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Two Programs Join Hands to Push Digital Literacy Outside Phnom Penh

A new agreement is inked that pledges to push digital transformation in Cambodia’s Northwestern provinces while closing the digital gender gap.
GIZ ICONE and CADT signed a cooperation agreement to support enterprises in Cambodia’s Northwest. (photo supplied)
GIZ ICONE and CADT signed a cooperation agreement to support enterprises in Cambodia’s Northwest. (photo supplied)

A new initiative aims to bridge the growing digital gap between Phnom Penh and other provinces – a move that has been dubbed “paramount” to building the nation’s economic resilience.

This week, GIZ’s Improved Competitiveness of National Enterprises (ICONE) and Cambodia Academy of Digital Technology (CADT) signed an agreement to “push digital transformation beyond Phnom Penh's borders to Cambodia´s Northwestern provinces”.

ICONE’s director Dr. Stefan Hanselmann and Dr. Sethserey Sam, director general of the Institute of Digital Research and Innovation (IDRI) of CADT, said the collaboration will enhance productivity of enterprises in Siem Reap, Battambang and Banteay Meanchey.

To bridge the digital gap between Phnom Penh and the northwestern region is

“paramount for Cambodia’s long-term vision of becoming a resilient economy,” Dr. Stefan Hanselmann said in his opening remarks. He added, “This includes pushing for more closing of the digital gender gap and the empowerment of women-run businesses.”

CADT president Dr. Sopheap Seng said,

“All actors in the ecosystem are needed to push for Cambodian tech solutions developed for and by Cambodians to better life, education and business beyond Phnom Penh.”

Robert Hoer, GIZ advisor and Chief Innovation and Entrepreneurship Officer at CADT, stressed the importance of the program as it is designed to place CADT´s top students at promising enterprises to work on digital projects for three months.

“This matchmaking platform will not just increase the digital maturity of companies, but also the awareness of students about the digital gap between Phnom Penh companies and other regions.”

The cooperation aims to close the digital gap by having ICONE program office in the provinces and CADT’s innovation center in Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s tech and innovation hub. This will also expand CADT’s activities to more provinces and bring digital solutions and talent to companies in the provinces.

Closing the digital gender gap and the empowerment of women-run businesses is at the core of the collaboration.

ICONE is a new program of Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). A CADT flagship institute, IDRI fosters technology research and development aimed at enterprises.