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Periodical article Periodical article
Title:The mobile phone and society in South Sudan: A critical historical-anthropological approach
Authors:Brinkman, IngeISNI
Both, JonnaISNI
Bruijn, Mirjam deISNI
Periodical:Journal of African Media Studies (ISSN 1751-7974)
Geographic term:South Sudan
Subjects:mobile telephone
External link:https://doi.org/10.1386/jams.9.2.323_1
Abstract:This article outlines the development of mobile telephony in the nascent Republic of South Sudan (ROSS). We focus specifically on Juba, during turbulent times from the end of the second Sudanese Civil War in 2005 to just after independence in 2011. We highlight the complicated political relations behind the establishment of mobile networks and the main functions and importance of the mobile phone throughout this period. Despite major technical obstacles, reconnecting with (war-) dispersed relatives, providing security in the post-CPA period marked by high insecurity and symbolizing hope and access to markets were important features of mobile phone use in Juba. Mobile phones were also essential to the rapid development of migrant dominated trade and business. Through this case-study we aim to shed light on the way in which (new) communication technologies become entangled with mobility, politics and entrepreneurship in a (post)war setting characterized by a displacement economy.