Accelerating digital transformation: P&T Ministry empowers stakeholders on overcoming challenges.

The Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications has edified key officials of the ministry, affiliated structures, regulators and other players on ways through which the country’s projected plans to achieving a fully effective digital economy could be achieved. The exercise was carried out during a one-day seminar chaired by the Minister of Posts and Telecommunications, Minette Libom Li Likeng.

It was organised in Yaounde on Wednesday, January 18 under the theme; “Meeting the challenges of digitally transforming Cameroon”.

They also discussed ways through which the challenges could be bypassed to meet the targeted timeframe envisaged for the project aimed at making Cameroon a digitally transformed nation by 2029 in the agricultural sector.

Speaking in an opening address during the gathering, Minister Li Likeng described the workshop as timely and one worthy of changing the digital transformation phase.

“Our plans during this gathering are to edify participants on the issues and challenges of the digital transformation of Cameroon and to highlight the conditions through which it could be done successfully,” Minister Li Likeng said at the event attended amongst others by heads of telecommunications organizations and regulators.

“We also want to encourage the adhesion and commitment of all stakeholders and targets in the digitalization of the economy and society as well as to fully present the Project to Accelerate the Digital Transformation of Cameroon, PATNUC,” she continued, reiterating on the need for collaboration among major actors including regulators and other actors concerned.

“This project cannot be single handedly handled by the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications. It also has to bring together players from other sectors, that is why the different figures who also understand the challenges of the digital transformation are called upon to engage in the exercise and obtain the expected results within the needed dateline,” the Minister added.

According to the Minister, the workshop will facilitate the project through the digitalization of the major job providing sectors in the country, the equitable connections of the ten regions with the Information and Communication Technologies, the ICT and a host of others.

“This plan is expected to be achieved through the introduction of digital schemes in the major job-providing sectors, through the development of digital content as well as the equitable connection of all regions to ICTs, by ensuring the densification of the telecommunications network, after the effective connections of all the divisions in Cameroon with optical fiber” the Minister said.

“There will also be the integration of ICT in the entire educational system. The appropriation of ICTs by public institutions to improve governance 13. The digital transformation of the Post Office, with a view to aligning it with the requirements of the digital economy and improving its performance,” she concluded, also highlighting on the development of the broadband infrastructure.

Wednesday’s workshop had interventions amongst others, from Cameroonian scholar, Prof Victor Mbarika, Founder and President of Board of Trustees of The ICT University who said the much-cherished digitalization plans could be fully realized through the change of mindsets, effective training and conducive environment.

Boosted acceleration plans

The government launched the national digital transformation plan with hopes of attaining a full structural transformation of the country through the National Development Strategy for 2030 with emphasis on the intensive development of high productivity of service sectors.

The project has as aim, to reduce the digital divide and to implement a system of electronic governance through the national territory which by 2019, will increase the internet penetration rate, the digital access index and the data transfer rate.

The implementation of the project during the expected timeframe however faced multiple challenges along the years including financial and infrastructural limitations. Despite the backdrops, the Minister of Post and Telecommunications in a declaration, Wednesday, revealed major adjustments have been made to get the project off and running.

According to the Minister, the project is expected to get accelerated this year following the acquisition of funds from the World Bank and other well-defined plans.

“The digital transformation is an imperative order from the Head of State. We elaborated the strategic plan many years ago but there was a cost to be paid and it was not government’s priority to get engaged in the domain at the time. Subsequently, the government negotiated with the World Bank and we received the financing,” the Minister said.

“So, this year, we are going to adopt it through some key projects that we have identified for this project. We cannot finance all our strategic plans but we will focus on the three key activities which has as first part the bid to improve the regulatory legislative frameworks,” she concluded.

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