Digitalization challenges in Cameroon

Digitalization: challenges and opportunities for the Cameroonian software industry – Abstract

This is an abstrack (introduction) of a serie of articles (to be published) about the digitalization challenges in cameroon.

Digitalization is the process of integrating recent advances in digital technologies in order to turn the business into a digital one. E-Commerce, online services, online banking are some typical examples of digital business. As stated in the united nations information economy report from 2012 [1], the software part in digital technologies is becoming essential and critical. There is almost no technological equipment (cars, telecommunications, consumer electronics, medical devices and robotics) with not a significant part of software. Therefore, a capacity to develop, understand and adapt software is nowadays the key factor in absorbing new technologies. With the growing importance of digitalization in today business, the challenge for the software industry is thereby becoming bigger and this is the reason why the impact of the software industry on the economic growth is even growing. What is about the Cameroonian software industry? As mentioned in the global technology report for 2016 [2], the networked readiness index for Cameroon progressed from 2.93 up to 3.0 in the past five years. The Networked Readiness Index (NRI) measures, on a scale from 1 (worst) to 7 (best), the performance of 148 economies in leveraging information and communications technologies to boost competitiveness and well-being. With a progression margin of 7 percent in 5 years, we can state that the propensity of Cameroon to exploit the opportunities offered by information and communication technologies (ICT) is progressing. The software industry in Cameroon is evolving too, but slowly compared to the growing demand in digital services. In the first part of this serie of article, the hypotheses that could explain this situation will be discussed. The evolution of the software industry in Indian and south Africa will be used as illustrative examples, In the second part of the serie, solutions will be proposed.

Digitalization, software industry, developing country, information economy

[1] United Nation Publication, “Information Economy Report 2012,” ISSN 2075-4396.
[2] World Economic Forum and INSEAD, “The Global Information Technology Report 2016,” World Economic Forum and INSEAD, 2016.