South Sudan is about to sign contracts for mail services with Kenya Airlines and Ethiopian Airlines to use their international network to deliver mail, ending a reliance on former civil war foe Sudan, a government official said.
South Sudan became independent in July under a 2005 peace agreement with Khartoum that ended decades of civil war, but the new nation has been struggling to build up state institutions.
The government will sign contracts soon with airlines in Kenya and Ethiopia, said Juma Stephen, undersecretary at the ministry of telecommunications and postal services.
"There are already templates for the contracts," Stephen told reporters on the sidelines of an investment conference in Juba, adding the signing could happen within a month.
South Sudan still relies on foreign postal services from Sudan as it did in the pre-independence era, with mail and packages often arriving days late, if not weeks.
The new nation borders six countries but has just 100 km (70 miles) of paved roads, making imports and transport a big challenge.
Stephen also said the government was setting up a postal centre in Malakal with the help of the United Nations to link the north of the African nation with the capital Juba.