Founder of ICT University and initiator of E-patriotism initiative, Prof Victor Mbarika
ICT University’s founder, Prof Victor Mbarika has introduced and launched what he calls e-patriotism, an initiative with a mission to enhance peace and reconciliation in Cameroon.
Prof. Mbarika unveiled his new concept while participating in the 4th session of the Committee for the Follow-up of Implementation of Recommendations of the Major National Dialogue. The meeting took place recently at the Prime Minister’s Office in Yaoundé.
Prof. Mbarika who is passionate about the return of peace to Cameroon’s troubled Northwest and Southwest regions and Cameroon in general said, in the face of new changes in technology, there is a need to give technology a central role.
According to Prof. Mbarika, technology has a major role to play in enhancing the promotion and show of patriotism, peace-building and reconciliation in Cameroon.
Being an ICT expert himself, Prof Mbarika underscored that Information and Communication Technology is one of those sectors in which if huge investments are made, it will go a long way to enhance peace. This, he believes, will accelerate the trend of electronic patriotism through the responsible use of social media space. “We are running an ICT University in Cameroon. We train young Cameroon on the various technological transformations the world is undergoing. Besides that, we insist on the good use of the internet in the promotion of peace in our troubled country,” Prof Mbarika said.
He added that there is a need for the responsible use of the internet; “We have seen over the years, especially at the outbreak of the crisis where the internet was used as an instrument to propagate fake news and this went a long way to stir up the crisis.
“For example, before I came here for this meeting, many people sent me messages that I will be arrested. But you can see that there is nothing, I think we all have to use ICT in the promotion of peace. Promoting peace is incomplete without love for country” he stated.
He attested that the biggest moments when all Cameroonians are glued to their television sets and the internet is during football games such as Champion Leagues among others.
But, on the contrary, instead of taking advantage to promote messages capable of forming conscious mindsets on the use of ICT to preach patriotism, many, he regretted are not doing so. He recommended the minimal display of too many advertisements and an increase in messages of peace and unity.
Prof Mbarika cautioned the valorisation of customised digital and multimedia centres, adding that, the gesture by the President of the Republic to offer laptops to students was strategic in forming E-Patriotism inclined citizens. Prof Mbarika insisted that the largesse was justification for Biya’s love of technology
He has recommended that citizens should Maximise social media platforms and digital space with government propaganda; setting up multimedia centres with free internet. He said this must be customised to disseminate propaganda on peace and unity, based on the new decentralised system for each region, the inscription of digitised messages on peace in all national monuments across the country including state Billboards and the Digital learning management system for State University must carry messages on national unity.
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