The development of modern manufacturing
received little direct encouragement in
Sudan during the condominium period. British
economic policies were aimed basically at
expanding the production of primary
products, mainly cotton, for export. Imports
and traditional handicraft industries met
the basic needs for manufactured goods.
Indirectly, however, the vast Gezira Scheme
cotton-growing project induced the
construction of ginneries, of which more
than twenty were in operation by the early
1930s. A secondary development was the
establishment of several cottonseed
oil-pressing mills. During World War II,
small import substitution industries arose,
including those manufacturing soap,
carbonated drinks, and other consumer items.
These operations did not survive the
competition from imports after the war's
end. Foreign private interests invested in a
few larger enterprises that included a
meat-processing factory, a cement plant, and
a brewery, all opened between 1949 and 1952.