Stakeholders are currently assessing the benefits offered by digitalisation in public and private institutions in the country..
This is the crux of a three-day high-level forum, which flagged off Wednesday in Yaounde.
The forum, organised virtually by the National Agency for Information and Communication Technologies, ANTIC, has brought together researchers and ICT managers from public and private structures in the country.
It was launched by the Director General of ANTIC, Prof Ebot Ebot Enaw.
Speaking via Zoom at the start of the meeting, Prof Ebot Ebot described the gathering as crucial to the growth of the digital sector in Cameroon.
He told participants that despite the difficult economic climate, government's efforts, particularly in terms of infrastructure development, have led to the proliferation of e-services in Cameroon and an increase in the Internet penetration rate from 4.3% in 2010 to over 45.6% at the start of 2023.
Prof Ebot Ebot was quick to add that despite the said advances, there is still a long way to go to take full advantage of the constantly evolving technologies, in order to optimise performance in both the private and public sectors.
He said in order to guarantee an effective and efficient digital transformation of the country, “we need to develop strategies that match the realities of our ecosystem. Hence the need for an up-to-date and true-to-reality inventory”.
The ANTIC Director General recalled that in December 2022, the institution conducted a survey of a sample of eighty-nine public and private structures from different business sectors and regions, in order to determine their level of digital transformation through various organisational and technical indicators.
He said the data collected was subjected to rigorous analysis, enabling his institution to draw up an accurate and objective diagnosis of the level of digital transformation in Cameroon.
From the data provided by the various structures, he said, it emerged that the main obstacles to the digital transformation of Cameroonian structures are among others, the low level of awareness of process engineering and the lack of financial means to mobilise quality human and infrastructural resources.
“During this workshop, participants will learn about approaches and models for ensuring a smooth digital transformation of their structures,” he said.
He said Cameroon has made considerable progress in digital transformation; thanks to the efforts made by the government in deploying telecommunications infrastructure, reducing the quality/price ratio of ICT terminals and democratising access to knowledge through the multiplication of universities, engineering schools and startup incubators.
Notwithstanding, he said there is still a long way to go to take full advantage of the constantly evolving technologies.
“…ICTs should be used with caution as cybercriminals are always on the lookout for the slightest loophole or flaw in the design of Information Systems. Consequently, securing our information systems should no longer be a luxury or a project to be carried out after they have been set up,” he noted.
Speaking further on the issue, Prof Ebot Ebot stated that ANTIC remains committed to strengthening the security of Cameroon's cyberspace through its awareness-raising and training activities, security audits, security monitoring and electronic certification.
A digital transformation journey, he said, needs a staged approach with a clear roadmap involving a variety of stakeholders, beyond silos and internal limitations.
“…it is an ongoing journey and not a destination comprising three key stages namely digitisation, digitalisation and digital transformation,” he added.
For three days, the ongoing online forum, which ends today, will feature presentations by ICT managers from public and private structures on the digital transformation of their respective organisations and presentations of draft research articles.