By PROTEGE QV Yaounde, 06 June 2008
Each year since 1999, Cameroon joins the world community to celebrate the Internet Day (ID). In Cameroon, the Internet Day is a great moment for meetings and exchanges to find out and discover the Internet and multimedia, to highlight not only the extent of use of the network of networks, but also the human, social and economic issues arising therefrom.
Indeed, in 2015, 2 billion people will be connected through the planet. 80% of these new users will be located within the emerging markets, ie Latin America, Eastern Europe, Central Asia and Africa. Thus, words such as ADSL, WiMAX, VPN, Backhaul, VoIP, CoIP, NGN, website, e-mail, and so on will be increasingly used in the social, cultural, economic and political areas in Cameroon. Faced with this new situation, it seems important to the organisers to articulate the activities of the ID 2008 around the theme “Internet: stimulating development and bringing people closer”
Thus, for 3 days, from May 15 to 17, on the esplanade of the town hall of Yaounde, the capital of Cameroon, were deployed some new Information and Communication Technologies (VoIP, IP telephony, etc). such as PROTEGE QV. The conference focused on topics as diverse as e-commerce, online job, and so on.
PROTEGE QV, a major player in the Internet Day 2008
As the last two years, PROTEGE QV was a major player in the ID 2008. In addition to a stand aimed to expose its activities, PROTEGE QV organized a workshop on the theme “Internet and employment opportunities for young graduate people in Cameroon”, which was driven by an intern from the Canadian NGO Alternatives, Melanie Hughes.
PROTEGE QV encourages young Cameroonians to use ICTs to find a job and thereby reduce the youth unemployment rate in Cameroon
Indeed, in an article published by afrik.com, a pan-African website, entitled “First study on the labour market in Cameroon: Young people most affected by unemployment,” Joseph Tedou, Head of the Institute of Statistics in Cameroon, reveals that, taking into account underemployment and disguised unemployment, the unemployment rate of young people, who represent more than 50% of the population of Cameroon, is 6.2%. However, according to the Minister for Employment, this rate is more than 17% . Of these 17% of unemployed, young people account for 14%.
Thus the objectives of the workshop proposed by PROTEGE QV were the following:
- Present the job opportunities offered by the Internet to young graduates people
- Inform the young people of the strategies to apply online
- Share the links which propose jobs online in Cameroon
Nearly one hundred participants were present at the workshop which was held on May 16th, 2008. The interest of the participants was illustrated by the many questions they raised and the many notes they were taking on their notebooks. At the end of this workshop, they were given the addresses of many sites that offer online jobs in Cameroon as well as the links of many websites to create free blogs or to reinforce capacities online.
Attentive and Interested participants to the workshop dedicated to Internet and Employment in Cameroon, presented by PROTEGE QV during the ID 2008
To motivate young people to participate to the workshop and to make it interesting, PROTEGE QV organized a “tombola” with a lot of gifts to be winned by the participants. Several questions relating to the ID and PROTEGE QV were also asked to the participants. The gifts were beautiful bags with the effigy of PROTEGE QV, free hours of online navigation at PROTEGE QV as well as CDs of free software (Ubuntu, OpenOffice, etc.).
A very colourful stand
“You have one of the most dynamic stands”, said a visitor, impressed by the crowd that was always going forth and back at the stand of PROTEGE QV.
Indeed, the stand was decorated with three mats handcrafted by people with disabilities that PROTEGE QV has initiated to self-employment in the field of screen printing and graphic arts. This project in 2005 was funded by the European Union and deserved to PROTEGE QV the price of integration awarded by the U.S. Embassy in Cameroon in December 2005. Many pictures showing the achievements of PROTEGE QV, some african textiles and diverse communication items of PROTEGE QV (prospectus, pockets, etc.) helped to make the stand attractive and highlighted with the colours of Africa in which PROTEGE QV believes deeply. Many promotional materials of APC (Association for Progressive Communication), one the major networks in which PROTEGE QV is involved at international were also proposed to the visitors
About 300 people visited the stand of PROTEGE QV which unlike the organizations present, dit not propose any sales or service packages, but rather proposed to young people to come and get involved in development projects, especiIDally those based on the use of ICTs. By the way, several youths have shown great interest in the dynamism of PROTEGE QV and promised to come to the PROTEGE QV’s ofIDe and to learn more about ICT4D and become involved in the various projects that were introduced to them.
A lot of persons visited the stand of PROTEGE
QV during the ID 2008
This stand was also an opportunity to promote the products developed by PROTEGE QV, including the smoking and ecologically-improved stoves designed for women to enable them to create income-generating activities through the sale of smoked chicken, for example or improve those activities.
Indeed, one of the main axes of action of PROTEGE QV is the promotion of clean energy, in addition to supporting the creation of micro-enterprises, local leadership and the promotion of ICTs for development.
PROTEGE QV makes the promotion of free software
During the ID 2008, PROTEGE QV particularly emphasized on the promotion of free software, by distributing CDs of free software (Open OfIDe, Ubuntu, Gimp, etc.) and introducing the many visitors to the principle of free software. Most people have shown great interest in this new approach.
It must be remembered that PROTEGE QV has participated since 2005 in the International Software Freedom Day held in October each year by organizing within its ofIDe workshops of sensitization to the use of free software.
- “See PROTEGE QV’s page on APC.org”:http://www.apc.org/en/members/protege-qv