Internet stakeholders in Cameroon drawn from the civil society, academia, industry and technical community are brainstorming on data governance within the framework of the 8th edition of the country’s Internet Governance Forum, dubbed IGF.CM-20, taking place in the nation’s economic capital, Douala.
The three-day forum which opened, 17 June 2020, is an annual national gathering that convenes Internet stakeholders to share knowledge and experiences on issues related to Internet governance, its benefits and misuse with a view to streamlining the use of the technology in the country.
Conversations at the forum are centred around six sub thematic areas notably:
- Government policy on data governance;
- Use of financial and marketing data in decision making;
- Data collection and usage in the banking context;
- Legal protection of personal data: case of Cameroon;
- National cyberspace security watch;
- “Governance intelligence” in public spending: case of the PRIDESOFT platform, Data Centric Application.
According to a January 2020 report of Hootsuite and We Are Social, 7.8 million Cameroonians are connected to the Internet representing an Internet penetration rate of 30 percent. Though this statistic is significant in Internet development in the country, many people seem to use the technology for malicious purposes such as propagating on social media, fake news, deep fake and classified state documents - an illicit practice that threatens public order and state security, ANTIC’s Director General Prof. Ebot Ebot Enaw, hinted in his keynote address as he opened the forum.
He beckoned on the forum participants to come up with recommendations that will enhance the responsible data management, the Internet in general and the social media in particular as well as the protection of sensitive personal and state data.
The outcome of deliberations at the forum shall define Cameroon's stance on data governance and constitute useful input for the forthcoming IGF events at regional and global level.