Accelerating Cameroon’s Digital Transformation: A Series of Draft Bills and other texts for Public Consultation

Accelerating Cameroon’s Digital Transformation: A Series of Draft Bills and other texts for Public Consultation

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With the support of a $100 million World Bank-financed program, the government of Cameroon aims to drive reforms and policies in the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) sector through the program for accelerating digital transformation in Cameroon (“Program”). This ambitious endeavor, approved by the World Bank on September 28, 2021, sets the stage for a paradigm shift toward a digital future.

It is therefore within the framework of the above program that the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications recently released a series of draft bills and decrees for public consultation (projet-d-acceleration-de-la-transformation-numerique-au-cameroun-patnuc). These legislative measures encompass crucial aspects of digital transformation in Cameroon, including:

  • Personal Data Protection: Draft a bill on Personal Data Protection in Cameroon and Draft a decree on the application of the law on personal data protection in Cameroon.
  • Cybersecurity and Cybercrime: Draft bill on Cybersecurity and Cybercrime in Cameroon.
  • Electronic Communications: Draft bill on Electronic Communications in Cameroon; Draft decree regulating Electronic Communications Activities; and Draft decision of the Electronic Communications Regulatory Authority (ECRA) on infrastructure sharing and international roaming for the application of Articles [83, 84, 85, 88, and 91 to 95] 1 of the law on electronic communications in Cameroon.
  • E-commerce and Electronic Transactions: Draft bill on E-Commerce and Electronic Transactions in Cameroon.
  • Digital Transformation of the Administration: Draft bill on Access Rights and Use of [Public] Information and the Digital Transformation of the Administration; Draft decree regulating Access and Interconnection; Draft decree on the Organization and Functioning of the National E-Gov Agency “Govtech”; Draft decree on the Creation and Implementation of the Portal, “Cameroun.data.gov.cm“; Draft decree on electronic exchanges between Administrations and between Administrations and Users; Draft decree amending decree N°2019/150 of 22 March 2019, on the organization and functioning of the National Agency of Information and Communication Technology.

These laws are essential for establishing a robust legal framework to foster a secure and progressive digital ecosystem in the country.

It is worth noting that this program is driven by four primary objectives:

  • Reforms and Policies: The program seeks to pursue reforms and policies in the ICT sector, creating an enabling environment for digital innovation and growth.
  • Digital Skills Enhancement: Enhancing the digital skills of citizens is a priority. By equipping individuals with the necessary competencies, Cameroon aims to empower its workforce to thrive in the digital age.
  • Development of Digital Applications and Services: The program places a strong emphasis on promoting the development of digital applications and services. This approach will unlock new opportunities for businesses and entrepreneurs, stimulating economic growth and fostering innovation.
  • Increased Reach and Use of Digital Services: The program aims to increase the accessibility and utilization of digital services across Cameroon. This broader adoption will spur employment opportunities and entrepreneurship, contributing to the country’s socio-economic advancement.

The Expected Benefits of this accelerated digital transformation program in
Cameroon includes, but is not limited to:

  • Improved Access: Citizens will have better access to information and enhanced social connections, bridging geographical gaps and promoting inclusivity.
  • Empowered Participation: Access to educational resources, banking services, and economic opportunities will empower individuals, fostering financial inclusion and economic growth.
  • Efficient Government Services: Streamlined access to government services, including the healthcare system, will ensure efficient and citizen-centric governance, improving the overall quality of public services.
  • Enhanced Collaboration: Increased utilization of the Internet for meetings and electronic exchanges will facilitate collaboration, both within government entities and between administrations and citizens.
  • Agricultural Advancements: By adopting data-driven technologies, the program aims to enhance the agricultural value chain. This will lead to informed decision-making in crop production, fish and animal farming, and land use, thereby increasing productivity and optimizing resource allocation.

The execution of this program rests with the Project Implementation Unit (PIU), operating under the guidance of the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications (MINPOSTEL). However, the execution of the program will also involve collaborative efforts from the following Ministries:

  • Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MINADER).
  • Ministry of Livestock, Fisheries and Animal Industries (MINEPIA).
  • Ministry of Economy, Planning and Regional Development

In conclusion, the digital transformation program in Cameroon represents a significant milestone in the country’s journey toward a digital future. Through comprehensive reforms, policy development, and strategic investments, Cameroon aims to harness the power of technology to improve the lives of its citizens and drive economic growth.

By enhancing access to information, education, financial services, and government resources, the program has the potential to create a more inclusive and prosperous society.

As Cameroon embraces the digital age, our expert legal team at 4M Legal and Tax, with unmatched policy acumen, will accompany all stakeholders in the execution of this ambitious endeavor.

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Epanty Mbanda

Attorney-at-law | Corporate-Commercial | Technology (FinTech+Blockchain+Cryptocurrency) | Securities | Tax| Managing Partner at 4M Legal and Tax ( Law Firm in Cameroon)

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