What Is the Sudanese Pound (SDG)?

The Sudanese pound (SDG) is the national currency of the Republic of Sudan. The pound, abbreviated as SDG in the foreign exchange market, has been used in the country since 1992 but only became legal tender in 2007.

Key Takeaways

  • The Sudanese pound (SDG) 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.

Understanding the Sudanese Pound (SDG)

The Republic of Sudan's central bank is responsible for issuing the SDG and overseeing currency stability. Banknotes are issued in denominations ranging from 1 to 50 pounds. Coins are also in circulation from between 1 and 50 piastres. The SDG replaced the Sudanese dinar (SDD), a now-defunct currency that replaced the first Sudanese pound (SDP). The dinar was in circulation from 1992 to 2007.

Sudan established its central bank in 1960—four years after gaining its independence. 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 pound has been in and out of circulation since the 1950s. The current version of the pound began circulating in 2007. Banknotes come in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50 pounds. One pound is divided into 100 piastres or (qirsh, as they're known in Arabic). Coins are minted in 1, 5, 10, 20, and 50 piastres or qirsh.

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.

Special Considerations

The most common and popular exchange currency for the SDG is the U.S. dollar (USD). As of Sept. 20, 2021, the exchange rate was 1 Sudanese pound to $0.002276496, with a single U.S. dollar purchasing about 439.27 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.

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.

History of the Sudanese Pound (SDG)

Sudan became an independent nation in 1956 and became 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.

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.

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. The second iteration of the Sudanese pound replaced the dinar at a rate of 1 pound equaling 100 dinars.