Liquid Telecom connects South Sudan to One Africa broadband network
02 July 2019 | Laurence Doe
Pan-African telecoms group Liquid Telecom will implement and operate South Sudan’s first fibre broadband network.
The new infrastructure will connect the country to its One Africa broadband network, which spans almost 70,000km across 13 African countries and links the continent to the rest of the world.
Ministers, VIPs and senior executives from Liquid Telecom carried out a symbolic fibre digging inauguration on July 1.
Strive Masiyiwa, executive chairman of Econet Global and Liquid Telecom, said: “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.”
With phase one due to be completed before the end of 2019, Liquid Telecom’s network will eventually make reliable and affordable internet connectivity available for nearly 13 million citizens of South Sudan, as well as thousands of businesses, government institutions and non-governmental organisations.
South Sudan will link to Liquid Telecom’s network across the region which covers the East African Community, a regional intergovernmental organisation of six partner states, the Republics of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, United Republic of Tanzania, and Republic of Uganda.
The community connects up to 300 million people, bringing benefits to trade, cross-border investment, and a foundation for digital growth and innovation — all conditions that will support the Government of South Sudan’s positive economic growth forecast over the next ten years.
A new cross-border interconnection was formed when Liquid Telecom’s Sudan link connected to Telecom Egypt’s network, completing a 10-year project to offer a 60,000km network running the length of the continent.
"The impact is that cloud services can now be accessed right across the continent and as the cloud service and software providers, such as Microsoft or AWS, start rolling out, it now means that it will be possible for enterprises and start-ups to access their cloud services at low latencies and that those cloud systems will work," he said.
Liquid Telecom’s investment was recognised by South Sudan’s president Salva Kiir Mayardit.
Commenting on the new partnership, he 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 Revitalised Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan.”
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