What Is the Sudanese Pound (SDG)?
The term Sudanese pound (SDG) refers to the official national currency of Sudan and South Sudan. The pound is abbreviated as SDG in the foreign exchange market and has been used in the country since 1992 but only became legal tender in 2007. The Sudanese pound is issued and maintained by the country's central bank, the Central Bank of Sudan. One pound is divided into 100 piasters. Banknotes are issued in denominations ranging from one to 50 pounds while coins are minted in one to 50 piasters.
- The Sudanese pound is the national currency of the Republic of Sudan and has been used in the country since 1992 but only became legal tender in 2007.
- The Central Bank of Sudan is responsible for issuing and overseeing the pound.
- SDG banknotes range in value from 1 and 50 pounds, while coins are minted from between 1 and 50 piastres.
- SDG is not pegged to any currency.
- The currency is also used as legal tender by South Sudan, which gained independence from Sudan in 2011.
Understanding the Sudanese Pound (SDG)
As noted above, the Sudanese pound is the national currency of Sudan and South Sudan and is abbreviated in the foreign currency markets as SDG. Banknotes are issued in denominations in the following denominations: one, two, five, 10, 20, and 50 pounds. One pound is divided into 100 piasters or qirsh, as they're known in Arabic. Coins are minted in one, five, 10, 20, and 50 piastres.
The currency is issued and managed by the country's central bank, the Central Bank of Sudan. The bank was established in 1960, four years after Sudan gained its independence from the United Kingdom and Egypt. The Central Bank of Sudan was formed in order to:
- Regulate the country's currency
- Take charge of monetary and fiscal policies
- Create a strong banking system
- Maintain government accounts
- Advise on foreign currency and financial affairs
The Sudanese pound is not pegged to any currency and no other currency is pegged to it. This means it is a free-floating currency. Sudan has struggled following the secession of South Sudan from Sudan in 2011 after decades of warfare. As a result, the pound has fluctuated significantly over the years and has been prone to devaluations.
To be sure they will be accepted locally, use newer U.S. dollars in $50 and $100 denominations that were printed after 2006 when you travel in Sudan.
The most common and popular exchange currency for the SDG is the U.S. dollar (USD). As of May 12, 2022, the exchange rate was one Sudanese pound to $0.002276496, with a single U.S. dollar purchasing about 454.98 Sudanese pounds. Along with the Sudanese pound and the U.S. dollar, the euro is also commonly used in the country.
People planning on traveling to Sudan should prepare ahead of time. That's because foreign credit and debit cards don't work in the country due to international sanctions. Automated teller machines (ATMs) only accept cards from domestic banks. Travelers are better off using cash as long as the banknotes are clean and aren't creased.
During the dinar’s run, it was still common in Southern Sudan to quote prices in the pound, and some areas even saw the use of the Kenyan shilling.
History of the Sudanese Pound
Sudan became an independent nation in 1956 and an official democratic republic in 1969. The country used the British pound (GBP) and the Egyptian pound prior to its independence.
In 1957, the government began circulating the Sudanese pound. From 1958 to 1978, the currency was pegged to the U.S. dollar. This version of the pound was replaced by the dinar in 1992 and was eliminated in 1999.
The modern Sudanese pound was reinstated as official legal tender on July 1, 2007, after the country's government and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement struck a peace agreement. It became legal tender in 2007 when it replaced the Sudanese dinar (SDD), a now-defunct currency that replaced the first Sudanese pound (SDP). This second iteration of the Sudanese pound replaced the dinar at a rate of one pound to 100 dinars.
The currency is also used South Sudan, which gained independence from Sudan in 2011.