[Digiga Business Africa] – Digital Business Africa offers you the full speech of Mohamadou Saoudi, secretary general of the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications, in Yaounde, on 24 January 2019, on the occasion of the ceremony to present the New Year wishes to Minister Minette Libom Li Likeng.
- Your Excellency the Minister of Posts and Telecommunications;
- The Representative of the ITU Area Office for Central Africa and Madagascar;
- Inspectors General;
- General Managers;
- Resident Representative of the IAI ;
- The Director of SUP’PTIC ;
- Technical Advisers;
- Directors and Heads of Division,
- Regional Delegates
- Sub-Directors and Heads of Units,
- Heads of Services and Offices,
- Dear Colleagues,
- Honorable Guests,
- Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a great honour and a real pleasure for me to take the floor today, on behalf of the staff of the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications and the entire P & T family in our country, on the occasion of the solemn ceremony of presentation of New Year wishes to the Head of the Ministerial Department in charge of Posts, Telecommunications and Information and Communication Technologies, Mrs. Minette LIBOM Li LIKENG.
Beyond its solemn and traditional character, it should be recalled that, this ceremony is above all a privileged moment for cordial exchanges and deep reflection between the different branches of the national community of Posts, Telecommunications and Information and Communication Technologies. The conference of the central, external services and corporations under supervisory authority held in prelude to this ceremony, adds to generous moments of professional conviviality.
On this happy and memorable occasion, I would like to thank the distinguished assembly of personalities who have sacrificed their precious time to come and add prestige to this ceremony with their presence. Ladies and Gentlemen, it is a great pleasure for me to welcome you here, at the beginning of this year.
First of all, I would like to thank you for the warm welcome I received upon my arrival at this ministry of which you are at the helm.
I would like to express the delight to stand at this rostrum. Words cannot really express the gratitude and appreciation I feel since my appointment as Secretary General of the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications.
The great platform that is offered to me today is the ideal opportunity to pay tribute to the exceptional qualities you are demonstrating in the supervision of this large family of Posts, Telecommunications and ICT, qualities that I admire as well.
Your Excellency, whatever the stakes and challenges are, today and tomorrow, and whatever their scope, be reassured of our collaboration and our loyalty.
Please accept the expression of my deepest gratitude for your keen attention and guidance.
I also express my gratitude to all MINPOSTEL staff-members who have welcomed me since the day of my appointment. In fact, the frank collaboration that exists between all employees and the Secretary General, creates an atmosphere and a climate of healthy emulation at the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications. It is my wish for this wonderful atmosphere to continue throughout this new year.
The President of the Republic, Head of State, His Excellency Paul BIYA appointed me on 20 July 2018 as Secretary General of the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications to help you carry out the tasks he has assigned to you. The year 2018 being a pivotal year in the implementation of the actions contained in the “strategic plan for a Digital Cameroon by 2020”, you prescribed a clear, accurate and dense roadmap during my installation ceremony as the Secretary General of MINPOSTEL. This roadmap, which went beyond the statutory missions generally assigned to the Secretaries General, must address the major challenges facing our sector in the development of digital economy, a real bedrock for the socio-economic development of countries. This roadmap for the year 2018 was as follows: “In the postal domain, focus will be placed on the continued network densification and digital transformation of the Post Office. This sub-sector requires our collective mobilization, as well as the pooling of actions. I urge you to mobilize all actors in this sector around this challenge in order to meet public expectations regarding the development of e-commerce and the banking services in the hinterland.
In the domain of Telecommunications and ICT, it will address the continued implementation of the strategic plan for the development of digital economy intended to transform Cameroon into digital country by 2020 and to urgently finalise all AFCON projects whose stakes are also high for our country “.
There are moments in the life of human beings or organisations where we are called upon to pause and review our achievements in order to readjust as we continue the long journey to achieve our goals. The ceremony that brings us together today is very convenient.
In the execution of your above instructions, MINPOSTEL has continued, under your supervision, in its move to ensure that the great achievements made in our sector create “Great Opportunities” that will dominate the current seven-year mandate.
The year 2018 has been a particularly busy year with major events in the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications. The activities carried out have, with the support of our public and private institutional partners, enabled us to launch structuring projects, which aim at starting the real development of digital economy in our country.
