Juba, April 30th 2012: Basic infrastructure requirements and building regulatory capacity are the twin priorities to usher South Sudan into the ICT-age, concluded an interactive workshop jointly organized by the World Bank, the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO) and hosted by the Ministry of Telecommunications and Postal Services of the Republic of South Sudan (MOTPS) on the 24th and 25th of April 2012. Lasantha De Alwis, CTO's Corporate Secretary and Head, Membership (right) with Sudan's Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services, Hon Madut Biar Yel (centre), and Dr Tim Kelly, the World Bank’s Lead ICT Policy Specialist (left). CTO’s Research and Consultancy division is currently advising the MOTPS on drafting a strategic plan which will set its priorities for the coming three years. While assisting this process, the stakeholder dialogue carried out during the workshop also helped the donor community to prioritise areas for assistance.
Opening the workshop, Sudan’s Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services, Hon Madut Biar Yel informed delegates of the progress registered by the young republic, including the adoption of the new country code 211, the domain name .ss and undertaking a comprehensive policy review. He welcomed the CTO’s assistance to develop the strategic plan for the ministry which will form the basis of its activities in the coming three years. In his opening remarks, Mr. Lasantha De Alwis, CTO’s Corporate Secretary and Head, Membership, reiterated the CTO’s longstanding commitment to ICT development in South Sudan and added that the workshop presented an opportunity to further consult stakeholders on the key strategic objectives the Ministry will adopt.
Dr Tim Kelly, the World Bank’s Lead ICT Policy Specialist, pointed out that in addition to being the world’s youngest country, the Republic of South Sudan had become the newest member of the World Bank Group, following the Bank’s annual meeting last week. “It is appropriate that the workshop is the first the World Bank is holding in South Sudan because of the important role ICT will plays in the socio-economic development of the country”, Dr Kelly added.