What is the SDP (Sudanese Pound)

SDP (Sudanese Pound) was the national currency for the Republic of Sudan between 1956 to 1992. Both Arabic and English names for the denominations of the country’s currency appeared on banknotes and coins. The Sudanese pound subdivided into 100 piastres or qirush in Arabic. Also, the Arabic name for the pound was the junaih. Sudanese coins had denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, and 50 piasters, as well as a 1 pound coin. Pound banknotes had 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50-pound denominations.

BREAKING DOWN SDP (Sudanese Pound)

In 1956, the SDP (Sudanese pound) replaced the Egyptian pound at par as the national currency and remained in use until its replacement by the dinar (SDD) in 1992. The dinar circulated between 1992 and 2007. Conversion to the Dinar was at one Dinar to 10 SDP Pounds.

Like many currency conversions, it was some time before the Dinar entirely replaced the use of the pound. While the Dinar saw extensive use in northern Sudan, in Southern regions of the country, many merchants and businesses still negotiated in pounds. Other Sudanese regions use the Kenyan Shilling.

The Central Bank of Sudan (CBOS) handles minting and circulation of the legal currency as well as controlling monetary policy and interest rates. Another duty of the bank is to foster Islamic banking in the region.

Economic and Historic Impact on the Sudanese Pound (SDP)

The history of the Sudanese Pound mirrors the country’s long history of changing governmental and political control. For example, the replacement of the SDP pound with the SDG pound came after a peace agreement between the government of the Republic and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement. The new Sudanese pound became legal tender in 2007, and was, in turn, replaced with the third rendition of the pound (SDG) in 2011. This 2011 change came as South Sudan seceded from the country. After the secession, the Republic issued new banknotes.

The Republic of the Sudan lies in Northeast Africa and has a history which spans centuries. In the late 1880s, the area experienced harsh Egyptian reign which led to revolts and the creation of a caliphate state. The British defeated the caliphate state and would govern the region alongside Egypt. In the 1950s, Sudanese nationalism rose, and the country declared its independence in 1956. Following British rule a series of fluctuating and brutal governments held power. In 1983, fundamentalist Islamic law further antagonized the southern part of the region, leading to a civil war which ended with an independent South Sudan in 2011. 

With the succession of South Sudan taking with it 80% of the countries oil reserves, the Republic experiences stagflation with slow economic growth, high unemployment, and inflation. However, to get its oil to market, South Sudan must transport it via pipeline through the Republic. Completed in 2008, the Merowe Dam on the River Nile is the most massive hydropower project in Africa and provides most of the country's electric power. China is the primary trading partner to the Republic.

Agriculture employs most of the Sudanese population and drives its gross domestic product (GDP). The people experience massive problems with hunger and ranks as one of the lowest in the world for Human Development. Isolation of the Republic of Sudan from the world is due to continuing human rights, and religious oppression. Also, there is evidence the country is a haven for terrorist activity. According to 2017 World Bank data, the Republic experiences a 4.3% annual growth in GDP with a staggering 32.9% yearly inflation deflator.