South Sudan (Republic of)

H.E. Ms Rebecca Joshua OKWACI
Ministry of Telecommunications and Postal Services

22 October 2014

H.E. Chairman of ITU Plenipotentiary 2014

H.E. Dr. Hamadoun Toure Secretary General of the ITU
Heads of Delegates, Excellences, Ladies and Gentlemen

It gives me great pleasure to attend and address this Plenipotentiary conference 2014. I wish to commend the warmth hospitality of the Republic of Korea, not forgetting the quick facilitation of our visas to travel to this beautiful country. We highly value the support of ITU Secretary General Dr. Hamadoun Toure and his colleagues to our country. Their wise leadership has been an inspiration to the people and government of South Sudan.

South Sudan which had gone through many decades of war and suffering got its independence in 2011. In no time, South Sudan was blessed to become the 93rd member state of the ITU and soon was allocated country code +211and other subsequent codes

Born kicking and bouncing and with the political will of its leadership, South Sudan which is barely three years old has taken reasonable steps towards ICT development since then:

1. South Sudan has become an active participant in the ITU fora.

2. We celebrated World Telecom and Information Society Day May 16th 2014,  and to involve the public, since our intention was to educate and create awareness, the activity was held in a primary school where it attracted wide range of pupils and public.

3. We have taken reasonable steps in the process of building our optical fiber network, starting with the connection of our capital city – Juba to Nadapal on Kenyan Border as well as Juba – Nimule to the Ugandan border. Future plans are to activate and construct Malakal to the northern border with Sudan. These outlets will complement our country's backbone currently under procurement process.

4. We are collaborating with our neighbours in Eastern Africa and other African countries in what we call "the Northern Corridor" and "Transform Africa" programs, respectively, to construct our broadband infrastructure. We believe these strategic steps will ensure affordable access by our large rural population in order to improve their livelihood. 

5. The good news that I would like to share with this august conference today – being an answer to a question I found difficult to answer a year ago - is the establishment of our regulatory body, the National Communication Authority as an autonomous entity. Within three years of our age, South Sudan managed to have a regulatory to ensure compliance with international standards through international collaboration. This is geared towards building a South Sudan as a free and modern information society.

Your excellence the chair, ladies and gentlemen, I would like to appeal to the up-coming ITU secretary-general and his team to take concern of the challenges faced by South Sudan including, but not limited to:

1. Strengthening the nacent regulatory body

2. Supporting the building of fiber optic infrastructure

3. Capacity building and training of our human resource

4. Supporting universal access programs

5. Supporting computer literacy programs for women and children

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, we commend the achievements made by the ITU secretariat in helping the world's information society. We would like to express our support for the up-coming ITU body, wishing it success in the course of building ICT and making it an enabler for the development of information societies.

As I conclude, in South Sudan, when we are happy and progressing we say, South Sudan Oyee! Join me therefore in saying as you repeat after me: ITU Oyee! South Korea Oyee! ITU PP-14 Oyee!

Thank you very much.