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Technological Innovation: Catalyst To Industrial Development

The digital revolution is a whole raft of new opportunities and has become a major lever for growth and job creation.

Digital innovations are remaking our industries, economy, and society just as steam, electricity, and internal combustion did before them. Like their predecessors, computers and other gadgets like mobile phones, drones amongst others are engines of industrialisation. Cameroon which is in dire need of industrialisation is using the present technological evolution to push its industrial agenda. The blueprint document (Growth and Employment Strategy Paper, GESP) drawn-up to guide Cameroon’s development carefully primes innovations as one of the pillars for industrialisation. To further compound the drive for industrialisation, the government through the Ministry of Mines, Industry and Technological Development also came up with an industrialisation master plan which also takes into account innovations as an essential component for industrial development. Quite a good number of award-winning innovations  have been registered in the country and their impact on accelerating industrialisation cannot be undermined.  When in 2015, Arthur Zang, a young Cameroonian engineer developed Cardio pad, the first medical tablet made-in Cameroon, it attracted world attention and earned him FCFA 20 million Prize of the President of the Republic. His invention led to the creation of his company Himore Medical SA which imports accessories of the device and assembles it in Cameroon. His invention has undoubtedly revolutionised the  health industry as cardiology diagnosis can now be made from a distance. Other innovations that has sparked industrial revolution is the invention of the first made-in Cameroon drones by William Elong. The 26-year old Cameroonian engineer, Chief Executive Officer of Will & Brothers consulting, which is today building drones for different purposes.  Cognizant of the pivotal role of innovations in the country’s growth, the government has also been relentless in promoting the digital economy. The  President of the Republic during his end-of-year address to the nation in 2016, pointed out that instructions have been given to the government to accelerate conditions necessary for the country’s industrialisation. One of the ways he outlined, was through the digital technology, reason why a Strategic Plan for Digital Cameroon by 2020 was developed. Thus, the National Days of Technologies billed for November 21-23 in Yaounde on the theme “Technological Innovations; levers of industrialisation,” is another  step taken by the government to vulgarise innovations. According to a communique issued by the Minister of Mines, Industry and Technological Development, Ernest Gwaboubou, the event is a platform for exchanges, technological innovation discoveries exposition, networking between the government, research institutions, universities and industrialists. The 2018 edition, the release adds, has as objectives to promote local know-how as a prerequisite of industrialization of Cameroon, enhance existing skills and potential to attract investment from the public and private sectors. In the past six years, the government through the Ministry of Scientific Research and Innovation has also been organizing Open-door Days to promote innovations. During such event, the President of the Republic’s prize of excellence in innovation worth FCFA 10 million is handed to the best innovator while another prize of FCFA 3 million is awarded for valorization. All of these, are measures put in place to promote innovation and spur industrialization.

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