Experts are in a two-day conference opened in Yaounde yesterday, brainstorming on how to facilitate digital innovations and how to use existing ones for socio-economic development.
The Minister of Posts and Telecommunications has taken a commitment to facilitate digital inventions and innovations among the youth and to facilitate their use for the socio- economic development of the country.
Minister Minette Libom Li Likeng, while opening the annual conference of officials of central and external services of her ministry yesterday, enjoined experts and administrative staff to work towards the accomplishment of the commitment.
The theme of the two-day conference is “the posts and telecommunication sector, steadfastly mobilized for major successes in this seven-year mandate”. According to the Minister, it was coined to reflect the main aim of the meeting which is to mobilize stakeholders around the implementation of major projects related to digitalization and upgrade of postal services.
The Dean of the Faculty of Sciences at the University of Yaounde I, Prof Charles Awono Onana, who delivered a lesson on the theme, said there is a need to develop applied research in Cameroon. He said Cameroon can tap from Chinese experience and transform the economy with new applications and software.
Reechoing the Minister, he said the youth have great potentials that can help boost the country’s digital economy. “They are doing great things in Avenue Kennedy in Yaounde, Silicon Mountain in Buea and even Bonas in Yaounde where they do big things bad and good, he said, adding there is a need to pool their skills and harness them for economic growth. “There are many useless certificates that contribute nothing to our GDP.
We have to change the way we do things so that we can have a full-fledged digital economy by 2020,” said Prof Awono. In that regard, the level of execution of priority projects will be examined and the development of a strategic plan for the development of the digital economy drawn up and presented in the ongoing conference.
Minister Libom Li Likeng holds that to create an enabling environment for the youth in the digital sector to emerge and for everyone in every sector to get the best out of digitalization, there is a need to increase internet penetration rate, reduce costs of electronic communication, develop broadband infrastructures, and build up human resources with updated knowledge among others.