Women in Pink Collar ICT Jobs in Cameroon

Purpose: The advent of information and communication technologies (ICTs) has provided job opportunities for many people in Cameroon. Workers may seek employment with multinational telecom companies or choose to work for cyber cafés which are companies that provide fee-based Internet access to paying customers. However, employment or participation in the ICT sector is often defined by gender. This paper seeks to highlight the issues that surround pink collar (feminized) ICT jobs in Cameroon. One issue focuses on the use of social skills by women to increase ICT growth. Another issue looks at ICT job distribution and the factors associated with sex distribution among the various sectors.

Design/Methodology: Using field case studies, secondary data and semi-structured interviews, our research explores this gendered division of labor which seems ironic in a sector that promised so much empowerment – of information and knowledge – to many in the developing country. We raise the question: why are there so many women in the lower rungs of the ICT industry in Cameroon? Are there any social, cultural, economic or educational factors that hinder the participation of women in management positions in Cameroon’s ICT sector?

Findings: After conducting extensive literature review, examining secondary data and interviewing ICT managers, we find support for the argument that certain categories of ICT-related jobs tend to be gender-specific. Some contributing factors to this state of affairs include female capacity in service sectors; the inadequate participation of women in higher education science/ICT related subjects; poor orientation of girls from primary through secondary education and cultural biases that have exempted girls from hardcore science subjects such as physics, mathematics and chemistry.

Research Limitations/Implications: This paper concretely presents a picture of the participation and representation of women in the ICT sector in Cameroon. It shows how ICT employment in Cameroon reflects basic gender roles and also how women through education can overcome such stereotyping and achieve economic success using ICT products. However, it does not explore all areas of ICTs where women are represented. It also does not analyse women’s constraints in all ICT sectors.

Practical and Policy Implications: The need for curriculum revision especially in the secondary education sector is a major policy implication derived from this paper. New ways of teaching science subjects should be encouraged in order to attract female students. Also, employee positions should be created in secondary and high schools for trained career advisors who understand the need for female representation and participation in all sectors of development particularly in science and technology.

Social Implications: Male and female work patterns are different. Women are driven by the need to satisfy both the job market and family life. Employers should understand these major roles that women have and design flexible work environments that can accommodate women’s triple roles, while harnessing women’s special talents and contributions in the work place. The nature of pink collar jobs should also be reevaluated in terms of salaries and work enrichment programs such as in-house trainings to improve the capacity of women and eventually move them to more technical positions of responsibility.

Key words: Pink Collar Jobs, ICTs, Women, Cameroon


Manka, E., Muluh, H., Tanjong, E. Mbarika, V., and Boateng, R. (2010) Women in Pink Collar ICT Jobs in Cameroon, Anthology of Abstracts of the 3rd International Conference on ICT for Africa, March 25-27, Yaoundé, Cameroon. Baton Rouge, LA: International Center for IT and Development.

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Vers la mise en œuvre d’un outil d’aide de la maitrise du trait de côte littoral camerounaise

Résumé: La côte dans le continent Africain et au Cameroun en particulier constitue de plus en plus un lieu privilégié d’habitat et d’activités socio-économiques. Malheureusement cette forme de mutation s’opère au Cameroun dans une situation d’absence d’information sur les risques environnementaux. Il apparaît donc nécessaire de s’intéresser à un système d’alerte sur les risques liés à ce type de milieu. Au moment où le monde garde à l’esprit les récentes catastrophes survenues sur les côtes asiatiques (tsunami de 2004, au moins 280 000 morts), l’on est peu, voire pas du tout en mesure d’indiquer le niveau de risque éventuel que courent les populations fréquentant les côtes camerounaises, qu’un tel risque concerne l’inondation, les raz-de-marée ou le rétrécissement éventuel de la côte dû à la marée. Ce projet vise à apporter des éléments d’information permettant une maîtrise des risques liés aux aléas du trait de côte au Cameroun.

