The Information and Communication Technologies sector is fast-changing due to the 1999 liberalization. Several private firms operate in the sector alongside Cameroon Telecommunications (CAMTEL), the traditional operator.
The Cameroon government has granted two licences to private operators, namely ORANGE and MTN to operate the mobile telephone; while the land line telephone is still monopolized by CAMTEL, the public operator. Cameroon Mobile Telecommunications, a branch of CAMTEL, was established in 2006. Competition became stiff after the arrival of the new operator in the sector resulting in a considerable drop in communication costs.
The development of an information society in the context of globalisation spurred the government to implement a project on the enhancement of the population’s means of access to information. Multimedia community centres were set up in the ten regions of the country to enable the population to have access to useful information in the domain of education, health, agriculture and environment using the Internet and the radio. Community tele-centres are set up primarily in the rural areas. They aim to promote local development by providing ICT services in order to raise the standards of living of the rural population, to create income-generating activities and combat the rural exodus.
The Cameroon government is fully aware of the key role played by the Internet in development as well as its importance in bringing people together. In this regard, the government has reduced or abolished certain customs duties and taxes for the import of computers and accessories. This has helped expedite the expansion of the Internet nationwide. In 2002, the National Information and Communication Technologies Agency (ANTIC) was set up to promote and al at the Douala seaport Kribi Deep Sea Port
Investing in Cameroun pursue government action in the ICT sector.
E-government appears to be a tool for governance efficiency since the advent of the information society. With the use of ICTs, the government has a valuable tool for the exchange of information within a short period of time thereby having a close eye on the functioning of government services and on the relations with its social and international partners. In concrete terms, e-government also referred to as “online governance” offers brighter prospects for the enhancement of governance, notably :
- Improved synergy among sector administrations;
- Permanent access to public information by users of the administration ;
- Administrative procedures available online thereby facilitating users’ approaches.