A HARMONISED ACTION PLAN FOR THE RESPONSIBLE USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA IN CAMEROON
On Tuesday July 18, 2016, the Minister of Posts and Telecommunications, Minette Libom Li Likeng presided at a working session, organised to prepare a harmonized action plan to
sensitize and educate Cameroonians on the responsible use of social media.
The Minister opened the session at MINPOSTEL’s conference hall with a brief comment on the dire need for a Harmonized Action plan to check the use of social media in this jet ages. She also talked about the existing communication plan designed by her ministerial department for the responsible use of the social media. She particularly mentioned the unforgettable awareness SMS that took many Cameroonians aback as most never knew there was a penalty for crimes in the cyber space. Upon the request of the Presidency of the Republic and following specific instructions by the Prime Minister, Minister Libom Li Likeng convened this meeting which she said is a platform for all actors to propose strategies to adequately sensitise citizens from varied sectors, different social strata and from all works of life on the responsible use of social media.
The representatives of different ministries and the Telecommunications Regulatory Board (TRB) presented short and long term actions that will keep internet users in check. The representative of TRB presented an elaborate plan designed by the regulatory body to address this disturbing phenomenon. In his presentation, he pressed on the need for widespread sensitization; the need to reinforce the implementation of the 2010 Law on cyber criminality and cyber security and the creation of a cyber defense commission to supervise citizens’ activities in the cyber space. From the presentations at the session, it was noted that most current and future plans outlined, emphasized the need for information, education and widespread sensitization. Their plans aim at nurturing responsible digital citizens for a digital Cameroon.
Commenting after the presentations, Minister Libom Li Likeng expressed satisfaction that most institutions had taken the bull by the horns by carrying out concrete activities to combat the abusive use of ICTs. The Minister stated that before now, most Cameroonians thought that the cyber space was a lawless community. So, she specifically recommended that the Ministry of Justice, represented at the meeting, proposes strategies to reinforce the implementation of the 2010 Law on cyber criminality and cyber security. She maintained that the abusive use of social media is a disturbing situation in Cameroon, especially now that the digital economy is evolving very fast and internet is progressively being made available to all Cameroonians in the nooks and crannies of the national territory. She requested that now more than ever, all actors must put hands on deck to ensure the sensitization and education of all Cameroonians, whether literate or illiterate, village dwellers or city dwellers. The harmonised action plan should make all citizens (beginning with civil servants and spreading to the grassroots and even the youngest generation), conscious of the damaging effects of the abusive use of social media and ICTs in general.
The July 18, 2017 meeting saw the presence of representatives from TRB, MINESUP, MINESEC, MINEDUB, MINJEC, MINJUSTICE, MINFORPRA and their colleagues of MINPOSTEL. The Minister requested that all participants at the session, channel their contributions whether in hard or soft copies to the MINPOSTEL’s Communication Unit Head for exploitation and eventual preparation of the next meeting to be scheduled in the days ahead.