South Sudan has become the 49th member state of the African Telecommunications Union (ATU). South Sudan joins 48 other African countries and 54 ICT companies under the ATU umbrella.

ATU represents its members’ interests at global decision-making ICT conferences and provides a forum for stakeholders involved in ICTs to formulate strategies to improve access to information infrastructure in the continent.

At the signing the membership agreement, South Sudan Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Ambassador Beatrice Khamisa was joined by the Director-General of the National Communications Authority of South Sudan, Eng. Napoleon Adok Gai.

As an ATU member, South Sudan will be expected to front a stronger position especially in launching initiatives to integrate regional markets, implement ICT projects, attract investment into ICT infrastructure, and build institutional and human capacity. South Sudan’s admission into ATU presents the potential of strengthening the African common positions in the conference as well as others in future.

In her remarks, Ambassador Beatrice Khamisa, South Sudan’s top diplomat expressed her country’s openness to partnerships, investments, and innovations in ICT that will create employment opportunities in the country’s development.

“It has been a long wait for South Sudan to realize this important achievement in its quest to establish itself as an ICT centric model country,” she said.

With 49 countries on board, ATU hopes to guide Africa into a future that is more connected and exposed to the full benefits of ICT. This is even as the Internet World Stats observed that by 2019, Africa had experienced a 39.8% technology penetration against the global average of 57.3%.