JUBA – Pan-African telecoms group, Liquid Telecom, will implement and operate South Sudan’s first fibre broadband network, connecting the country to the ’One Africa’ broadband network.
The company, in a July 1 statement extended to Sudan Tribune, announced that the first phase is due for completion before the end of 2019 and “will eventually make reliable and affordable internet connectivity available for nearly 13 million citizens of South Sudan.”
South Sudan, it stated, will link to Liquid Telecom’s network across the region which covers the East African Community (EAC), a regional group consisting of Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi.
“Liquid Telecom is immensely proud to bring fibre connectivity to South Sudan for the first time,” said Strive Masiyiwa, the Executive Chairman of Econet Global and Liquid Telecom.
“This modern ICT infrastructure will help address the most pressing challenges within South Sudan, including the urgent need for peace and state building, job creation and improved livelihoods. South Sudan’s 13 million citizens will be connected to 300 million people across the East African Community. Connecting South Sudan to the ’One Africa’ broadband network will also champion pan-Africa trade and help build Africa’s digital future,” he added.
On his part, the South Sudanese President Salva Kiir said the implementation of this critical fibre infrastructure is a landmark step in the delivery of affordable communications access to the people of South Sudan, the business community, government and civil society.
“By connecting South Sudan to the global internet, this important infrastructure development will help improve social mobility, enable economic diversification and drive inclusive private sector-led growth and productive employment. The agreement is also ideally timed, coinciding with the signing of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan,” he said.
Meanwhile, the first phase of the agreement signed between South Sudan’s National Communication Authority (NCA) and Liquid Telecom will reportedly include a 300km fibre backbone operating from the border of Uganda, through South Sudan, to Juba.
“This first phase is scheduled to go live in the last quarter of 2019,” the company said, amid its plans to expand to the other cities in phases.
Liquid Telecom is currently operating in 13 East and Central African countries. Sudan Tribune