Cameroon join forces with NGOs to counter cyber crime
In efforts to counter several cyber security challenges, and social media misuse in the country, Cameroon has partnered with rights groups to roll out a national cyber security awareness campaign, as well as promote responsible use of social media.
The Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications (MINPOSTEL) has signed two separate partnership agreements with Digital Right Access Association (Digital Access) and the Department of Women and Social Affairs of the Council of Protestant Churches of Cameroon (DFAS/CEPCA) to roll out the project.
Through the agreement, Digital Access will develop and deploy an upgraded version of SMCHECK, an application designed to fight fake news and hate speech online.
It will also train youth, pupils, students and other key actors on cyber criminality and cyber security, notably the different types of tools to detect fake and digital citizenship.
In addition, the organisation will carry out mass education on responsible online behaviour, including protecting children’s rights.
On its part, DFAS/CEPCA will organise ICT holiday camps involving children and youth from rural areas, as well as engage women on ICT programmes.
Minister of Posts and Telecommunications Minette Libom Li Likeng said: “The use of social networks is now dangerously misguided, to the point that what appeared at first glance to be a tremendous opportunity for digital democracy has turned into a threat to our living together.”
For Cameroon, cyber security threats have been a top priority for the government, but the challenges have since escalated, jeopardising national security, the economy, social cohesion, democracy, health, culture and way of life.
According to the National Agency for Information and Communication Technologies, Cameroon lost at least 12.2 billion francs CFA to cybercrime in 2021, double the financial losses recorded in 2019, while intrusions into computers systems cost public and private administrations at least 2.5 billion francs CFA each year.