The Sudanese revolution revitalized our bilateral relationship with Khartoum. The Minister’s visit to Khartoum and Prime Minister Hamdok’s visit to Paris in September 2019 were very well received in Sudan, where President Macron’s personal commitment to the revolution and the transition was much appreciated.
French assistance to the transition reached its highest point at the International Conference for Sudan held in Paris on 17 May 2021, in support of the political transition and in accordance with the commitment made by the French President during Prime Minister Hamdok’s visit in 2019. France is concerned about the political, security and humanitarian situation in Sudan, and seeks to ensure the country’s internal stability and defend a democratic governance model.
Video of the opening session of the International Conference in Paris: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PF1HHrJJ8rc&t=2171s
Since 25 October 2021, France has reiterated that its support to Sudan is based on the prospect of a transition to a democratically elected civilian governance. While certain aspects of our bilateral cooperation have been suspended (in particular the cancelling of Sudanese debt), assistance to the population has become more extensive.
French Embassy in Sudan
French community: 250 people.
Last visit to Paris: Visit by General Burhan and Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok for the International Conference for Sudan on 17 May 2021. The Prime Minister also took part in the Summit on the Financing of African Economies the following day.
Last visit to Sudan: Visit to Khartoum by the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Mr Jean-Yves Le Drian, on 16 September 2019 – the first by a French Minister since 2007.
The Ambassador of France to the Republic of the Sudan is Ms Raja Rabia.
The Ambassador of the Sudan in France is Mr Omar Bachir Manis.
In 2021, trade between France and Sudan stood at €92 million, a 20% decrease year-on-year: the lowest level in the past ten years. This deterioration in bilateral trade can be explained by the difficult situation of the country, which resulted in the closure of Port Sudan ports for more than a month and a half (from mid-September to end of October) and the coup d’état of 25 October.
Sudan is a minor trade partner for France, and our trade has fallen slightly. Sudan ranks just 130th among France’s customers (€49.6 million) and ranks 125th as a supplier (€42.3 million).
France has a structural trade surplus with Sudan: in 2021, exports amounted to €49.6 million and imports €42.3 million, a year-on-year decline. French exports mainly include chemicals and cosmetics (23%), agricultural equipment (17%), IT and electronic equipment (15%) and pharmaceuticals (13%), which alone represent 68% of our sales. Our imports remain 98% agricultural, mainly gum arabic.
Several French companies are already working in Sudan (Bolloré, Nutriset, Sagemine), while others have shown interest in investing in or returning to Sudan due to its economic potential since US economic sanctions were lifted.
European banks are still reluctant however, since Sudan was on the U.S. State Sponsors of Terrorism list very recently. They therefore implement a policy of over-compliance that is a barrier to any funds being transferred to and from Sudan.
Our long-standing cultural cooperation and research relationship is particularly extensive. This is borne out by the establishment in Khartoum in 1993 of the Centre for Social, Judicial and Economic Documentation and Study (CEDEJ), affiliated with the CEDEJ of Cairo. In 1969, the French Section of the Sudanese Directorate of Antiquities (SFDAS) was created, a Franco-Sudanese archaeological research institute located in the Sudan National Museum in Khartoum.
Significant academic cooperation has been developed, and France is the leading destination in the Western world for Sudanese students.
The scientific cooperation partnership created on an equal basis with the Government of Sudan, which established the “NAPATA” Hubert Curien Partnership programme, is France’s third programme of this kind in sub-Saharan Africa. The creation of this instrument completes the structuring of cooperation ties that have reached a certain maturity. The Sudanese Government’s equal commitment (Ministry for Higher Education and Scientific Research) and the successful implementation of this new programme are highly positive.
France has an active cultural and educational network in Sudan, first and foremost with the Institut Français (French Institute) of Khartoum, but also with a network of Alliance Française branches (Al-Ubayyid, Wad Madani and Port Sudan) and Franco-Sudanese centres (Dalang, Rufaa and Nyala), as well as the French school in Khartoum.
Updated: August 2022