Bertoua: ANTIC equips mayors, council staff with ICTs skills to bolster service delivery.

The National Agency for Information and Communication Technologies, ANTIC, has empowered mayors and council workers of the East Region with ICTs skills in a bid to strengthen their capacity to deliver efficient and quality services to their populace.



This was the crux of a three-day capacity building seminar on Information and Communication Technologies, ICTs, for municipal councils of the East Region held in the city of Bertoua. 

The seminar which ended Friday March 29 was organised under the theme: “Local development in the era of digital transformation”.

It was attended by the Governor of the East Region, Gregoire Mvongo and Bertoua City Mayor, Jean Marie Dimbele. The seminar was the fourth in a series to be staged in the Region.

Speaking at the start of the training, ANTIC Director General, Professor Ebot Ebot Enaw, said the seminar sought to equip mayors of the East Region and their IT administrators with 21st century skills that would enable them exploit the power of ICT to transform the accessibility, quality and cost-effectiveness of municipal council services. 

Prof Ebot Ebot explained to the participants that: “Much like the first four editions, this seminar is organised within the ambit of ANTIC’s contribution to the decentralisation effort undertaken by the government”.

He stated that enablers of the transparent management of resources and drivers of good governance and job creation, ICTs can help councils significantly improve the living conditions of citizens in their municipalities.

“In this light, the current 3-day event will enable participants to garner skills needed to optimise processes in their municipalities in a bid to improve service delivery via the adoption and integration of ICTs into daily Council operations and as such effectively participate in the growth and development of the digital economy,” the ANTIC boss noted.

He then recalled that the Bertoua seminar which was in its 5th edition, comes after that of Bafoussam for the West Region in 2020, Ebolowa for the South Region in 2021, Limbe for the South West Region in 2022 and Ngaoundere for Adamawa Region in 2023.

ANTIC Director General speaking to reporters at the start of the seminar

 

 

Speaking further, Prof Ebot Ebot revealed that as of date, 127 councils, representing 35% of the total number of councils in the country, have been trained by ANTIC on the integration of ICTs into local governance as well as accompanied in the development of their ICT projects. 

He, however, regretted that in the East Region, the online presence of municipal councils is still in its nascent stage. 

He disclosed that of the 36 municipal councils in the region, only seven representing 19% have a website; with 25 of them in possession of a Facebook page. 

He said though the number of councils with a social media page may appear impressive, none of the pages is verified thereby exposing the councils to identity theft. 

“The skills you shall acquire in the course of this seminar would help you to reverse this trend and tap from the enormous benefits offered by online platforms” he then told the participants.

 

Enter Bertoua City Mayor

Earlier, the City Mayor of Bertoua, Jean Marie Dimbele, saluted the choice of Bertoua as ANTIC’s bus stop.

Turning to the issue of the day, the city boss described ICTs as an indispensable tool in “our daily” lives. 

These tools, he said, are no longer only used by young people, but has become a formidable instrument of human, social and economic development. 

“The world is changing. The digital revolution is disrupting behaviors and habits. To this end, councils must take up a number of challenges, jump on the bandwagon and put in place the appropriate infrastructures to succeed in our digital transformation,” he said. 

“It is important that we, as local elected representatives, make effective use of these ICTs to ensure sustainable development for the local authorities in our charge,” he concluded.

Participants at the seminar, it should be said, were trained on issues related the importance of an IT Master Plan for municipal councils; the process of building a secured information system and digitalisation of the civil status register”.

The mayors were also lectured on “how to seek funding for ICT projects; Change management and Management cycle of ICT projects”.

 

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