A three day national forum for internet governance is underway in Yaounde, with participants hoping to come with better ways of providing a secure platform for internet users.
At the opening of the three-day forum Tuesday August 27 at the Yaoundé conference centre, the Director general of the National agency for information and communication technologies, Antic, Dr Ebot Ebot Enaw said “the main purpose of IGF is to discuss a wide range of issues related to internet governance and make recommendations to the international community where appropriate”.
The forum which has brought together ICT stakeholders from around the country is addressing issues related to internet access, the management of critical internet resources, cyber security and internet exchange points (IXP). The participants are equally looking at the internet as an enabler of socio-economic development as well as the legal and regulatory framework to help create an enabling environment to boost investment in the sector.Representing the minister of Posts and telecommunications, Jean Pierre Biyiti Bi Essam was the secretary general of the ministry who lauded efforts made in curbing cyber crime while calling on stakeholders is holding on the theme “internet, enabler of socio-economic development”.
According to Dr. Ebot Ebot Enaw, “achieving the public service value of the Internet requires an equitable and affordable access to ICT infrastructure for all, which in turn requires a stable legal and regulatory framework to help attract foreign direct investment necessary for the growth and development of the sector”.As of now, experts say the benefits of ICT are not yet enjoyed by all segments of the population particularly the ones living in rural and remote areas.
In order to achieve this objective therefore, there is need to provide access points to offer a minimum set of communication and information facilities. It is for this reason that government through the ministry of Posts and Telecommunication has over the years opened and inaugurated community tele-centres to help reduce the digital divide between rural and urban areas and provide access to e-services in keeping with the Universal service principle.For his part, the inspector general in the ministry he mentioned the disturbing issue of Internet hacking which knows no boundaries and he said that a consensus will be reached for further tabling at the upcoming conference billed for Indonesia.The cross border nature of cybercrime complicates efforts put in place by the government to deal with cyber threats Dr Ebot Ebot noted.
That is why there is need for national and international cooperation for best practices and successful experiences on all aspects of cyber security. Despite the putting in place of a team to daily monitor the cyberspace and track down hackers during the IFG that held in Douala, there still is an upsurge of criminals in the country.Dr Ebot Ebot Enaw, nonetheless said “our gathering is in line with the multi-stakeholder model of governance and cooperation and it is my fervent hope that at the end of this forum, we shall come up with a common position on all the issues tabled for discussion which will be presented at the next global IGF forum scheduled for Indonesia in October this year.”