At Diplomacy, sub-regional integration day: CAMTEL GM assures digital interconnection with stakeholders

Judith Yah Sunday, General Manager of CAMTEL

The General Manager of Cameroon Telecommunications, CAMTEL Judith Yah Sunday epse Achidi has assured stakeholders of boosting sub-regional integration with the institution's digital cooperation.

In order to ensure this move, the institution organized the CAMTEL Diplomacy and Sub-regional Integration (CEMAC) Day under the theme “International, Digital Cooperation, Sub-regional Integration and the Structural Transformation of Cameroon’s Economy”.

The event which took place in Yaounde April 29, 2024, brought together representatives of government institutions, the private sector, specialized institutions and actors in the sub-regional integration in the CEMAC/ECCAS community area, players in the telecommunications sector and partners in the various segments of the Telecommunications activities, amongst others.

The event is organized as part of the activities to mark the institution's 25th anniversary celebration which started on September 8, 2023.

Officials pose for a picture 

According to Technical Adviser No. 1 at CAMTEL, Francis Ottou, the event aims to identify strategies for the Telecommunications body’s development of a framework to promote sub-regional integration and sensitize actors on the digital transformation’s role in this process.

He also noted that the objective was to identify the role of telecommunications in the development of the CEMAC sub-region, analyze challenges faced in the digitalization drive, and define a strategic road map in boosting sub-regional integration through digital cooperation.

The General Manager of CAMTEL, Judith Yah Sunday epse Achidi in her opening address said the event was taking place in a dual context that of the institution's 25th anniversary and the 15th edition of CEMAC day.

CEMAC’s pivotal and strategic position at the center of Africa, she said, made it a priviledged trading area between the different regions of the continent.

The GM equally stated that digital technology and digital interconnection offered major opportunities in the area.

International digital cooperation, sub-regional integration, and the structural transformation of Cameroon’s economy,” Judith Yah said justifying the theme.

In an era of globalized trade and rapid data transfer and processing, the CAMTEL GM told the participants that “digital interconnection is emerging as a major project to strengthen economic integration in the CEMAC zone”.

She took the opportunity to highlight that “in recent years, digital interconnection has developed in the sub-region, notably through the deployment of optical fibre and the development of the digital economy”.

Judith Yah Sunday revealed that “this includes the interconnection, since July 2021, of the electronic communications networks of Cameroon and Gabon through the laying of a 96-strand G652 optical fibre cable, which runs underground from Kye-Ossi in Cameroon to Bitam in Gabon, over a distance of 22 km, with significant benefits for the economies of both countries. In the same vein, Congo, Cameroon, and the Central African Republic have been developing optical fibre interconnection between the countries through the Central African Backbone (CAB) Project since May 2022”.

She also reminded participants of CAMTEL’s “interconnection, access, and transport infrastructure-sharing catalog, which includes international supply via 4 (four) submarine cable exits and 3 (three) landing stations”.
The submarine cables she said include: “the WACS cable at Batoke (Limbe), which links Cameroon to several countries on the West African coast and to the European continent; the SAT3 cable, with a landing point in Douala, which offers an alternative exit to Europe and Asia via South Africa; (iii) the NCSCS cable in Kribi, which links Cameroon to Nigeria; and (iv) the SAIL cable, which links Kribi to Fortaleza in Brazil and makes it possible to interconnect Africa and the Americas”.

Noting that CEMAC countries have the potential to reduce the digital divide, Achidi Judith noted that “our countries are brimming with potential that could definitively reduce the digital divide in our community and boost sustainable development through telecommunications”.

“Through this CAMTEL Diplomacy and Sub-Regional Integration Day, we mainly expect that viable opportunities for the promotion of sub-regional integration through the digital economy will be identified and that avenues for addressing the challenges linked to the coordination of the development of shared digital infrastructure in the CEMAC zone will be outlined” she added.

Talking to the press, the Resident Representative of the CEMAC commission, Pierre Guillaume Boum Bassi said “It is a moment to reflect on what we have been able to do in different domains of integration, especially in the domain of telecommunications and digital transformation”.

Bissai added “We have a few projects in CEMAC in that regard as the General manager of CAMTEL rightfully said. This concerns the integration of our countries through optic fibre or the establishment of free communication in CEMAC. CAMTEL is one of the leading companies in the sub-region in this domain. so, for us, it is very pleasant to be part of this process, of this session of reflection, so that we can go forward”.

The event also featured presentations on topics such as “Sub-Regional Integration and Development of CEMAC countries: current situation, issues, challenges, and Prospects”.
“The role of ICTs in modern Diplomacy and Regional Integration”, “Sub-Regional (CEMAC) and Continental (AfCFTA) Markets: Opportunities for Economic and Digital Development of countries: among others.


Bizel-Bi Mafor 

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