Camtel to roll out US$1.9-million connectivity project
State-owned Cameroon Telecommunications (Camtel) has entered into an agreement with the country’s Ministry of Higher Education to increase internet speed at public universities, establish digital development centres and cement a communications network to link up the Ministry with academic institutions as part of a XAF1.05-billion project.
According to the agreement, signed between Judith Yah Sunday, General Manager of Camtel and Prof. Jacques Fame Ndongo, Minister of Higher Education, as of January 2021 internet speed in the educational establishments will be boosted from 263 megabits per second to 9,334 megabits per second.
The service will also entail establishing digital development centres at the tertiary institutions and upgrading bandwidth with the installation of a 16-Gigabit communications network to link the Ministry with several universities.
The universities include the University of Buea, University of Bamenda, University of Dschang, University of Douala, University of Yaounde I, University of Yaounde II, University of Ngaoundere and University of Maroua, as well as the Cameroon-Congo Inter-State University.
The project is understood to be rolled out at a cost of XAF1.05-billion (approximately US$1.9-million) which includes the cost of interconnecting the universities.
According to the Ministry, it will utilise a portion of the XAF6-billion it has been allocated to respond to the COVID-19 crisis.
Professor Samuel Nko’o, General Inspector of Services at the Ministry of Higher Education, said students and staff at institutions have had to deal with slow connectivity for years and this has impacted negatively on the quality of education and that of distance learning.
Since 2016, Cameroon has been pursuing an e-National Higher Education project which has two key components: one student - one computer; and development of e-learning and e-administration. As part of the project, the government has donated 500,000 laptops to students in private and public universities.