For two days members of civil society organizations among which is the Cameroon Internet Governance (CAMIG), public authorities and telecommunication operators will be exchanging ideas on ways to preserve Internet freedom in electoral times in Cameroon. This is taking place in an international symposium underway in Yaounde, organized by Internet Sans Frontieres in partnership with Paradigm Initiative, Global Network Initiative, Internet Society, Facebook, Google, Access Now and many local and international civil society organizations as well as entrepreneurs.
The symposium will enable participants to form partnerships to combat hate speech and online misinformation, identify alternative solutions to censorship to avert threats to public order, via the Internet, obtain firm commitments from the actors present to implement their best efforts to combat the spread of hate speech and misinformation online.
The event which ends on the 13th of September 2018 runs under the theme “Fighting fake dangerous speech online while preserving digital rights in Cameroon”.
This comes few days after Cameroon’s Minister of Posts and Telecommunications (Minpostel), Minette Libom Li Likeng refuted claims of the existence of a government project to suspend Internet service in the country from October 7 to 9, 2018, during the presidential election.
Posts have been shared on social networks saying the Minister of Posts and Telecommunications announced a suspension of Internet services across the country, from October 7 to 9, 2018. According to the minister, such publication aims at false fully blaming the Cameroonian authorities. This has created mixed feelings among citizens because of a similar situation in 2017 after which the internet was cut off in the two English regions for three months.
According to the Internet World Statistics, the connectivity rate in Cameroon increased drastically within the last two years with a total of 4,909,178 internet users. The strategic plan put in place by the government, “Cameroon Digital Horizon 2020” has allowed the development of new infrastructures that have ensured this exceptional growth of connectivity.