Dignitaries at the ceremonial groundbreaking for South Sudan's first fibre broadband network.
Liquid Telecom is building South Sudan's first fibre broadband network.
It will be connected to the “One Africa” broadband network, which is approaching 70,000 kilometres in length across 13 African countries.
South Sudan president Salva Kiir Mayardit, various government ministers and other VIPs joined Liquid Telecom executives in a symbolic groundbreaking on July 1.
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.
“Liquid Telecom is immensely proud to bring fibre connectivity to South Sudan for the first time,” said Strive Masiyiwa, executive chair 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.”
Said South Sudan president Salva Kiir: “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.”
The first phase of the agreement signed between the government of South Sudan’s National Communication Authority and Liquid Telecom will include a 300-kilometre fibre backbone operating from the border of Uganda, through South Sudan, to Juba. Multiple metro clusters will also support the capital city. This first phase is scheduled to go live in the last quarter of 2019.
The network will be expanded to other cities in subsequent phases.