Franck Derrien is geographer. After his master (université Paris-IV-Sorbonne, Institut de géographie), he defended his PhD thesis entitled “Analyse de l’occupation du Sinaï durant l’Holocène : comparaison des occupations humaines actuelles et passées” at the university of Aix-Marseille the 25th june 2012.
Franck Derrien works in Egypt since 10 years. In this country, his research focuses on an ethnographic study of the Bedouin of Sinai, their tribal boundaries, the seasonal management of the territories and the saints’ cult practices. After 2 years in Cairo as a researcher for the French ministry of foreign affairs (Nov 2004 – Nov 2006) and more than 1 year as a Police officer to the French ministry of higher education and research in Paris (Oct 2009 – Jan 2011), he is Research associate to the Cedej-Khartoum since 2012.
Franck Derrien works in Sudan since 2008. His research focuses on an ethnographic study of the nomads who use the desert roads of the Sudanese western desert for animal, salt and natrun trade.
Coming back from Selima oasis (North Sudan)
Selima is located approximately 120 km north-west of the Nile at the latitude of Sedeinga and 70 km from the border with Egypt. This oasis was a stop on the Darb al-Arbain linking Darfur (Sudan) to Assiut (Egypt), through Bir Natrun, al-Chab and Kharga, among others. This track was used, at least in some portions, until the 1980s. The team of the French archaeological mission “Selima Oasis Project” worked in this oasis between the 31st October 2013 and the 17th November 17, 2013, under the direction of Coralie Gradel, Researcher at the French Unit of the National Museum in Khartoum (French Ministry of Foreign Affairs /CNRS). The team included two German researchers from the University of Cologne and four Sudanese (an inspector of antiquities, a driver and two workers).
As the geographer of this archaeological mission, Franck Derrien was responsible for mapping the oasis (vegetation, water resources …) in November 2011. Two years later, the aim was to complete the map, to obtain informations about the excavation and the transport of salt and natrun by nomads between Egypt and Sudan and get information about the current use of the desert roads of the Sudanese Western Desert by nomads for animal trade (camel, donkey, cow…). This study is a continuation of the research that he leads in the Egyptian Western Desert since 2012 when he began an ethnographical study of the Rachaida, a tribe whose members moved along the Darb al-Arbain between the oasis of Kharga and Selima until the 1980s.
The results of the first mission conducted in 2011 were presented at the 7th International Conference of the Dakhleh Oasis Project organized by the University of Leiden (http://media.leidenuniv.nl/legacy/dop-2012-programme.pdf). The first results of the 2013 mission will be presented at the 13th International Conference for Nubian Studies at the University of Neuchâtel between the 1st and the 6th September 2014.
The touristic performance of Sudan
Sudan is now at a key moment in its history. When he was still the largest country in Africa, the economy was mainly based on oil. Following the self-determination referendum which resulted in the declaration of independence of South Sudan on 9th July 2011, Sudan lost 10 millions of inhabitants, a quarter of its surface and substantially all of its oil revenues, the fields are mainly located in the south. The country is therefore time to decide. Sudan must find other sources of income. Can tourism contribute significantly to the supply of foreign exchange and job creation in this country?
After a short presentation of the current economic context of Sudan, Franck Derrien present successively the assets of the country regarding tourism, its touristic performance, the strategies implemented to optimize the sector of the tourism and the challenges to increase its economic weight. This study ends with a synthesis which recapitulates the strengths and the weaknesses of the sector of the tourism in the Sudan in 2013, without forgetting the opportunities and the threats (SWOT Analysis). This article will be published mid-2014 :
Franck Derrien. Le Tourisme au Soudan : une destination confidentielle ? Tourisme et territoires. Volume 4. Juin 2014.