Mots clés: Côtes Camerounaises, système d’alerte, risques environnementaux, éléments d’information.


Charly, Y., Tonye, E. and Abanda, F.H. (2010) Vers la mise en œuvre d’un outil d’aide de la maitrise du trait de côte littoral camerounaise,  French Doctoral Consortium of the 3rd International Conference on ICT for Africa, March 25-27, Yaounde, Cameroon. Baton Rouge, LA: International Center for IT and Development.

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Using Mobile Technology to Support Family Planning Counseling in the Community

Abstract. This paper reports on a mobile phone application designed to support community health workers in providing family planning counseling to their clients. We adapted the Population Council’s Balanced Counseling Strategy for local conditions and for community health workers and developed a mobile phone application incorporating the resulting algorithm.

Keywords: Family planning, counselling, CommCare, balanced counselling strategy, mobile phones, software, community health workers


Routen, T. Silas, L.F., Mitchell, M., Van Esch, J., Lesh, N., Lyons, J. and Badiani, R. (2010 Using Mobile Technology to Support Family Planning Counseling in the Community – Case Study, Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on ICT for Africa, March 25-27, Yaounde, Cameroon. Baton Rouge, LA: International Center for IT and Development.

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Usage of telecommunication Technology and living standards

Purpose: The study examined the usage of village phone and living standards in the rural households in Nakaseke district in Uganda. This was prompted by the introduction of the village phones especially the Mobile Technology Network village phone in the rural areas.

Design/methodology/approach: The study used a cross-sectional survey design utilizing descriptive and correlation methods to examine the usage of village phone on living standards. Statistical package for social sciences was used in applying spearman’s correlation coefficient which was used to determine the relationship between the study variables.

Findings: Findings revealed a significant positive relationship between usage of village phone and living standards. The more the usage of village phone, the better the living standards. The more access to information and communication one has to gather with improved social capital levels, the lower the transaction costs incurred.

Research limitations/implications: The research covered one District in central region among the four regions of Uganda due to limited funds. Future research should cover private mobile phone usage and livings standards indices. Extend the research to other regions of Uganda for comparison purposes.

Practical and Policy implications: Enables policy makers in developing policy relating to communication and access to information as a tool to eradicate poverty and meet the millennium goal on poverty by 2015, it will help investors in the areas of telecommunication to understand the effect of telecommunication in the rural areas for purposes of planning their investments and identification of business opportunities.

Social implications: This usage of village phones will increase communication and access to information, and transform society by improving living standards.

Originality/value: The study adds knowledge by increasing the understanding of the socio – economic effects and role of telecommunication usage for rural development in Uganda.

Keywords: Village phone, living standards.


Akodo, R., Moya, M. and Kiconco, S. (2010) Usage of telecommunication Technology and living standards,  Anthology of Abstracts of the 3rd International Conference on ICT for Africa, March 25-27, Yaoundé, Cameroon. Baton Rouge, LA: International Center for IT and Development.

TO ACCESS FULL PAPER, CONTACT AUTHORS VIA CORRESPONDING EMAIL (arobinah@yahoo.com).

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Tribal Portals, Multimedia Content, Illiteracy, and Digital Inclusion

Abstract. The digital divide is affected by many factors but current research efforts on the digital inclusion of illiterate users mainly come from the Human Computer Interaction field through the design of multimedia based user interfaces essentially aimed at improving the Internet “know-how” skills of illiterate users. This paper proposes a model for the translation of multimedia content in indigenous languages for tribal web portals to bridge the digital divide for illiterate users not only for their web navigation skills, but also for other digital divide factors. The proposed model is built from the descriptive and qualitative case study of the tribal portals of the Bamileke, Bassa, Beti and Douala Cameroonian languages, and it is presented within the Design Science research framework.

Keywords: Design Science, Digital Divide, Illiteracy, Multimedia Content, Tribal Portals


Eyono-Obono, S.D. (2010) Tribal Portals, Multimedia Content, Illiteracy, and Digital Inclusion: the Case of the Bamileke, Bassa, Beti and Douala Cameroonian Ethnic Groups, Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on ICT for Africa, March 25-27, Yaounde, Cameroon. Baton Rouge, LA: International Center for IT and Development.

