South Sudan Eyeing Benefits from Ethiopia’s Telecom Liberalization, Digitization

South Sudan is looking forward to benefitting from Ethiopia’s telecommunication liberalization and digitization, South Sudan National Communication Authority Director General Gai said.

South Sudan is avidly following Ethiopia’s telecom reform and digitization, the telecom liberalization, and technological innovations which benefit neighboring countries that share borders with Ethiopia, including South Sudan, the director general added.

“The liberalization in Ethiopia is welcome news for the region, and particularly for countries that are bordering Ethiopia. We are following the development keenly. We are following with the purpose of tapping into Ethiopia’s great technological innovations that have been here and that have not been tapped into the region.”

According to Gai, the telecom liberalization in Ethiopia could usher in rolling out of technologies that were limited before in the country and beyond.

“We have already reached out to Ethio Telecom. Its CEO Frehiwot was in Juba and we did a great exchange with her where South Sudan is looking into creating a point of presence on our border,” he revealed.

There is also a potential study of the infrastructures development being done from Ethiopia to South Sudan to incorporate telecommunication infrastructure.

South Sudan is looking to get electric power from Ethiopia and connect the countries on the road, especially to the oil-rich Upper Nile region, it was learned.

“We are hoping that as those infrastructures are rolled out, a telecom sector is integrated into it.”

The director general stressed the need to add telecom infrastructure and electric power connectivity to the LAPSSET Corridor infrastructure connecting Kenya, Ethiopia and South Sudan together and with Somalia for the countries in the sub-region to tap potential and maximize benefit.

Ethiopia is a giant country that has the potential to penetrate the largest population of East Africa, Gai noted, adding that South Sudan sees the opportunity and the emerging digitalization of the telecom sector in Ethiopia that carries a great promise for the region.

“We, as South Sudan, are looking for Ethiopia to benchmark many of its technological innovations, especially in the e-government sector,” the director general pointed out.

For him, introducing the e-government services will enable citizens to access services digitally, improve service efficiency, and eliminate corruption.

As a new nation, South Sudan is learning about the great experiences of Ethiopia and the region, Gai said.

“We are trying to complement that by encouraging regional connectivity through developing communication infrastructure that has a transit onward capacity.”

East Africa has great potential to interconnect the region as we have seen from other infrastructures development like the LAPSSET, the director general pointed out.

The LAPSSET Corridor Program is Eastern Africa’s largest and most ambitious infrastructure project bringing together Kenya, Ethiopia and South Sudan.

This mega project consists of seven key infrastructure projects starting with a new port at Lamu, interregional highways from Lamu to Isiolo, Isiolo to Juba, Isiolo to Addis Ababa, and Lamu to Garsen, crude oil pipeline from Lamu to Isiolo, Isiolo to Juba, product oil pipeline from Lamu to Isiolo, Isiolo to Addis Ababa; interregional standard gauge railway lines from Lamu to Isiolo, Isiolo to Juba, Isiolo to Addis Ababa, and Nairobi to Isiolo; 3 international airports: one each at Lamu, Isiolo, and Lake Turkana; 3 resort cities: one each at Lamu, Isiolo and Lake Turkana; and the multipurpose high grand falls aam along the Tana River.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency