IJSR is the first international, multidisciplinary, refereed journal about Sudan. Its general theme is to discuss integrated approaches and strategies to achieve sustainable development (SD) in Sudan. IJSR is intended as a forum for practitioners, academics, and policymakers from around the world to exchange concepts, research, and best practices about Sudan. Today, countries are increasingly judged by whether they are information-rich or information-poor. There is a growing literature in the Sudan and about Sudan but it is fragmented and often restricted to sector applications or to specific interests. It is therefore difficult for decision-makers in Sudan to access systematic information about the potential applications that are being developed and implemented and to consider how they could be applied to meet Sudan’s own development needs.
Unlike many other developing countries in the world, there has been a growing interest in Sudan and its culture over the past few years. Sudan is strategically very important as it is the largest country in Africa and 9th largest in the world and has also boasted the ‘largest farm in the world’ in the Gezira Irrigated Cotton Scheme. Sudan’s vast plains were seen by development experts as a potential ‘bread-basket’ – either for Africa or for the Arab World across the Red Sea. Also, although the majority of Sudanese (80%) depend on agriculture, oil is considered one of the main Sudanese exports, particularly during the last fifteen years, providing revenues of millions of US dollars a day. However, the recent Darfur conflict, the aftermath of two decades of civil war in the south and the lack of basic infrastructure in large areas have kept much of the population at or below the poverty line for years despite rapid rises in average per capita income. What happens in Sudan will therefore have direct and indirect effects all over the region and that is why Sudan is rarely out of the headlines in all international news.
Sudan, like much of the rest of the developing world, has toyed with and abided by various approaches or strategies to achieve SD without reaping any significant socio-economic benefits. There are clearly opportunities for academic and research institutions in Sudan to contribute more effectively towards achieving the Agenda 2013 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and SD. Sudanese universities and research institutions are therefore under increasing governmental pressure to make direct, visible, and relevant contributions to SDGs and SD strategies.
At all levels and on all scales of endeavour, the role of universities and research institutions is crucial to resolve the economic, social and environmental problems that make current development paths unsustainable. Sudanese universities and research institutions can make a leading contribution to tackling major problems such as: fighting disease; overpopulation and urbanization; the digital/information divide and the impacts of information technology systems on world financial markets; coping with climate change; confronting the water crisis; defending the soil; preserving forests, fisheries and biodiversity; trade in biotechnological products; and building a new ethic of global stewardship.