At National Finance Committee meeting: MINFI boss says Cameroon on path to boosting digital innovation.

Participants & government officials after opening ceremony

The Minister of Finance, Louis Paul Motaze, has given assurance that government is adopting digital innovations that would transform Cameroon’s economy to keep it abreast with developments and advances in the global financial system.

The Minister was speaking in Yaounde, Thursday June 6.

This was during the first session of Scientific Days on Digital Economy, organised by the National Committee on Economy and Finance, CNEF.

Organised under the theme: “Transforming the Financial System through Digital Innovations; Challenges and Perspectives for Cameroon”, Minister Motaze urged participants to use the two days of deliberations to come up with workable solutions so that Cameroon is not left behind in digital advancements.

He was upbeat that the gathering, made up of experts, professionals in the financial sector, academics from some state universities, and other stakeholders from Asia, America and Europe, cannot fail to come up with workable solutions to place Cameroon on a better stead, to add to what the government had achieved so far.

The Minister announced that the deliberants would tackle the issue from four different perspectives - beginning with the role money payment technologies are playing in easing revenue collection and increasing takings into the state treasury; how digital innovations are easing work and improving efficiency and increasing productivity in the work place; how they are helping to check cyber criminality; and how they are helping in the development of new financial practices.

Here, the finance minister urged participants to place accent on how the government can incorporate Artificial Intelligence, AI, in government financial processes; as well as explore how opportunities embedded in Open-Banking could also be taken advantage of by the government in particular, and Cameroonian business operators in general.

Even more important, Minister Motaze urged participants to come up with ideas on how to use these innovative tools to promote financial inclusion in Cameroon. 

He regretted that studies so far show that Cameroon has attained barely 11% of digital inclusion of its population as against 22% that is credited as average for countries in Africa, south of the Sahara.


Enter Minister Libom Li Likeng

To Posts and Telecommunications Minister, Minette Libom Li-Likeng, the digital economy is no longer an emerging trend, but an essential reality that is shaping the new global architecture of business, finance, and much more.

The era of digital transformation, she said, has brought about increasing interconnection between technology and financial services, driven by significant advancements in areas such as Artificial Intelligence, AI; Big Data and Block Chain. These are innovations that are not only redefining business models, but also the way financial institutions operate on a global scale. 

She revealed that in the financial sector, they encompass the use of Advanced Technologies to enhance and transform financial services.

In this context, the Posts and Telecommunications boss said two of the most significant advancements in this field are AI and Open Banking. 

Applied to the financial sector, Minette Likeng said, AI is now being used to manage risks, curb fraud, enhance automation and ease the processing of large volumes of data.

On the other hand, Open Banking is now being used to drive innovation and enhance user experience by enabling customers and users of services to benefit from personalised services. This in turn helps them to manage their finances more efficiently across various platforms.

Minister Likeng cited the example of JP Morgan Chase Bank, which she said by using AI-based programme known as COIN, to analyze legal documents and extract relevant data, succeeded in reducing the work load from 360,000 hours per year to just a few seconds. 

The Posts and Telecommunications boss reechoed the Minister of Finance by asserting that Cameroon’s financial landscape is characterised by continuous growth and gradual adoption of digital technologies. The impact of which is becoming increasingly noticeable by growing adoption of solutions such mobile money and other electronic transfer systems.  


This story was first published in The Guardian Post issue No3134 of Friday June 07, 2024

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