One hundred and thirty commercial enterprises in Cameroon had either adopted digital solutions for the first time or boosted their present use of digital solutions in their operations by July 2021, driven by the impact of COVID-19.
The above mentioned is according to data released by the country’s National Institute of Statistics (NIS), which added that 10.3 per cent of businesses surveyed used digital platforms for the first time. In comparison, 19 per cent increased their use, and 19.9 per cent said they were already using digital tools and didn’t increase their use after the COVID-19 outbreak.
The use of digital platforms increased by 46.2 per cent for large businesses, 36.9 per cent for SMEs, and 13.0 per cent for informal production units.
Three out of ten surveyed businesses said they market their services/products through e-commerce or social media networks via digital platforms. With at least 6.6 per cent of employees in the banking, insurance, IT, and telecommunications industries instructed to work from home.
Lack of financial resources, reluctance to digitise, and technical inexperience, among other factors, limited the ability to exploit digital solutions, according to the survey.
Statisticians have urged the government to make digital platforms and social networks more accessible to businesses and consumers.
“The use of digital platforms, social networks for e-commerce, marketing, the development of new products, and online payment are projects that should be encouraged and supported,” they stated.
Four hundred and fifty-four businesses from across the country were surveyed between June and July 2021. They came from the electricity, gas, water utilities, and industries including food, chemical, pharmaceutical, telecoms, insurance, banking, education, construction, catering, and commerce, to name a few.
The usage of digital tools is most prevalent in education, telecommunications, and financial markets.