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Tracing The Emergence And Development Process Of Small Dot.Com Innovation

Abstract: The purpose of this study is to trace the emergence and innovation development process of dot.com innovation in order to understand the attempts small firms make to get the innovation to work or not. Prior studies on SME e-business are largely premised on an a priori existence of both the organization and the technology and move to investigate adoption, diffusion and use. Those in the E-Entrepreneurship focus on the social dimension of e-business innovation—personal qualities of the entrepreneur and the business process, paying less attention to the technology. This far, issues on how the technology and the firm co-emerge and co-develop have received less research attention. To extend the current body of knowledge in the SME e-business and E-Entrepreneurship research streams, the study draws on the interpretive case study tradition and the actor-network theory from science and technology studies perspective to trace the emergence and development processes of dot.com innovation involving four small firms in Ghana. Interim findings appear to challenge the traditional and widely shared believe that entrepreneurs are the source and movers of innovations. The experiences of the four organizations suggest that the control on the emergence and development process of dot.com innovation is a shared responsibility among heterogeneous entities including human and non-humans.

Keywords: SMEs, Actor-network theory, e-business, science and technology studies


Effah, J. and Light, B. (2010) Tracing The Emergence And Development Process Of Small Dot.Com Innovation: An Actor-Network Theory Approach,  Doctoral Consortium of the 3rd International Conference on ICT for Africa, March 25-27, Yaounde, Cameroon. Baton Rouge, LA: International Center for IT and Development.

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Towards Improving Undergraduate Research in Computer Science

Purpose: The aim of this research paper is to expose better methods of conducting research for undergraduate students at the university level especially in a developing country like Nigeria.

Design/methodology/approach: An Exploratory Research Group (ERG) was set up in the Department of Computer Science. The existing project methodologies were understudied and problem areas identified. By using the structured systems analysis and design approach, the ERG guided some undergraduate project students towards successful completion of their project work. Secondary sources of data were analyzed for final year students in project for 2005/2006 to 2007/2008 sessions to see the performance of both ERG and non-ERG groups.

Findings: A total class size of 238 for 2005/06; 209 for 2006/07 and 241 for 2007/08 were surveyed while the ERG size was 35 for 2005/06; 31 for 2006/07 and 37 for 2007/08 academic sessions. From results obtained, the performance of ERG undergraduate students (65.7% in 2005/06; 70.97% in 2006/07 and 75.68% in 2007/08) surpassed those of the non-ERG students (31.09% in 2005/06; 24.4% in 2006/07 and 28.63% in 2007/08). A probable reason was the close supervision, exposure and adherence of the students to best practice methods in undergraduate research.

Research limitations/implications: The research methods were innovative for the ERG because they were exposed to hands-on research. The students were able to work in teams, adopt current project management techniques and their creative abilities were rekindled.

Practical and Policy implications: Students were able to adopt a more practical approach to independent research. The end result of the exercise which was commended by the departmental External Examiner (a Professor invited yearly from another University whose responsibility is to moderate the final year results) for the 2005/2006 session gave credence to the introduction of a 3-unit course titled Research Methodology.

Social implications: Over the years, there have been complaints from the Industry on the cost of retraining computer science graduates. This ERG approach we believe, will enhance the quality of graduates and improve their performance in the industry as time goes on.

Originality/value: The ERG group has never existed. It was an attempt to improve the quality of undergraduate research.

Keywords: undergraduate research, best practices research, exploratory project work


Ukaoha, K., Egbokhare, F. and Chimeke, S. (2010) Towards Improving Undergraduate Research in Computer Science, Anthology of Abstracts of the 3rd International Conference on ICT for Africa, March 25-27, Yaoundé, Cameroon. Baton Rouge, LA: International Center for IT and Development.

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