Hundreds of young people and other actors in government, business, industry, civil society, and academia in Cameroon, are upgrading their knowledge in the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) to increase their chances of having new jobs or improving productivity in their current roles.

From 2 – 4 September 2020, the participants gathered in Cameroon’s economic capital, Douala, for a training session that was organized by the country’s National Agency for Information and Communication Technologies (ANTIC) with technical support from the Africa Groups of US tech giants, Microsoft and Facebook. ANTIC is the government agency in Cameroon responsible for promoting the development and use of digital technology.

Due to existing anti-COVID-19 measures in Cameroon, the digital skills training, which also enjoyed the collaboration of a youth activist organization known as The Change Engine, was largely held virtually, with some of the facilitators and attendees anchored in five different locations and linked up seamlessly through technology.

Some participants at the digital skills training in Cameroon's economic capital, Douala, following up a virtual presentation.

Coping with a post-COVID-19 Cameroon driven by technology

Dr. Enaw Ebot Ebot, director-general of ANTIC, underscored the importance of the training saying Cameroon, just like many countries of the world, is now looking forward to embracing a post-COVID-19 world predominantly driven by technology. He acknowledged that the coronavirus pandemic has propelled the use of technology to the forefront of almost all businesses and government operations, requiring that relevant actors boost their skills in the domain to meet up with the growing challenges.

“In a very short period of time, technology has rapidly changed from being a luxury and a good-to-have, to a necessity and an absolute must-have. COVID-19 has given Africans, and Cameroonians in particular, the opportunity to uncover the wonders of digital technology. Activities in the domains of work, education, and communication have continued thanks significantly to some of these technologies. For us to sustain this momentum, it has become an unavoidable urgency that we build our capacity and strengthen our digital skills,” said Dr Ebot Ebot.

“Today, COVID-19 has shown us that digital technology has never been an end, but a means to an end. It has also proven to be an accelerator and catalyst which can help Cameroon surmount some of its big socio-economic development challenges,” added the ANTIC director-general.

In its second edition this year, experts agree that the 2020 Cameroon digital skills campaign is vital as it presented the young persons and other professional actors with an avenue to have first-hand training from experts in the world of technology.

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