When Sudan achieved independence in 1956, the creation of a central bank was a priority. A 3-man commission of experts from the United States’s Federal Reserve, worked with Sudanese government and finance specialists to create the Law of the Bank of Sudan for 1959, and in 1960 the Bank of Sudan began operations. To establish the bank, the Sudanese government nationalized the National Bank of Egypt‘s operations in the Sudan (some seven branches), and combined them with the Sudanese currency board.
In addition to the normal duties of a central bank, which may include minting coins and issuing banknotes, managing a country’s internal and external accounting, and setting monetary policy and interest rates, Sudan’s central bank is also responsible for fostering Islamic banking.
After Sudan introduced Islamic law (Sharia) in 1984, the banking and financial industry changed its practices to conform with Sharia. In 1993 the government established the Sharia High Supervisory Board (SHSB) to ensure compatibility of financial practices with Islamic principles. In compliance with the SHSB, the government is no longer selling treasury bills and government bonds; instead, the Bank sells “Financial Certificates” that comply with Islamic financial principles.
In 1965, Bank of Sudan and Crédit Lyonnais formed a joint-venture bank named Al/An/El Nilein Bank (Nile Bank). Crédit Lyonnais contributed the two branches it had developed since it first entered Sudan in 1953. Bank of Sudan took 60 percent of the shares in Nilein Bank, and Crédit Lyonnais took 40 percent.
In 1970, the Sudanese government nationalized all the banks in the Sudan, changed the names of several, and put them under the Bank of Sudan. Barclays Bank, which had an extensive network of 24 branches, became the State Bank of Foreign Trade, and then Bank of Khartoum. The six branches of Egypt’s Bank Misr became People’s Cooperative Bank. The four branches of Jordan’s Arab Bank became Red Sea Bank or Red Sea Commercial Bank (accounts differ). Commercial Bank of Ethiopia‘s one branch became Juba Commercial Bank. National and Grindlays Bank, which in 1969 had taken over the four branches that Ottoman Bank had established after it entered in 1949, became Omdurman Bank. In 1973 Red Sea Bank and People’s Cooperative Bank were merged into Omdurman Bank. Then in 1984 Omdurman Bank merged with the Juba Commercial Bank to form Unity Bank.
In 1993, Al/An/El Nilein Bank merged with the Industrial Bank of Sudan to form Nilein Industrial Development Bank. In 2006, Dubai-based Emaar Properties and Amlak Finance acquired a 60% stake in Sudan’s El Nilein Industrial Development Bank; the Bank of Sudan retained a 40% stake.
As far as the current state of the Sudanese banking and financial situation is concerned, the bank’s “About Bank of Sudan” section states. Since the beginning of the Three Year Economic Program (1990–1993), the Bank of Sudan has carried out policies that aim to revitalize the Sudanese economy, the last of which was the credit policy of 2000 which was based on the following:
- Emphasizing supply side measures and monetary stability better to utilize banking resources by stressing financing of priority economic priority sectors, and continuation of streamlining general supply policies.
- Continuation of the social support program for the benefit of the poor families in accordance with the national mobilization project for social security and for the improvement of productivity.
- Continuation of financing public corporations through the banks without recourse to the Bank of Sudan for direct financing.
- Allowing the commercial banks to offer financing in foreign exchange according to the regulations issued by the Bank of Sudan.
The Bank is engaged in developing policies to promote financial inclusion and is a member of the Alliance for Financial Inclusion.
Branches of the Central Bank of Sudan
As Sudan is one of the biggest countries in Africa, the central bank has a branch bank system. After independence of South Sudan in 2011, the former branch in the new capital of South Sudan, Juba, became the Central Bank of South Sudan.
- The Main Branch — Khartoum
- Wad Madani Branch
- Kosti Branch
- Atbara Branch
- Al Qadarif Branch
- Nyala Branch
- Juba Branch
- Al-Ubayyid Branch
- Dongola Branch
- Port Sudan Branch
- Al-Fashir Branch
- Wau Branch
- Malakal Branch
List of governors of the Central Bank of Sudan
- Mamoun Beheiry (1959–1963)
- Elsayid Elfeel (1964–1967)
- Abdelrahim Mayrgani (1967–1970)
- Abdelateef Hassan (1970–1971)
- Awad Abdel Magied Aburiesh (1971–1972)
- Ibrahim Mohammed Ali Nimir (1973–1980)
- Elsheikh Hassan Belail (1980–1983)
- Faroug Ibrahim Elmagbool (1983–1985)
- Ismail el-misbah Mekki hamad (1985–1988)
- Mahdi Elfaky Elshaikh (1988–1990)
- Elshaik SidAhmed Elshaikh (1990–1993)
- Sabir Mohammed El-Hassan (1993–1996)
- Abdall Hassan Ahmed (1996–1998)
- Sabir Mohammed El-Hassan (1998-2011)
- Mohamed Kheir El-Zubeir (March 2011 – December 2013)
- Abdelrahman Hassan Abdelrahman Hashim (December 2013 – December 2016)
- Hazim Abdegadir Ahmed Babiker (December 2016 – June 2018)
- Mohamed Kheir El-Zubeir (September 2018 – March 2019)
- Hussein Yahya Jangoul al-Basha (March 2019 – December 2019)
- Mohamed Elfatih Zein al-Abdein (March 2020 – February 2022)
- Hussein Yahya Jangoul al-Basha (February 2022 – May 2023)
- Burai Al-Siddiq Ahmed (May 2023 -)
2023 Sudan conflict
During the 2023 armed conflict, the Sudanese economy and banking sector have been suffering wide-ranging disruptions, with damages estimated at 4 billion USD. On 16 June 2023, the Central Bank of Sudan announced emergency measures to sustain the banking sector, including payment of salaries and the provision of cash flow for citizens.
Furthermore, a rocket attack was carried out at a large bank in Khartoum by the Rapid Support Forces, at around 00:00 AM local time on 30 April 2023 during the conflict. Due to the fog of war, no civilian injuries or deaths have been confirmed yet. As a result of the impact, most of the building was shown on fire, having possibly collapsed.