Juba — South Sudan is hopeful of achieving full migration to the new digital system of broadcast from the traditional analogue system by 2014 before the June 2015 International Telecommunication Union (ITU) deadline.
This was revealed by Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin, minister for Information while speaking at a one-day digital evolution workshop organized by ZTE Corporation and held at Juba Grand Hotel mid this week. The minister underscored the importance of the migration saying South Suda,n as the world's newest nation, cannot lag behind when the rest of the world is moving forward.
"South Sudan Television and broadcasting started shifting towards digitalization as early as 2009 though we have been moving side by side with the analogue", said Dr. Marial. He said the ministry had set the year 2012 to complete the shift. He however said he is optimistic that the ITU deadline would get South Sudan across the board.
A 2006 regional communications conference organised by the International Telecommunication Union-ITU in Geneva set June 2015 as deadline for migration to all countries in Europe, Middle East and Africa of which South Sudan as a new nation is not an exception.
"As an independent country and party to the ITU, South Sudan will have to comply with the policies and decisions taken by ITU. This is also good in that we will avoid the risk of being a dumping site for people who may think the market for analogue products is in South Sudan", Dr. Marial said.
He further explained that since the world has gone digital, embracing it would mean being part of the world family of nations, equipment being less expensive as they would available and harmonized using the digital system for the benefit of the citizens.
Meanwhile the director of SSTV, Mr. Moyiga Korokoto Nduru, expressed the need to speed up the shift if South Sudan is to move together with the rest of the region. He noted that the East African Community that South Sudan is much expected to join has set the end of 2012 deadline which he said may affect South Sudan.
Mr. Jianj Jin Jing, ZTE's CTO underscored the importance of strengthening the media in passing the right information to the people in the young nation of South Sudan. He recalled that the task of nation building is a difficult one which says will need a collective responsibility of every one.
"You are more than 9 million in this country, if all of us can contribute something in our own ways, we can develop this country", said Mr. Jing.