Hon. Ministers and Ambassadors,
Heads of Delegations, Distinguished delegates,
Ladies and gentlemen
Mr. Chairman, allow me to start by congratulating you upon the noble role you have been entrusted with to chair this conference which is the highest decision making organ of the union.
On behalf of the government and people of the Republic of South Sudan, I would like to extend our appreciation to the government and the people of the Republic of Romania for the great hospitality accorded to our delegation and for working together with the ITU secretariat to organize this marvelous conference in this beautiful city of Bucharest.
Following South Sudan’s independence in 2011, Telecommunications and ICT became our immediate challenge as we inherited one of the least connected territories and populations in the world. In tackling this challenge, we sought support and collaboration from our very sisterly neighboring countries in the East African region and from resourceful regional and international organizations such as the African Telecommunications Union, the ITU, among others. These external engagements have given us tremendous exposure that have greatly enhanced our technical capacity and shaped our national ICT policy and regulatory approaches.
This is our 3rd participation in ITU PP and we remain grateful to the ITU membership for welcoming us and for sharing with us their experiences in developing the sector. During the last Plenipotentiary conference, South Sudan was still struggling to rollout basic telephony services on 3G. I am pleased to report to this conference that we have since made good progress.
South Sudan have deployed 4G services in all major urban centers thanks to the arrival of our first fiber in 2020. We also remain grateful to our neighbors Kenya and Uganda through whom we have access to the sea cable. This experience shows that the theme of this conference “Connecting to unite” is already at work in our sub-region.
South Sudan has just commissioned its 1st Internet Exchange Point in an effort to improve the internet user experience in the country as well as promoting local content.
The government through the Universal Service Access Fund has continued deployment of infrastructure to facilitate rural connectivity as well as emphasizing the adoption of Open Radio Access Network by Operators while encouraging the use of Satellite terminals to provide services in remote and hard to reach areas.
This program is in line with our commitment at the recent WTDC-22 concluded in Kigali where South Sudan pledged 60 million dollars towards the connectivity agenda.
Ladies and gentlemen
South Sudan is geographically positioned in the heart of Africa making it the ultimate crossroad for interconnecting East to West and North to South. Currently, most connections on the African continent tend to follow the coastlines and inland Africa with a large portion of the population left with no connectivity.
In line with the theme of this conference, South Sudan will play a vital role in using connectivity for strengthening unity in our region through our vision of extending broadband infrastructure within in-land Africa.
South Sudan intends to leverage its geographic location to serve as a connectivity hub by deploying multiple fiber backbones to access the red sea through Sudan, and the Indian Ocean through Djibouti via Ethiopia and through Kenya.
This program will provide sufficient redundancy not only for South Sudan but our immediate neighbors to whom we will provide alternative connectivity routes linking to the Atlantic, Indian Ocean and the Red Sea marine cables.
This will be accomplished through meaningful partnerships and the creation of attractive investment environment through good policies and regulations. South Sudan pledges to remain a committed member of the ITU as we look forward to the more cooperation with the ITU and its membership.
Thanks for your audience!