Impacts of the Crisis in Sudan on Supply Chains

Sudan is currently facing a major political and economic crisis that significantly impacts supply chains across the region. The origin of the crisis traces back to 2019 when the former President of Sudan, Omar al-Bashir, was forced out of office via a military coup.

The country has grappled with political and economic instability, human rights violations, hardship, and social unrest. In this article, we review some of the impacts of the crisis in Sudan on supply chains in the Northwest region of Africa.

A supply chain is much more than just getting the right goods to the right consumers. It is about getting essential goods or services to people and helping them earn a living. This is why the crisis in the country is such a devastating situation.

The impact of the crisis in Sudan on supply chains across the region cuts across most areas of the economy. In this article, we review five of them.


Disruption of logistics and transportation networks

Due to the crisis in Sudan, transportation has slowed down considerably, making it difficult for people to get what they need or be where they need to be.

The breakdown in transportation is due to roadblocks, curfews, violence, high fuel cost, and checkpoints set up by all groups involved in the crisis. Sometimes the queues can be long and draining, leaving people and goods stranded for hours.

People who need to go to the hospital, market, or pay a visit to loved ones are forced to undergo inhumane treatment. And they are often denied the service or material goods they require.


Disruption in International trade and Importation

Sudan is peculiar because it is an important transit country for goods moving between East and West Africa. The economy of the country is also heavily reliant on Importation. This article explains why the crisis also matters to other countries outside its immediate sphere of influence.

However, the crisis has led to the closure of ports and borders, making it difficult for neighbouring countries to conduct trade easily. Countries are forced to take longer routes or find alternative sources for the goods and services they require. This inevitably leads to disruptions in international trade and the supply chains of companies invested.

Ultimately the disruption in international trade and Importation has led to supply chain failures resulting in a shortage of essential resources needed by people in Sudan and neighbouring countries.


Hike in the cost of Supply Chains.

The one thing war or civil unrest have in common is the price hike and shortage of essential raw materials. Whether it is food, energy, or medicine, which are all currently in short supply in Sudan and surrounding countries. Especially countries that rely on Sudan for food, e.g. South Sudan.

Businesses are finding it difficult and more expensive to come across raw materials, which increases the cost of their supply chain. Basic economics will tell you that the cost should be passed down to the consumers. However, in cases where your consumers don’t have the money to pay, it falls back on your supply chain.

Expensive supply chains tend to break down, making the country worse.


Poor Supply Chain Planning and Risk Management

Usually, when there is chaos, planning and risk assessment of the supply chain get thrown into the air. This is especially true for supply chains across the Sudan nation and neighbouring countries.

There is a massive wave of people moving across the region, with some moving to remote areas and others to bordering countries such as Chad and South Sudan.

This movement causes sporadic fluctuation in demand and supply, which makes it difficult to conduct any valid planning activity, such as forecasting. Ultimately, supply chains are flying blind in the area, which means they are constantly stuck between over-production and under-production. None of which is good for the business.

Supply Chain risk management is another element of the supply chain being affected in the region. The sporadic nature of the crisis is making it difficult for supply chains to effectively develop strategies that can help mitigate their exposure and risk.

Short of shutting down the supply chains, there is nothing much that can be done.


Death of Supply Chain Sustainability Across the Region

Although Supply chain sustainability is very popular globally, it is still a fragile topic in Africa. Businesses are reluctant enough to go near supply chain sustainability because of the huge investment cost. 

The current crisis does no favours to supply chain sustainability. Businesses are seeking cheaper and readily accessed raw materials, which sustainable supply chains are yet to accomplish in Africa.

The supply chain sustainability issues don’t just affect the region. It is also affecting global companies committed to ensuring sustainable practices in their supply chain, which are currently in bed with some suppliers in the region. This crisis makes it difficult to keep up with those commitments, especially when the companies have significant investments.



The current crisis in Sudan significantly impacts supply chains within and across the region. The impacts of the crisis go well beyond supply chains and are affecting millions of lives. While the situation in Sudan is complex, it is important for companies operating in the region to remain vigilant and adapt their supply chain strategies to mitigate the impact of the crisis.

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