(Ecofin Agency) - Since 2020, South Sudanese authorities, who are well aware that there could be no sustainable digital economy without access to quality and affordable internet, are taking action to consolidate the country’s data capabilities.
South Sudan and Djibouti announced Monday (September 19), a memorandum of understanding for fiber optic interconnection. Under the agreement, the ultra-high-speed infrastructure will run from Djibouti to Juba, passing through Ethiopia. According to South Sudanese authorities, the interconnection will connect the capital to the rest of the world and reduce the high cost of the internet.
The South Sudanese Ministry of ICT reveals that after the memorandum, a technical team comprising nationals of the two participating countries will be trained to successfully carry out this project, which is of strategic importance for South Sudan.
Djibouti’s fiber optic is not the first such infrastructure South Sudan is connecting to. In January 2020, broadband connectivity provider Liquid Intelligent Technologies announced the effective installation of a 200km fiber backbone connecting the Ugandan border to Juba, via Nimule. This interconnection was complemented by several metropolitan nodes in the capital.
In the framework of the Eastern Africa Regional Transport, Trade, and Development Facilitation Project, South Sudan has also benefited from a fiber optic interconnection with Kenya. As of October 2020, 630 km of fiber optic cable was already deployed at the border between the two countries with funding from the World Bank and the Kenyan government.
The additional data capacity acquired by South Sudan will enable it to successfully implement its digital transformation strategy, by making broadband internet affordable for its population.