Cameroon: Mincom To Re-launch Community Radios

Regulation & Policy

Ways of realising the 2009 plan of action of the Ministry of Communication are currently being examined by external and internal staff of the ministry.

Minister of Communication, Jean-Pierre Biyiti bi Essam in his "New-Deal" communication Policy, says Cameroon needs a pool of information to disseminate abroad. For this to be successful various regions in the country have to flood information to the capital city from where they will be transmitted abroad. But the big question many people are asking is just how information will be successfully relayed from all the nooks and crannies of Cameroon for the outside world. Within this backdrop, personnel from the central services of the Ministry of Communication, regional and divisional delegates of communication as well as communication heads of various ministries are meticulously elaborating on how to re-launch community radios, put in place an electronic news agency and a national press agency.

After a two-day working session which ended last week, personnel of the Ministry of Communication will harmonise the plan of action between the central and external services so as to be sure of not only realising the 2009 plan of action of the ministry, but also ways of better disseminating information abroad.

The ambition of the Ministry of Communication is to have community radios everywhere in Cameroon particularly in remote areas. With community radio stations, the Minister of Communication says communication can effectively flow between those in big cities and those in remote places. Together with UNESCO and the Ministry of Post and Telecommunication, the Ministry of Communication wants to revamp community radio stations. That is why central and external staff of the Ministry of Communication will during their current meeting make analysis of the community radios that exist, redeploying as well as ways of rehabilitating them. Ways of creating multimedia centres and mobile community tele-centres will also be examined for this will give the possibility of a mobile collect of information within the community.

Communication experts will also have to elaborate and put in place an electronic news agency. Given that the communication landscape is marked by innovations such as the Information and Communication Technologies, Communication Minister says an electronic news agency is vital in Cameroon. The electronic news agency will be divided into two aspects; the technological part which will be handled by technicians and the written part by journalists. While quoting as example, the successful set up of the website www.lepapeaucameroun, which was set-up by the Ministry of Communication during the Pope's visit, Jean Pierre Biyiti bi Essam says if Mincom personnel are determined, an electronic news agency in Cameroon will equally succeed. He said the ministry is about to acquire equipment that gears toward coming up with an electronic news agency. "In the nearest future a veritable electronic organ will be established in Cameroon", Jean-Pierre Biyiti bi Essam said.

The Minister of Communication also said putting in place a press agency is a matter of urgency for Cameroon needs to have a national press agency just like other countries. According to him, information from any press organs has some particularities and it is time for communication experts to respond to the needs of a veritable national press organ in Cameroon. The news agency will consist of two aspects, data collection that has to start right away. This will be followed by analysis and publication.

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