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Data Privacy (2/2) - IGF 2020 Cameroon

On Friday June 19th 2020, the 8th Edition of the National Internet Governance Forum organised by ANTIC,came to a close. This was the third and final day of the very rich and educative forum. We had talks from Startup Experts. This was a continuation of the work done over the past days and much was emphases was still laid on data security and usage. It is worth noting that data is a very precious part of our lives as individuals and also a very important tool in such a digital age. We all have health data, financial data, educational data, and others that make us who we are. Data has the power to bring our lives to a halt if not well managed. Thus, there is a need for proper data management.

All speakers were impressive. One of them really caught my attention. She made a subtle but very important gyration. From her talk, I took out this; Today, most of our industries are going 'online'. This is not all about hosting a site on the net but managing and processing data on it. And, like the western world, new technology has the potential to save life in Africa; it is not just a luxurious tool. It's a necessity. This transformation is inevitable, but we have issues in fully implementing this new system. To begin with, we have few experts in domains like data engineering. Why this problem? Certainly because our educational sector is not yet producing as many graduates who will meet the new needs of the digital industries. There isn't a good link between industries and universities which could help the education sector galvanize her curriculum to produce the right graduates for the industry.

We have a duty to educate the young ones about this shift to a data-governed world so that they make right choices as the move up the educational ladder. For example, if you want to be an exceptional marketer, you will need skills in computer science. Technology is a language which is increasingly becoming the new normal.

We had a speaker from the banking domain who enlightened us on how vulnerable our financial data can be at a time when we still cling to paper work. How secure is the paper we use to fill in our financial data? What are the banks doing to ensure that our financial data is safe? Why do we sometimes have calls from strange numbers luring us to make financial transactions we did not intend to? How did they get our financial details to call us? This was a call for banks to keep manage our data more properly.

We had other speakers too but in all, our data is vulnerable and needs to be properly managed. It was a very interesting, educative and inspiring forum. At about half past noon, we had the last words from director general of ANTIC which marked the end of this 3 day event at Sawa Hotel in Douala.

-By Nchofon Tagha,

Open Dreams Scholar, Douala

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