An R + 3 type building on an area of 1,600 m², 150 workstations in twenty offices, four conference rooms, an auditorium, a telemedicine room and many other facilities; All connected to the rest of the world thanks to a high-speed optic fiber connection. This describes the “Ocean Innovation Center“, inaugurated on July 11, 2017, in the city of Kribi, a seaside resort in the South Cameroon region, home to two optic fiber submarine cable landing points.
The overall cost of this infrastructure, the first of its kind in Cameroon, is estimated at 607 million CFA francs, of which 155 million are borne by the Cameroonian State, through the Ministry of Economy, it was officially learned. The rest of the funding was provided by the Joseph Foundation, whose co-founder is none other than the Cameroonian engineer Jacques Bonjawo (pictured), former Senior Manager with the American giant Microsoft, who for some years has pioneered Promotion of telemedicine in Africa, through the structure called Genesis Telecare.
According to its promoter, the “Ocean Innovation Center” technopole is open to young Cameroonian graduates or not, but possessing skills in ICT; Businesses and other researchers.
The aim of this infrastructure is to “develop the creative potential of young people by allowing their socio-economic integration; To bring together all the small start-up creators in the vast domain of ICT; Exploit the opportunities offered by the existing: optics fiber, energy resources, etc. ; To generate innovations that can be invested in education, agriculture, health, administration, natural resources management, social networks, etc. ; And attract foreign investment “.
Over a period of 3 years, “Ocean Innovation Center” aims to train about 2,400 people in the digital economy; Create around 40 start-ups in the digital economy sector; Create nearly 4,000 jobs; Addressing local technological needs; Export digital services to countries in the subregion such as Gabon, Congo and Chad.
“After having praised the social impact of technology internationally, after hailing the progress of countries like India, Senegal, Mauritius, Tunisia in this matter, it seemed to me, at one time, Timely and fundamental to achieve concrete things in my country: Cameroon. And there are enormous potentialities in this country. Cameroon is deploying broadband infrastructure, such as the optic fiber cable here in Kribi; 72% of the population owns a mobile phone (ITU statistics dating from 2015, the figure has certainly increased); The Internet penetration rate, according to statistics from the Internet Live Stats, was 18% in 2016. “, says Jacques Bonjawo.