Efforts undertaken by ANTIC to help municipal councils of Adamawa Region boost service delivery and revenue collection via the adoption and integration of information and communication technologies (ICTs) into daily council operations, have gone underway in Ngaoundere. Mayors of this Region and their IT administrators are being equipped with 21st century skills that would enable them to exploit the power of ICT to help transform the accessibility, quality and cost-effectiveness of public service as well as revitalize the relationship between citizens and their councils.
ANTIC is piloting this initiative in partnership with MINDDEVEL, FEICOM, BUNEC and ARMP. The three-day exercise which went underway today under the banner; “Local Governance in the Era of Digital Transformation” will run through 20 April 2023 and seeks to accompany municipal councils in the development of their IT master plans and digitalisation of civil services.
Participants are equally being drilled on change management and how to secure funding for ICT-related projects in their municipalities.
Speaking at the outset of the capacity building exercise, the Director General of ANTIC, Prof. Ebot Ebot Enaw, hinted that “as enablers of the transparent management of resources and drivers of good governance and job creation, ICTs can help our councils significantly improve the living conditions of citizens in their municipalities”.
ANTIC’s training support comes at a time when Cameroon is experiencing low levels of ICT penetration in municipalities. A study conducted by ANTIC after carrying out similar training workshops in the West, South and South West regions between 2020 and 2022, revealed that the average ICT penetration rate is 11%.
In this light, the Ngaoundere event, ANTIC’s Director General hinted, is committed to helping turn the tide in terms of the ICT penetration rate. However, he noted that increasing the ICT penetration rate is not the agency’s fundamental objective, but rather an enabler of the endgame, which is the improvement of living conditions of citizens through enhanced service delivery and job creation.
Despite the low ICT penetration rate, this initiative is already bearing fruits in some municipal councils where similar workshops have been organised evidenced by the development and implementation of some of their ICT projects including inter alia: the development of a Master Plan for the information system of the Bafoussam City Council as well as the maturation of ICT projects of Ebolowa and Lokundjé municipal councils.
In keeping with ANTIC’s mission of promoting ICTs in Cameroon, the Agency avails its readiness to support and promptly respond to ICT-related concerns of councils whenever solicited.