Permit me, at the beginning of this year 2019, to draw a balance sheet of the past year, a report that will focus on the following four major axes:
- general administration and internal governance;
- the telecommunications and ICT sub-sector;
- the postal sub-sector;
- and international cooperation.
In the domain of general administration and internal governance, the Minister of Posts and Telecommunications presided over from 18 to 19 January, the traditional annual conference of officials of the central and external services and corporations under supervisory authority, a privileged framework for the appropriation of the development vision of the posts, telecommunications and ICT sector.
This annual meeting allowed all the authorities present to evaluate the assets, achievements and potentials that could enable our sector to seize the opportunities offered by the digital economy to meet the challenges of the emergence of Cameroon and respond at the same time to the major concerns of the sector that include:
- improving the regulation and postal coverage,
- developing broadband telecommunications infrastructure,
- securing the national cyberspace,
- reducing the digital divide,
- developing the digital economy,
- improving internal governance.
In addition, the weekly coordination meetings, which I was honoured to preside over every Tuesday, were held regularly. These weekly meetings are the ideal forum, where all the officials review important files of the ministerial department, ensure the daily implementation of your high prescriptions, analyse and recommend specific actions to be taken. In 2018, special emphasis was placed on monitoring the effective and efficient implementation of ministerial prescriptions from monthly general meetings and weekly coordination meetings.
In the same vein, in the year 2018, the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications showed its firm determination to put in place the necessary administrative machinery to ensure:
- respect for punctuality and assiduity at work by all agents;
- the strict application of the provisions of Circular Letter No. 001 / CAB / PM of 18 January 2012 on the respect of the obligations inherent to administrative work;
- the consolidation of the payroll and the burn-in of the personnel file;
- the continuation of the process of automating career opportunities with the effectiveness of their implementation;
- improvement of the processing of the rights of public officials
In addition, other actions were carried out in order to improve the working conditions of MINPOSTEL staff, namely:
- the renovation of central and external service offices;
- acquisition of office furniture;
- purchase of sound equipment (microphones and amplifiers) for conference halls ;
- the sensitisation of youths for a responsible use of social media ;
- the development of a draft law on the protection of personal data;
- the development of a draft law governing postal activities in Cameroon;
- the development of a draft proposal of a permanent financial mechanism for the universal postal service in the finance law;
- the review of the law on cybersecurity and cybercrime;
- the compliance of the organic texts of entities under supervisory authority like TRB, NAICT, CAMTEL and CAMPOST with laws No. 2017/010 and 2017/011 of 12 July 2017 to lay down the general statute for public institutions and general statute for public companies;
- The restructuring of the National Advanced School of Posts, Telecommunications and ICT (SUP’PTIC) through the adoption of texts organising its functioning;
- The establishment of an incubator for business projects (SUP’PTIC Business Academy) within the school;
Regarding the activities of the General Inspectorates, it should be noted that they were intense throughout the year 2018, including:
- the evaluation of performance of regional posts and telecommunications delegations;
- support for the CAB project in the revitalizing process of its activities;
- audit of claims of the former NASPT
- participation in the organisation of the sub regional conference on the digital economy in Cameroon;
- Capacity building of members of the Ministerial Anti-Corruption Unit and focal points of structures under the supervision through a seminar-workshop held from 22 to 23 November 2018 at SUP’PTIC;
- the celebration of the World Anti-Corruption Day on 7 December 2018;
- the sensitisation of officials of organisations under supervision on the fight against corruption.
With regard to training, laudable initiatives are carried out to solve unemployment issues and re-launch national industry in the Posts, Telecommunications and ICT sector. It is against this backdrop that the MINPOSTEL led the completion process of the reform of the former NASPT with the signing of Decree No 2016/425 of 26 October 2016 changing the denomination and re-organising this School, which has become SUP’PTIC and setting up its governing body.
Hence, the new deal has led to the approval of texts governing the organisation and functioning of the Management, Council of Teachers, Studies and Scientific Research and the status of teaching and non-teaching staff.
Training indicators in the Posts, Telecommunications and ICT sector show that in 2018, over 300 young graduates from SUP’PTIC were recruited by public and private companies of the sector (TRB, CAMTEL, HUAWEI, etc.) and 28 projects initiated by youths are actually at the pre-incubation phase in SUP’PTIC BUSINESS ACADEMY, which is a breeding ground for coaching and supporting potential company managers until their graduation from the Business Academy.
