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Govt warns of digital divide in e-govt delay

Sok An seeks additional investment from SKorea.

DEPUTY Prime Minister Sok An warned Friday of a looming digital divide in Cambodia and asked for additional assistance from South Korea as he launched a long-awaited e-government network that connects 10 of the country’s 24 provinces.

The Provincial Administration Information System (PAIS), which was being built with assistance from South Korea, was intended to connect the entire country to allow the government to automate its systems, Sok An said.

“The PAIS project has started a digital divide in this country,” he told guests at the launch of the system at the Council of Ministers.

“The people in the online provinces will reap the benefits of ICT [information and communications technology], while those in offline provinces will not.

“We are asking for further assistance from the government of Korea in the ICT area so our people will not be left out in this digital era and so that our people will become digitally literate,” Sok An said.

Fibre-optic delays
National Information Communications Technology Development Agency (NIDA) Secretary General Phu Leewood acknowledged that the US$28 million e-government initiative, in development for 18 months, was behind schedule, and blamed delays in building the government’s fibre-optic network across the country.

The network had been due to launch at the same time as the PAIS project.

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