ANTIC has shared Cameroon’s experience on the impact of digital economy on national development with a delegation of students of the Kenyan Defense College who are currently on a study tour in Cameroon. This was during an audience granted the delegation by ANTIC’s Director General Prof. Ebot Ebot Enaw, 14 March 2022, at the Agency’s Head Office in Yaounde.
While addressing the Kenyan delegation led by Brigadier Mwamburi Joachim Ngure, ANTIC’s Director General, Prof. Ebot Ebot Enaw, saluted the choice of his institution as first stopover for their visit to Cameroon and went further to expound on the ecosystem of Cameroon’s digital economy ranging from infrastructure, legal framework, services to cybersecurity.
He said, the Cameroon government has mobilised significant resources in recent years, despite the difficult economic situation, to develop its ICT sector through the expansion of the national optical fibre network, which now covers 20,000 km across the national territory. Prof Ebot Ebot equally cited the multiplication of landing points, the deployment of two Internet exchange points in Yaounde and Douala, and the creation of several ICT start-up incubators for the transformation of innovative ideas to finished and marketable products, as efforts made by the government of Cameroon to develop the sector.
These efforts, he noted have led to an increase in the number of “e-services in Cameroon evidenced by the emergence of several start-ups providing digital solu- tions to local problems.” However, these efforts have faced strong headwinds with unscrupulous individuals exploiting vulnerabilities inherent in the digital economy to swindle ignorant users of their financial resources.
He said with Cameroon and Kenya progressively witnessing increased access to broadband Internet, issues relating to cyber security and cybercrime are emerging and as such “there is a pressing need to ensure that citizens, governments and businesses are protected.” The exponential increase in the use of Information and Communication Technologies, ICTs and real-time borderless exchange of information, Prof. Ebot Ebot explained, have made cyber security a complex transnational issue that requires global cooperation in ensuring a safe cyber community.
The meeting therefore provided a unique opportunity for cooperation ties to be strengthened between the two countries in this area, given that “…increasing global cyber threats and cyber-attacks already constitute a threat to national, regional and international peace as well as security and consequently demand the putting in place of global instruments that promote security and stability of our cyberspace.”
Speaking, a member of the Kenyan delegation, Major Dimitry Gwandho, said they came to Cameroon to help strengthen ties between both countries. He added that the main purpose of their visit was to appreciate the importance of regional cooperation and also to understand the role of technology in the security of nations in the face of emerging threats in the 21st century.