With 100 million dollars from the World Bank Group, the Cameroonian authorities are accelerating the digital economy, starting with a programme to digitise agricultural systems.
The Project to Accelerate Digital Transformation in Cameroon (PATNUC) is on track. It has just been officially launched by the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications (MINPOSTEL), which is piloting its implementation in conjunction with the Ministries of Agriculture and Rural Development (MINADER) and Livestock, Fisheries and Animal Industries (MINEPIA).
At a total cost of 100 million dollars, financed by the World Bank via its subsidiary, the International Development Association (IDA), PATNUC initially aims to develop digital solutions to boost agricultural productivity in this Central African country. In concrete terms, the Cameroonian authorities will be extending Internet access and improving the digital skills of farms in both urban and rural areas.
“So we’re going to develop specific applications for food crops and stimulate employment and entrepreneurship among young people. The aim is to boost the information and communication technology (ICT) sector to support the National Development Strategy (SND30),” say the Cameroonian authorities. This transformation will promote the development of artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) to optimise harvests, reduce waste on farms and increase farmers’ incomes.
These are all practices and expertise that will also be used to experiment with intelligent irrigation in a context marked by water scarcity. This is why the World Bank has loaned the Cameroon government $200 million in 2021. This funding is intended to strengthen agricultural techniques in the Far North region, which is suffering from both drought and the digital divide.