Africa’s fifty-fourth country and world’s newest nation, South Sudan, was assigned an international dialing code of 211, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) said on Friday.
The dialing code was specifically requested following a special Council of Ministers Resolution.
The South Sudan Ministry of Telecommunications and Postal Services welcomed the new code, which represents the year in which South Sudan gained independence from Sudan, and the date of its referendum, which took place on the first day of the first month of this year.
The Geneva-based ITU said it would provide assistance with the necessary steps required to improve connectivity in the landlocked country.
ITU secretary general Dr Hamadoun Touré said there would be challenges ahead for the developing country, but the “power of modern connectivity” would be key to developing the commerce, health and education sectors.
The oil-rich country has underdeveloped industries and extremely poor or lacking infrastructure, with widespread poverty, following several decades of civil war with Sudan.
Currently, the largest manufacturing plant is Southern Sudan Beverages, which produces beer and soft drinks. Manufacturing sectors, including sugar, textiles, cement, fruit, vegetables and timber, were wiped out during the war.
The government of South Sudan has set a target for economic growth of 6% for the remainder of 2011, and expects 7.2% growth in 2012, the CIA World Factbook states.
South Sudan gained its independence on July 9 and is the United Nations' 193rd member State.