Access to information and communication technologies (ICTs) is benefiting families, communities and industries in South Sudan.
During ITU’s Plenipotentiary Conference 2018 (PP-18), Lily Albino Akol, the Honorable Deputy Minister of Information Communications Technology and Postal Services, discussed how South Sudan is employing ICTs to improve lives in the country.
“The world is connected. We are talking about being a small village you know, thanks to technology,” said Albino Akol. “I want to see… that everybody has the same access.”
So, what is South Sudan doing to ensure everyone has access to ICTs?
“My country is doing a lot. Most importantly we are establishing the infrastructure. As you know, the history of South Sudan, we are the newest nation in the world … as a country, we want to establish the fiber-optic connections and we are looking into the best way and the quickest way to do that,” explained Albino Akol.
“As the newest country and the newest Member State to the ITU, we have a lot to do. Because as a country we need to sprint to be where the other countries are now.” — Lily Albino Akol
As a land-locked country, South Sudan is leveraging networks from their regional neighbors to extend the fiber-optic infrastructure and improve the affordability of services.
“And the best way to do that is to take fiber optics from our neighboring countries…. We will extend the fiber optics with our sisterly country of Uganda from the borders. I just finished a very good meeting with the Minister of Telecommunications of Sudan, also another neighboring country, and we would also be able to extend fiber optics from there. So there are a lot of projects that are in the pipeline, but most importantly, what fiber optics will bring, it will make the price of communication go down,” said Albino Akol.
“You know what is good about South Sudan is that, as I said, we are a young country, so we are starting afresh — in all the other sectors, not [only] telecommunications. So we have the opportunity to make telecommunications and technology a very integral part of all the developmental projects that we are undertaking in the country,” believes Albino Akol.
“As the newest country and the newest Member State to the ITU, we have a lot to do. Because as a country we need to sprint to be where the other countries are now. And we need a lot of help in this area,” said Albino Akol.
“I know ITU has always been helpful, because we also fall into the category of the Least Developed Countries, so we would hope to see this help in terms of opportunities, in terms of services, in terms of training,” says Albino Akol. “We are ready to learn from them.”