Gezira (Arabic: ولاية الجزيرة, romanizedWilāyat Al Ǧazīra), also spelt Al Jazirah, Al Jazeera and Al Jazira, is one of the 18 states of Sudan. The state lies between the Blue Nile and the White Nile in the east-central region of the country. The state has a population of 5,096,920 as of 2018,[3] and an area of 27,549 km2.[4]

ولاية الجزيرة
Al Jazirah
Official seal of Gezira
Location in Sudan
Location in Sudan
Coordinates: 14°30′N 33°30′E / 14.500°N 33.500°E / 14.500; 33.500
Country Sudan
CapitalWad Madani
 • Governor (Wali)Mohamed Tahir Ayala
 • Total27,549 km2 (10,637 sq mi)
 • Total5,096,920[1]
 • Rank2nd in Sudan (16%)
 • Density179/km2 (460/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+2 (CAT)
ISO 3166-2
HDI (2017)0.547[2]

The state's capital is Wad Madani. Gezira is known as an irrigated cotton-producing state as it is a well-populated area that is suitable for agriculture. The state's name comes from the Arabic word for island.

History edit

Irrigation canals of the Gezira Scheme, from space

The area was at the southern end of Nubia and little is known about its ancient history and only limited archaeological work has been conducted in this area. It was part of the kingdom of Alodia for several centuries, and with that state's collapse in the early sixteenth century, it became the centre of the Funj Sultanate.

Katfia in Gezira was the place where the Wad Habuba Revolt took place in April 1908. The Gezira Scheme was a program launched in 1925 to foster cotton farming. At that time the Sennar Dam and numerous irrigation canals were built. Al Jazirah became the Sudan's major agricultural region with more than 10,000 square kilometres (2.5×10^6 acres) under cultivation.

The administrative state of Gezira was established on 1 July 1943, after the Blue Nile state was divided into three. The initial development project was semi-private, but the government nationalized it in 1950. Cotton production increased in the 1970s but by the 1990s increased wheat production has supplanted a third of the land formerly seeded with cotton.[5]

The ongoing War in Sudan that begun in 2023 has caused a refugee crisis in the state, with an estimated 250,000 fleeing due to clashes on December 15, 2023 by December 18 of the same year.[6]

Districts and populated places edit

The capital of Gezira is Wad Madani.

The state is divided into seven districts, namely:

Populated places include:

References edit

  1. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-03-12. Retrieved 2019-01-02.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ "Sub-national HDI - Area Database - Global Data Lab". Retrieved 2018-09-13.
  3. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-03-12. Retrieved 2019-01-02.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "Home – Al-Gezira State". Sudan Tribune. 2003–2013. Archived from the original on May 20, 2014. Retrieved March 19, 2013.
  5. ^ Hyslop, J (1952). The Sudan Story. Naldrett Press. p. The Bounteous River.
  6. ^ "At least 250000 flee fighting in Sudan's El Gezira state -IOM". Reuters. 2023-12-18. Retrieved 2024-01-08.