ICT

Cambodia’s Annual ICT Camp Celebrates Successful Start

Nearly 100 people gathered in Siem Reap to attend Cambodia ICT Camp to learn about how to stay safe in the digital sphere, data protection, cybercrime and digital literacy.
Apsara dancers perform at start of Cambodia ICT Camp 2022 in Siem Reap June 22, 2022. Kiripost/Iea Sonita
Apsara dancers perform at start of Cambodia ICT Camp 2022 in Siem Reap June 22, 2022. Kiripost/Iea Sonita

SIEM REAP, Cambodia ICT Camp 2022 kicked off on Wednesday in the country’s tourist hotspot of Siem Reap with a traditional Apsara dance performance and high hopes of informative lectures on digital rights.

Almost 100 participants joined the camp, traveling from Phnom Penh in three buses to Siem Reap. The event launched with a colorful performance by Apsara dancers and volunteers of the Open Development Cambodia (ODC), which organized the five-day event with funding from the Netherlands.

ODC’s executive director Thy Try said the event is among the first to be held physically after two years of Covid -19 restrictions.

“Together, we can all do our part to create an inclusive and safe digital information ecosystem,” Try said at the kickoff ceremony at Sokhalay Angkor Hotel. “The continued development of digital access, literacy, and culture is a high priority for Cambodia and ASEAN digital strategies for the next decade.”

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ODC’s executive director Thy Try speaks at start of Cambodia ICT Camp 2022. Kiripost/Iea Sonita
ODC’s executive director Thy Try speaks at start of Cambodia ICT Camp 2022. Kiripost/Iea Sonita

He added that knowledge sharing at the camp strengthens Cambodian resilience to cybercrime, equips the economy for continued global competitiveness, closes the digital divide, and prepares and safeguards the next generation.

Neth Moses, a digital security specialist, said the camp attracted many civil society groups this year as some topics discussed digital rights and cybersecurity, issues they have been working on and dealt with.

“We talk about rights, data protection and cybersecurity, and these are topics that civil society groups must understand more,” Moses said.

Theng Savoeun, president of the Coalition of Cambodia Farmers Community (CCFC), said it is important for him to learn about safe digital use at the camp.

“Digital platforms have two faces. One, it helps us to do research and do our work and secondly, it’s a restriction that people can be prosecuted through, especially when expressing opinions online,” said Savoeun, who is attending the camp for the first time.

Open data, digital security, and data journalism are among the main topics at the camp, which features international and local technology and data experts to deliver talks and facilitate sessions.

ODC’s Thy Try was set to deliver welcoming remarks Thursday, followed by a virtual address of the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Participants take group photos with Apsara dancers at start of Cambodia ICT Camp 2022. Kiripost/Iea Sonita
Participants take group photos with Apsara dancers at start of Cambodia ICT Camp 2022. Kiripost/Iea Sonita

Nop Vy, Executive Director of Cambodian Journalists Alliance Association (CamboJA), will issue a keynote speech about data-driven journalism, followed by Neth Moses discussing digital security.

Huy Vannak, Interior Ministry Secretary of State, is also set to give welcome remarks and a panel discussion on the progress of the Cybercrime Draft Law will feature talks by deputy director of the Anti-Cybercrime Department, Khuon Sokpiseth, CamboJA’s Nop Vy and Chhan Sokunthea, of Cambodian Center for Independent Media (CCIM).

Other sharing sessions include Sor Chandara, of DW Akademie, on Fake News: Fact Checking and Verification Tools. UNESCO’s Ty Samphors Vicheka is scheduled to hold a talk about Fake News and Disinformation.

Disclaimer: This story is produced by Kiripost in paid partnership with ODC.