”]The International Telecommunication Union has announced that South Sudan has joined ITU to become its 193rd Member State, effective from 3 October 2011. The country which gained its independence on 9 July, 2011 was recently awarded country code 211 which also went live on 28 September 2011. This was possible after the country was recently recognised by the UN general assembly.
“We are delighted to be able to welcome South Sudan as an ITU member state so soon after attaining full nationhood. The government of South Sudan clearly recognizes the importance of information and communication technology (ICT) as an engine of social and economic development. We will work alongside the national authorities to leverage the power of technology, to help lift the country to new levels and fulfill the national motto of ‘Justice, Liberty, Prosperity’,” said ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun Touré.
The admission of South Sudan as an ITU Member State effectively means that it will have to adhere to the international treaty which governs the use of radiocommunications among the world’s nations, giving it full access rights to the frequency spectrum and satellite orbit resources managed by ITU.
We understand that a high-level ITU delegation led by Brahima Sanou, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau, recently visited South Sudan with the aim of acquiring first-hand information on the country’s needs and challenges in the area of ICT development.
Even when it was part of Sudan, some operators in South Sudan were always using +256 country code with permission from Uganda. The other codes assigned to South Sudan are; Alpha-numeric Country Codes “SS” (Alpha-2) and “SSD” (Alpha-3) from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and there are plans to implement Internet domain (dotSS).
Alpha-codes have various uses, including the national currency (SSP) and passports (SSD), among others. South Sudan has also made arrangements to join the Universal Postal Union (UPU) that will permit Juba to have its own International Postal Exchange for mail and parcel delivery.
Google also recently updated its maps including South Sudan as an independent state after a push from 1600 members of change.org. South Sudan is still missing from National Geographic, Microsoft and Yahoo maps.