The involvement and commitment of these institutions have become more perceptible as hate speech continuous to rise in Cameroon.
Hate speech is fast becoming a time bomb and cankerworm that is eating deep into the fabric of Cameroonian society and threatening the much cherished living together, national unity, cohesion, mutual trust and the general welfare of the population. The state affairs requires collective efforts to combat the ill. Here comes the effective involvement of some State institutions.
Bilingualism, Multiculturalism Commission
The National Commission for the Promotion of Bilingualism and Multiculturalism (NCPBM) has as mission to promote bilingualism, peaceful cohabitation of the Cameroon’s rich culture with the ultimate goal of enhancing living together. The Commission members have just rounded off yet another series of nationwide information and awareness creation campaign involving different stakeholders focused on fighting against hate speech and xenophobia. The Commission has been organising regular media campaigns against hate speech. In March 2021, the Commission organised consultation meetings in Yaounde on the fight against hate speech and xenophobia.
Information, Communication Technologies Agency
The National Agency for Information and Communication Technologies (ANTIC) in its capacity as the government agency mandated to combat cybercrime in Cameroon is also at the heart of the fight against hate speech. Its Director General, Professor Ebot Ebot Enaw during a consultation meeting in Yaounde on March 30, 2021 on the fight against hate speech disclosed that, “ANTIC collaborates with law enforcement officers in gathering and analysing digital evidence, which allows for the identification and geo-localisation of perpetrators of hate speech within the framework of investigation.” ANTIC has also established a working partnership with Facebook which facilitates the detection and closure of hate speech accounts or pages as well as those usurping the identities of State dignitaries. He disclosed that the institution had by then detected and reported 4,739 fake Facebook accounts out of which 3,566 have been closed. ANTIC has put in place a toll-free number 8202 to be used by all to report cases of cybercrime including hate speech and xenophobia.
National Communication Council
Prime Minister, Head of Government, Joseph Dion Ngute on June 29, 2021 while commissioning Joseph Cheboongkeng Kalabubse into his functions as the new Chairman of the National Communication Council (NCC) emphasised that he has to fight vices such as hate speech, misinformation which traditional media do fall prey to and to ensure that the media play the Watchdog role against the propagation of fake news. Speaking to the press, Mr Chebongkeng said, “We will educate, cajole and sanction if need be.” Concerning the effective participation of the NCC in the fight against hate speech, its Head of the Communication and Translation Unit, Alain Denis Mbezele Anya told Cameroon Tribune that since 2018, awareness creation campaigns against hate speech are being carried out any time the institution’s officials are on the field.
Post and Telecommunications
The Technical Adviser No.2 in the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications, Dr Windfred Mfuh says the Ministry has been carrying out nationwide campaigns to sensitise the public on the safe and civic use of the internet and social media networks, elaborating laws aimed at punishing all actions that are against the safe and civic use of Information and Communication Technologies including hate speech. The Ministry has also been using technology to filter out content that is deemed harmful including hate speech.