The Republic of Sudan is celebrating its 63rd independence anniversary to mark its freedom from British colonial rule on January 1, 1956.

Sudan was first administered as a crown colony in 1889 when Britain reached an agreement with Egypt to hand over the administration of Sudan to British colonial authorities following the defeat of the Egyptian Omdurman Caliphate in 1898. With Britain also controlling Egypt, this meant Sudan was effectively administered as a Crown Colony.

Like other African countries, the country witnessed a growth in Sudanese nationalism during the 20th century. This was emboldened by the Egyptian revolution of 1952 and support from Egypt’s new leaders. When the Egyptians abandoned their claims of sovereignty, the British knew this would bring instability to the region and agreed to a free vote in the Sudanese regions on whether they wanted independence or a British withdrawal.

The country opted for independence, resulting in the creation of the Sudanese parliament. On January 1, 1956, the British recognized Sudan’s independence, bringing an end to its rule in the Northeast African country.
Sudan boasts of a Gross Domestic Product of about $40.85 billion and an economy that is heavily reliant on oil production and export. Months of protests over economic hardship brought an end to the 30-year rule of former leader Omar al-Bashir and ushered in an AU-brokered transitional coalition government comprising the military and civilians.

In celebrating its independence, the country holds parades and cultural events to commemorate the day.