By Juma John Stephen
JUBA, 13 May 2012 [Gurtong] – The State Minister of Information and Culture Francis Barson Yousa told Gurtong this week that the Central Equatoria Network (CEN) is undergoing test transmission and is expected to be launched during the Independence Day celebrations.
“The radio and television signals are being tested before we go into full operation. We managed to install Central Equatoria State Radio and Television Network in one year although we had expected the work to be complete within six months”, said Yousa.
He revealed that the project cost $2.5 million but added that the cost is expected to shot to over $ 3 million due to what he termed “unforeseen expenditure”.
The radio and TV stations are located behind the State Information Ministry’s office and it is expected that it will cover 40 percent of the state.
“We will only manage to cover this far because the signals are not very strong and the hilly areas in the West and the East will not be covered just yet. We don’t expect coverage beyond the Koruk Mountains but we expect it to cover Terekeka Tali and Southern Bari for the time being before the entire state by 2014”, said the acting Director of TV for the State Engineer Joseph Iyala Ibui.
He added that the TV station will transmit on Ultra High Frequency band.
The launch of the network will not be a smooth ride as the state lacks qualified personnel to operate both radio and television.
South Sudan lags behind in media training and has been relying on foreign expertise to manage its mass media.