To increase its visibility and its image, SUP’PTIC was selected as the International Telecommunication Union Center of Excellence for the 2019-2022 period. This choice of the ITU will enable SUP’PTIC to strengthen partnership with international training institutions in the domain of Telecommunications and ICT.
In the domain of Telecommunications and ICT, actions carried out focused on:
- finalising the national optic fiber backbone project, phase III, for a line of 3,950 km;
- developing master plans for the digital development of the cities of Edéa, Kribi and Bafoussam;
- optimizing the draft e-Government master plan drawn up with the help of the Korean cooperation, with a view of taking into account the comments made by the Cameroonian party;
- continuing the construction of two (02) management centers of the National Emergency Telecommunications Network in Douala and Yaounde;
- implementing the NBN Phase II program through:
- Completion of the South Atlantic Inter Link (SAIL) submarine optic fiber cable project with a capacity of 1.4 terabits per second expandable to 32 terabits per second linking Kribi in Cameroon to Fortaleza in Brazil;
- densification of wired and fixed wireless access networks through the NBN program, for which CAMTEL initiated the project to extend the “Fiber To The Home ” (FTTH) since 2017 to increase the total capacity of access to 1,000,000 subscribers by 2019;
- continuation of the construction of a Datacenter in Zamengoé as part of the NBN project;
- the acquisition of high-tech equipment for technical monitoring of radio frequencies for a total cost of about CFA 5 billions francs;
- the signing of amendments to the MTN Cameroon and ORANGE Cameroun concession agreements enabled the release of 4G frequencies;
- the compliance of added value service suppliers with law of 2010/013 of 21 December 2010 on electronic communications in Cameroon after the signing of the necessary implementation texts by the Prime Minister, especially those laying down entry and renewal rights
- the kick-off of the construction works of the headquarters building of the Telecommunications Regulatory Board;
- follow-up of the implementation of recommendations stemming from the audit on the quality of service of electronic communication networks;
- Relaunching the activities of the Telecommunication Regulators’ Association of Central Africa (ARTAC).
Concerning the Special Fund for Electronic Security Activities (ESF), the 2018 budget that was approved by the hierarchy enabled the execution of the following projects:
- Completion of the development of the national policy on the security of electronic communication networks and information systems;
- Development of a security policy for the CAMPOST Datacenter;
- Organisation of reflection and sensitisation meetings for stakeholders of the networks and information systems security sector;
- The creation of a cybersecurity laboratory in Yaounde (LACY);
- Feasibility study for the design and implementation of a PKI with Cameroonian expertise;
- Preliminary studies for the identification and classification of critical infrastructures related to electronic communications networks and Information Systems in Cameroon.
- Auditing of the fund for the 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 financial years;
- Building the capacities of staff from the Supreme State Audit with regard to cybersecurity.
In addition, MINPOSTEL collaborated with NAICT in securing the Cameroonian cyberspace.
In the postal sector, activities carried out include:
- Equipping the Bafoussam Post Office with Computer equipment and office furniture
- rehabilitating the Makak post office;
- developing a pricing model for postal products and services;
- adopting CAMPOST restructuring plan by signing a State/CAMPOST 2019-2021 contract plan of a total cost of about CFA 23 billion F;
- initiating the financial inclusion project through CAMPOST and its international partners
International cooperation was not left out in 2018, I will address this chapter by indicating that over the past year, Cameroon was very active through its participation in the activities of international organizations in the postal, telecommunications and ICT sector, at national, continental and global levels.
At the national level, Cameroon hosted the first edition of the rotating Conferences organised by the Regional Office of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) for Africa, under the theme: “Digital Economy in Central Africa: Appraisal and challenges in a globalized world “ It was attended by Mr. Houlin ZHAO, Secretary General of the ITU and focused specifically on the economic integration of the sub-region through Information and Communication Technologies. The work was sanctioned by the signing of the Yaoundé Commitment, which is a mechanism for the coordination of the implementation of subregional federating projects and for collaboration intended to reconcile views on the items on the agenda of international meetings.
