on November 2, 2020 at Port Sudan, received by the H.E Mr. Abdalla ShangrawiOhaj, Governor of the Red Sea State. INS Airavat brought the supplies. An air consignment of 5903 kg of life saving essential medicines was gifted by GOI to Sudan on 19 April 21.

Cooperation in Health Sector
36.    Healthcare is an important sector for co-operation between the two countries and there is potential for cooperation both G2G and B2B.  India continues to offer capacity building programmes under ITEC and IAFS to Sudanese health professionals and care givers.  In pursuance of the commitments made under IAFS-III, mid-career specialized training courses are conducted at regular intervals at renowned hospitals in India like Apollo Hospitals, Fortis and Artemis Hospital. India has become the major destination for Sudanese patients to avail medical treatment. Embassy of India, Khartoum has issued 6175 Medical/medical attendant visas in 2019, however due to COVID related travel restrictions only 3284 medical/medical attendant visas were issued in 2020. Many of the prominent hospitals like Apollo, Yashoda, and Fortis are in the process of setting up information centres in Sudan to better serve the Sudanese patients. However, the issue of availability of banking channels and financial transactions is a major hurdle in advancement of any investments by healthcare companies. Qualified diagnostic/radiology units are still in shortage in Sudan. Many Sudanese resort to Turkish/Saudi laboratories for accurate diagnostic tests. India’s low cost and precision laboratories will get good opportunities in this sector as well.  Sudanese side had requested for Indian expertise in treatment of Medical waste. India has one of the largest share in Pharma products (formulations and APIs) imports in Sudan. In addition, Pharma manufacturing companies in Sudan also source machinery from India for pharma manufacturing units.    The pharmaceutical industry is a priority for Sudan.

 Educational Cooperation:
37.    Annually about 1500 students travel to India for higher studies mainly to Pune, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai and Bangalore. More than 50,000 Sudanese, graduates of Indian universities, have carved a niche for themselves in their chosen fields and some of them are holding high positions in government and business.  The number of Student Visas issued by the Mission is increasing every year. Mission issued nearly 1775 student visas in 2019, however during 2020 due to COVID related travel restrictions only 507 visas were issued. 

Cultural Relations
38.    The agreement on Cultural Exchange Programme (CEP) has not been renewed after 2002 and needs to be renewed. Despite no CEP being in force, Government of Sudan has been extending logistic assistance to cultural troupes visiting Sudan. ICCR sponsored cultural troupes regularly visit Sudan.  Five Sudanese artisans participated in the Surajkund International Crafts Mela from 1-16 February 20, while 10 performing artists joined from 7-19 February 20.
39.    On 16 May 2016, ICCR and Alzaeim Al Azhari University in Khartoum signed a MoU to open a Hindi Language Chair at the University which became operational in February 2017 when the first Hindi Teacher joined the Chair for a tenure of two years which ended in February 2019. Mission has been organizing International Day of Yoga (IDY) since 2015 in Khartoum with significant participation of the local populace and Yoga enthusiasts. In order to commemorate Birth Anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel (Rashtriya Ekta Divas), Mission organized various events  on 31st October 2019.  Mission has organized various events to celebrate Gandhiji’s 150th birth anniversary and the constitution day.

Indian Community
40.    Out of about 3000 Indians in Sudan, the settled Indian community in Sudan is now about 1000, which is about 150 years young. The first Indian LuvchandAmarchand Shah, a Gujarati trader who imported goods from India, is believed to have come to Sudan from Aden in the early 1856.  When his business expanded, he brought his relatives from Saurashtra, who in turn invited their own friends and family. This is how the Indian community grew and developed in Sudan initially. From the small towns in the eastern part of the country, (Port Sudan and Sawakin) the early Indian pioneers moved into the interior of the country and settled down in Omdurman, Kassala, Gedaref and Wad Medani. Dr. Anil Kumar Maithani, a prominent Sudanese national was conferred PravasiBharatiya Samman Award 2021 for his contribution to medicine on 09 January 2021 (16th PBD Convention 2021.
41.    Other expatriate Indian community members are working as professionals in key sectors of the Sudanese economy.  There are a few Indians working in United Nations missions in Darfur and in Abyei in addition to other UN organizations privately.
42.    The Mission maintains a website (www.eoikhartoum.gov.in), a Facebook Page (India in Sudan), Twitter handle (@EoI_Khartoum) and Instagram (India in Sudan) as social media tools and disseminates information pertaining to all aspects of Mission’s activities (Press release, Advertisement, ITEC and ICCR related information, visa and consular information, advisories, commercial queries etc.), MEA’s publicity contents, fair and festival of India, and so on.
 Annexure ‘A’

Recent High level Visits from India to Sudan:


Name of the visitor



Dr. Arvind Gupta,
Deputy National Security Advisor

July 2015. Met DG of National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS), Minister of Finance, Minister of Interior, Asst Minister of Foreign Affairs, Asst Minister of Defence, Speaker of National Assembly and members of Indian Business Community.


