Sudan, with an area of 1,861,484 sq km, is the third largest country on the African continent and sits at the crossroads of sub-Saharan Africa and the Arab world. Sudan has international borders with seven countries: Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Central African Republic, Chad and Libya. On the eastern edge, 550 miles of coastline with the Red Sea position Sudan as an important bridge between Africa and the Middle East. Sudan’s estimated population of 37,289,406 predominantly descends from both African and Arab groups. While Arabic language is spoken by most Sudanese, there are more than 70 linguistic and ethnic groups present across the country, reflecting the diversity of the nation.
The capital Khartoum lies at the confluence of White and Blue Niles and together with Khartoum North and Omdurman, "the three towns,” forms the cultural and industrial heart of the nation. The country is endowed with rich natural resources, including natural gas, gold, silver, chromite, asbestos, manganese, gypsum, mica, zinc, iron, lead, uranium, copper, kaolin, cobalt, granite, nickel, tin and Arabic gum. It enjoys fertile lands, abundant livestock and an active manufacturing industry. On the other hand, Sudan faces a number of environmental challenges related to climate change, desertification and recurrent droughts and floods.