Definition of Youth

The African Economic Outlook (2012) defines youth as between 15-24 years in its study on youth unemployment in Sudan.


Marriageable Age

  • Opposite Sex
  • Same Sex
  • Without parental consent
  • with parental consent
  • Male
  • --
  • --
  • XX

Candidacy Age

Criminal Responsibility

Minimum Age
A 2010 law accompanying Sudan‚Äôs new Bill of Rights prohibits the death penalty as punishment for under 18s. Source:  CRIN

Majority Age


Source: HRW

Voting Age


Voting age for the indirectly elected upper house is 21 years.
Source:  Inter-Parliamentary Union

Situation of Young People

Literacy Rates

Both sexes (15-24) %
  • 91.29% Male (15-24) %
  • 87.81% Female (15-24) %

Net Enrolment Rate

Secondary School
Both sexes %
  • --Male %
  • -- Female %
  • Year: No data.
  • Source: UNESCO

Situation of Young People

Prevalence of HIV

Male (15-24) %
Female (15-24) %

Tobacco Use

Consumed any smokeless or smoking tobacco product at least once 30 days prior to the survey.
Both sexes (13-15) %
  • 9.50% Male (13-15) %
  • 4.30% Female (13-15) %
  • Year: 2010
  • Source: WHO

Policy & Legislation

Is there a national youth policy?
Sudan has no current national youth policy. A 2012 youth employment briefing is available.

The Giving Young People a Priority (2013), UNFPA have supported and developed the National Youth Strategy (2007-2031). This cannot be found online. They have also supported youth policy and programmes at national and state level. The African Economic Outlook (2012) notes that the “Creating Opportunities for Youth Employment in Sudan”, was launched in 2008 with USD 15.7 million. The programme, run by the Ministry of Youth and Sports (no online profile), aims to train 5 million young people and provide microfinance support. However, it is noted that the impact of these initiatives has been limited. UNDP’s programme, “Youth Volunteers ‘Rebuilding Darfur’” has provided training in environmental management and planning with a particularly focus on building sustainable livelihoods and entrepreneurship.

Public Institutions

Is there a governmental authority
(ministry, department or office) that is primarily responsible for youth?
The Ministry of Youth & Sports (MoYS) is responsible for youth affairs. It does not have an online profile. According to Giving Young People a Priority (2013), UNFPA have developed the National Youth Strategy (2007-2031) in partnership with the MoYS and support youth participation and youth policy structures and programmes. The African Economic Outlook (2012) note partnership projects focusing on youth unemployment delivered by the MoYS.

Youth and Representation

Does the country have a national youth organisation / association (council, platform, body)?
No information can be found online as to the existence of a National Youth Council in Sudan. According to Giving Young People a Priority (2013), UNFPA have established Youth Parliaments in all states of Sudan and have supported youth participation in policy development and monitoring. This has been addressed through capacity building and strengthening of youth groups, training on leadership, management, advocacy and strategic planning, fostering adult-youth partnerships and policy research.

Budget & Spending

What is the budget allocated to the governmental authority (ministry, department or office) that is primarily responsible for youth and/or youth programming?
The World Bank lists no data on public spending on education in Sudan for the last ten years.
Total Expenditure on Education as a Percentage of Government Spending and GDP

  • % of GDP
  • % of gov. expenditure

Source: World Bank
Gaps indicate missing data from the original data source. Total population data are reported separately for Sudan and South Sudan. Other data reported for Sudan include South Sudan unless otherwise noted. (Accessed August 2013).

Additional Background

The Giving Young People a Priority report (2013) provides a situational analysis of life for young people in Sudan.

Youth in Sudan
In 2013, Sudan will have 35 million people and young people make up 62% of this population. A quarter of youth living in urban areas and half of those living in rural areas are very poor. Many do not have the knowledge or the resources to start their adult lives in a productive way. Although their status is the key to Sudan’s future, all too many Sudanese youth remain in poverty, are ill-educated, unemployed, or in poor health.
Education, employment and participation
One third of girls aged 15-24 years and almost one quarter of boys in Sudan are illiterate. Only half of young people complete primary school (47% for girls and 53% for boys), indicating high dropout rates, especially amongst school-age girls. An estimated 46% of girls and 54% of boys age 14-19 years are currently attending secondary schools. The uptake in secondary and post-secondary education in Sudan remains low, particularly in rural and nomadic areas where many young people receive little or no education after primary level. Thirty- one per cent of youth age 20-24 years are not in schools of any type but they also have difficulty finding employment.
Over 20% of young Sudanese are unemployed. Young women have more difficulty finding work. The inability to find a decent job also creates a sense of frustration among young people. Many of them work for long hours under informal and insecure work arrangements, characterized by low earnings and lack of social protection.
Despite the large youth population, the participation of young Sudanese in social and political life is limited. Some young people, particularly university students, participate in local or national political life or civil society organizations, but those represent only a small number of this cohort and they are predominantly male. Many Sudanese youth feel that there are severe limitations both on their influence in their families and communities and on their future possibilities.
Maternal and reproductive health
In Sudan, approximately 10% of youth aged 12-14 years and 38% aged 15-19 years are married. Pregnancy and childbirth-related complications are the leading cause of death among adolescent girls, particularly in rural areas. Childbearing before physical maturity is a major health risk and can lead to serious physical disability or even death. One of the most serious childbirth injuries is obstetric fistula. In Sudan, early childbearing and the practice of the most severe form of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting significantly contribute to fistula and maternal injury. This situation is exacerbated by lack of access to affordable, good-quality emergency obstetric care. Babies born to the youngest, first-time mothers are also more likely to be premature, and less likely to survive when their mothers die.
Sudanese youth also face other health risks and social problems, including substance abuse, smoking, unsafe relationships and exposure to sexually transmitted infections and HIV. Despite these risks, only 5% of young girls and 11% of young boys aged 15-24 years have comprehensive knowledge on HIV/STIs and their modes of transmission (Sudan Household Health Survey 2010).
The BBC’s Sudan Profile provides an overview of the civil conflict that led to the creation of an independent South Sudan.
Sudan, once the largest and one of the most geographically diverse states in Africa, split into two countries in July 2011 after the people of the south voted for independence.
The government of Sudan gave its blessing for an independent South Sudan, where the mainly Christian and Animist people had for decades been struggling against rule by the Arab Muslim north.
However, various outstanding secession issues - especially the question of shared oil revenues and the exact border demarcation - have continued to create tensions between the two successor states.
Sudan has long been beset by conflict. Two rounds of north-south civil war cost the lives of 1.5 million people, and a continuing conflict in the western region of Darfur has driven two million people from their homes and killed more than 200,000.