In the postal sub-sector, Cameroon hosted two training workshops namely:
- the UPU regional workshop on electronic postal payment services from 05 to 06 June 2018. By becoming familiar with the tools and applications that the UPU is developing in this domain, with respect to postal networks in their country, this workshop gave participants the opportunity to secure an end-to-end offer of different transactions in the field of fund transfers and electronic payment services for good visibility and good tracking from the issuer to the recipient;
- the training workshop organized by the EMS Cooperative of the Universal Postal Union from 31 July to 3 August 2018, on the “Results-based Remuneration Plan for the Arab and French-speaking countries of Africa”. This workshop enabled the Designated Postal Operators in Africa to acquire new instruments and operating tools related to the extension of their network and the use of the EMS platform.
Concerning international meetings, Cameroon actively participated in several events, including:
- the 5th
Extraordinary Session of the Conference of Plenipotentiaries of the Pan African
Postal Union (PAPU) held from 26 to 27 July 2018 in Antananarivo, Madagascar.
This conference resulted in the
the amendment and adoption of the PAPU Acts and in the adoption of the African Common Proposals for the Extraordinary Congress of the Universal Postal Union (UPU),
- the UPU Extraordinary Congress, held from 03 to 07 September 2018 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. This Congress culminated in the adoption of the UPU Reform, whose negotiations lasted nearly four decades. This Congress improved the representation of Africa in UPU governance bodies, from 07 to 11 seats on the Postal Operations Council and maintained 11 seats in the Board of Directors;
- the “TRANSFORM AFRICA” Forum organised from 07 to 10 May 2018 in Kigali in Rwanda by SMART AFRICA, under the theme: “Accelerating the digital single market in Africa”. On this occasion, you made a very brilliant presentation on the creation of a unique cryptocurrency for Africa through the use of Blockchain technology;
- the 5th Extraordinary Session of the Conference of Plenipotentiaries of the African Telecommunications Union (UAT) held from 16 to 17 August 2018 in Nairobi, Kenya. At the end of this conference, Cameroon was re-elected as a member of the Board of Directors of the UAT for a new term of four (04) years from 2019 to 2022;
- ITU TELECOM WORLD 2018, held from 07 to 10 September 2018 in Durban, South Africa. During this event, Cameroon had two distinctions namely, the Certificate of Appreciation awarded to the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications and the Certificate of Innovation awarded to the Telecommunications Regulatory Board (TRB)
- the 20th Plenipotentiary Conference of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), held from 29 October to 16 November 2018 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Diplomatic actions carried out at this conference according to your high instructions led to the designation of SUP’PTIC as ITU’s Center of Excellence for 2019 – 2022.
In short, during the past year, our ministerial department ensured the practical and methodical implementation of large-scale State projects and major projects of the sector found in its roadmap.
Under your leadership, the Great Achievements policy in the sector of Posts, Telecommunications and ICT, which aims to improve the supply and quality of training, has proceeded with method and confidence.
Permit me to make an exception, knowing your modesty, by accepting our commitment and encouragement. We will continue to rely on your skill, your top administrative abilities to manage the very strategic sector of Posts, Telecommunications and ICT with tact and finesse.
Your Excellency, in this very ambitious perspective, we do not doubt for a moment that you are the right person who can sail safely, the MINPOSTEL boat through.
To achieve this, the staff of the central and external services, through me, pledge to give you all the support you need to succeed in your daunting tasks, for the development of the postal, Telecommunications and ICT sector and especially to the greatest delight of communities.
We must admit that we could not have had all the excellent results mentioned above or better still, we could not have completely succeeded, in all the commitments of our 2018 roadmap, without the unrivalled managerial capacities of our hierarchy. In addition, the working environment established and maintained within the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications, encourages each and every one of us, to work harder for optimal performance.
Also, the entire community of the Post, Telecommunications and ICT sector, through my voice, wishes to express its gratitude to you. It does not doubt for a moment your readiness to stay on course, and to guarantee every day, the serene and inexorable march of Cameroon towards Emergence in 2035 through the systematic deployment of Major Projects and Programmes of the Posts and Telecommunications and ICT sector.
By expressing here and now, our firm determination to remain mobilized around you, to support you in the accomplishment of your daunting assignment, I would like, on behalf of the Great Posts, Telecommunications and ICTs Family, to sincerely present to you, to Reverend LIBOM LI LIKENG and your entire family, our best wishes of Happiness, Health and Success for the Year of Grace 2019 that has begun.
Long live the fast changing Post, Telecommunications and ICT Sector;
Long live Your Excellency, the Minister of Posts and Telecommunications;
HAPPY NEW YEAR 2019! Thank you for your kind attention!