Shri Gen.V. K. Singh, State Minister of External Affairs as Special Envoy

September 2015; Met President Bashir and delivered the formal invitation for IAFS-III held in New Delhi.

Recent high level visit from Sudan to India:


Name of the visitor



Mr. Elsadig M Ali H. Al Rasoul, State Minister for Trade

January 2016; to attend the 22ndCII Partnership Summit in Vishakhapatnam.


Mr. MohdZayadAwad, Minister of Oil and Gas

January 2016: to attend the 4thIndia-Africa Hydrocarbons Conference in New Delhi.


Mr. Ahmed Awad Ibn Auf, Minister of Defense

March 2016; to attend the ‘Defexpo-2016’ in Goa. 


Mr. MohdMakawiAwad, Minister of Roads, Bridges and Transportation

April 2016; to attend the ‘Maritime India-2016’ in Mumbai.


Mr. MohdZayadAwad, Minister of Oil and Gas

5-7 December 2016: to attend the ‘Petrotech-2016’ New Delhi.


Mr. Elsadig M Ali H. Al Rasoul, State Minister for Trade

January 2017; to attend the 23nd CII Partnership Summit in Vishakhapatnam.


Prof. Ibrahim A. Ghandour, Foreign Minister

February 2017; to co-chair the   Joint Committee Meeting in New Delhi.


Dr. Awad Ahmed Mohamed Aljaz, Presidential Assistant on BRICS File

25-27 March 2018; to attend CII-EXIM Bank Conclave in New Delhi.


Eng. Saad Al-din Hussein ElbushraAbdelmagid,  Minister of State for Oil and Gas

10-12 April 2018; to participate in the 16th Ministerial meeting of the International Energy Forum in New Delhi.


Dr. Mohamed Osman Al-Rikabi,  Minister of Finance and Economic Planning

25-26 June 2018; to participate in the 3rd Meeting of the Asian Bank for Infrastructure Investment (AIIB) held in Mumbai


Dr. Awad Ahmed Al-Jazz, Assistant to the President   and Deputy Chairman of the National Committee on Sudan’s relations with BRICS’s countries   accompanied by Minister, Oil & Gas and MOSs for  Finance and Foreign Ministry

6-10 August, 2018 to hold bilateral discussions on restructuring of payment of EXIM Bank’s LOCs, further extension of LOCs, payment of pending dues of OVL, bilateral cooperation in hydrocarbons, mining, agriculture, finance, solar energy etc


Minister of Health Dr. Mohamed Abuzaid Mustafa Mohamed Gameel

29 Sept – 2 October 2018 to participate in the Mahatma Gandhi International Sanitation Convention on  in New Delhi.


Minister of Water Resources, Irrigation and Electricity Mr. Khider Mohamed Gasmelseed Ahmad

2-5 October 2018 to participate in the General Assembly of ISA in New Delhi and 2nd Re-Invest.


Mr. Saadeldin Hussein Al Bushra Abdelmajid, MOS, for Petroleum, Gas and Minerals

10-12 February 2019 to attend ‘Petrotech 2019’ at Greater Noida.


Dr. Hamid Suliman Hamid, Undersecretary (equivalent to MOS), Ministry of Energy and Mining

October 30-November 2, 2019 to attend the 2nd General Assembly of International Solar Alliance (ISA) held in New Delhi


Mr. Mohamed Ali Abdall Mohamed Ali, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade

November 6-7, 2019 to attend India-WANA Conclave in Cairo.


Mrs. Fathia Abd Al Bagi Fadul, Judge, with 2 other members of National Supreme Court

February 21-23 2020 to attend International Judicial Conference held in New Delhi

Virtual meetings by video conferencing


Mr. Khairy Abdelrahman Ahmed, Acting Minister of Energy and Mining

Participated in the valedictory session of ISA’s first world solar technology Summit on 8 September 2020 virtually


MOS(EA) Shri V. Muraleedharan and Omer G. Ismail, Acting Foreign Minister of Sudan

Held a meeting through video confrencing on 14 December 2020 to review bilateral relations, regional and international of mutual interest

29 June 2021


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