Waooh, Great. I've been able to create my sandbox. I'll go for a cup of tea to congratulate myself. Tea is a very marvelous drink. When you have running stomach, first drink a mug of dark tea before going for chemicals.
Cameroon paper by Sylvie SIYAM SIWE, Serge DAHO, Laurence HOUSSOU
Cameroon in central Africa, the so called “Africa in a shell” country with a population of about 16 millions, seems to have all the strengths for a boom development and use of ICTs. ICTs are seen by decision makers as a “miracle” tool to help fight efficiently against poverty by stimulating growth and create employment opportunities. But, as said in the National Policy for the development of ICTs, “… the country remains one in which ICT penetration and usage are relatively low” (NAICT, 2007, p16).
PHYSICAL ACCESS TO TECHNOLOGY
This sector is largely dominated by the public operator. 85% of the country is covered by the signals of 33 broadcasting stations managed by the Cameroon Radio and Television. 39 private radio stations, located mostly in Yaoundé and Douala, and 26 community ones help in improving the country coverage.
In the past five years, mobile telephone network has expanded very fast with a penetration rate increasing from 7.1% in 2003 (SCAN-ICT, 2006, p55) to 22% today (BAMBOU, 2008). The mobile network is operated by two private operators, Mobile Telephony Network [www.mtncameroon.net (MTN)] and [www.orange.com Orange Cameroun].
- Internet services
Since the liberalisation of the telecommunications sector in 1998, about twenty five ISPs are registered and offer services like web, website hosting, electronic mail, forum and IP telephony.
Private operators, as well as NGOs are helping to overcome the deficiencies. Among them,
- PROTEGE QV an NGO located in Yaoundé, provides e-learning initiatives through radio-based training for women entrepreneurs ;
- ASAFE, a non-profit organization located in Douala, seeks to expand women entrepreneurship by introducing them to new technologies.
- Electricity availability
- Unsuitable regulations
- Market density
- Economic situation of the country
- Incomplete Decentralization process
- Lack of real ICT products industry
- Costs of access equipment and services
- Lack of sensitisation and training
The government commits to reduce the cost of communication and ICT products (NAICT, 2007, p62) by:
- Encouraging the setting up of multiple network operators;
- Reduce tax and tariffs on end consumer ICT products;
- Multiply access points.
Our recommendations to reduce the constraints or obstacles identified and ease access to ICT coincide in some points with their own
The main points of actions in order of priority are then:
- Formulation and implementation of a suitable legal and regulatory framework to create a competitive environment;
- Allocation of more funds to physical infrastructure in public budget;
- Reduction of customs and taxes on goods and services of this sector;
- State subsidies or facilities to operators offering services in rural or remote areas;
- Promotion of effective decentralization to stimulate local development by providing communication services at local levels.
--Sylvie S. 09:20, 8 November 2008 (UTC)Sylvie SIYAM