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Cameroon’s IT agency pursues municipality digitalisation

By , Freelance Investigative Journalist
Cameroon , 20 Apr 2023
ANTIC trains council staff on digitalisation.
ANTIC trains council staff on digitalisation.

Cameroon’s National Agency for Information and Communication Technologies (ANTIC) has launched a municipal digitalisation initiative, supporting local councils with digital tools to integrate daily operations and work processes.

The ANTIC recently organised a capacity building workshop in Adamawa region for municipal council executives and staff.

The intensive training, which was organised under the theme ‘Local governance in the era of digital transformation’, was led by ANTIC experts.

It focused on developing an IT master plan for municipal councils and digitalisation of civil services.

Municipal authorities were also educated on change management and how to secure funding for ICT-related projects in their municipalities.

The training seeks to equip mayors and their staff with the digital skills needed to optimise processes in their municipalities in order improve service delivery through the adoption and integration of ICTs into daily government operations.

ANTIC’s training support comes at a time when Cameroon is experiencing a low levels of ICT penetration in municipalities.

The agency says after carrying out similar training workshops in the West, South and South West regions between 2020 and 2022, it conducted a study which shows that the average ICT penetration rate is 11% – a rate it considers to be low.

ANTIC director general, Ebot Ebot Enaw, said the agency is committed to helping turn the tide in terms of the ICT penetration rate. However, he noted increasing the ICT penetration rate is not the agency’s goal, but rather an enabler of the endgame.

“As enablers of the transparent management of resources and drivers of good governance and job creation, ICTs can help our councils significantly improve the living conditions of citizens in their municipalities,” Enaw said.

The ANTIC director general was optimistic that ICTs have the potential to fast-track regional economic development and should be integrated in the management of local affairs.

“At the local level, e-governance and the appropriate use of ICT can enhance and support economic and social development, particularly in empowering officials and municipal representatives, ensuring linkages, networking, timely, efficient, transparent and accountable services.

“Therefore, e-local governance seeks to exploit the power of ICT to help transform the accessibility, quality and cost-effectiveness of public service and to help revitalise the relationship between clients, citizens and government institutions that work on their benefit,” Enaw said.

The ANTIC boss promised the agency will support and promptly respond to the ICT-related concerns of councils whenever solicited.

Under Cameroon’s long-term development plan, the advancement of ICTs has been set at a strategic priority as the country seeks to become an upper middle-income, digital economy by 2035.

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