The digital economy is today considered as a prime mover of economic growth. It is against this backdrop that experts are taking part in a three day International conference organized by the International Telecommunications Union, ITU in Yaoundé.
The Minister of Post and Telecommunications, Minette, Libom Li Likeng, while opening the conference said that the digital economy offers numerous opportunities for business and job creation and it is indispensable for the sub region to take full advantage of the opportunities offered by the digital economy to strive.
She also highlighted the vital role the digital economy plays in fostering integration in the central African sub region.
The Secretary General of the ITU, Ministers in charge of digital economy in CEMAC countries regulators, professional and international experts are attending that is discussing strategies shapes the local economies to boom.
The conference is coming at a time when Cameroon is fine-tuning the implementation of its Digital Economy 2020 Plan.
The plan clearly outlines aspects that are needed to develop the digital economy beginning from the specific needs of the people and how the digital economy can provide solutions. The development of adequate and appropriate infrastructural, human and material resources as well as other aspects that come together to foster a digital economy boom.
At the level of the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications, Technical Adviser, said a lot has already been though much still need to be done. In that light “We are working to enhance the digital environment, which is necessary to develop the intuition of young people who are mostly those who carry the digital economy to develop the applications necessary for its growth.”
Start uppers are exhibiting their products at the courtyard of the Yaoundé conference centre on the sidelines of the conference say they are upbeat that if the sector is well harnessed their initiatives will grown to full bloom companies that effectively contribute to economic growth.
IT expert, Dr. Wilfred Nsoh explained that the digital economy refers to the merging of information and communication technology with the traditional economy. “If you are selling yams in the market and you put it online, you have extended your market beyond the local market. The resukts will be better turn over.” He noted.
Despite the progress registered in other countries, the sector in Cameroon is slow to take off because it not well understood by many, one of the exhibitors exclaimed.
However, many starter uppers who are generally youths are optimistic that if the enable environment is made more favorable they will become major players in economic growth in the future.
So far, the government has put in place a number of structures to facilitate the growth of the digital economy from the detection of start uppers, orientation, sponsorship and creation of pools.
The conference organized under the theme “digital economy in Central Africa: stake and challenges in a globalized world” will focus specifically on the economic integration of each sub-region through ICT.
“Digital economy and sub regional integration: what are the levers for sustainable development in Central Africa?” was the theme of the inaugural lecture given by the Executive Director of the African Institute of Computer Sciences – IAI Cameroon, Armand Claude Abanda. He pointed out key elements of the digital economy that could guarantee a sustainable development and integration CEMAC region.