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UN course to boost use of ICT to improve governance

UN course to boost use of ICT to improve governance

Four-day course briefs 20 government ministries on technology

THE use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) will prove a “catalyst” for the Kingdom’s development, the secretary general of the National Information Communications Technology Department Authority (NiDA) said Monday.

Speaking on the eve of the UN’s Asian and Pacific Training Centre for ICT’s (UN-APICT) four-day training programme for government officials, Leewood Phu told the Post: “ICT is a major factor in helping the development of Cambodia. It’s the catalyst for the sector.”

The UN-APICT course, to be held at Phnom Penh’s Intercontinental Hotel, has been funded by the United Nations and is set to inform officials on how to apply ICT technology to improve governance and development.

According to a press release Friday, representatives from more than 20 government ministries are set to attend today’s programme launch, along with university academics and international development agency representatives.

The course is designed to illustrate the growing role of technology within the Cambodian government infrastructure.

Phu, who did not disclose the cost of the programme, said he believes that in the coming years the use of computer technology will benefit the government.

He pointed to the recent introduction of video-conferencing at Council of Ministers meetings – which allow military personnel and district leaders to view conferences remotely – as a recent innovation that has improved governance. The use of email, rather than couriers, to send documents was also highlighted by the NiDA official.

“As of today, people will see a distinct change in the way we work,” he added. “The immediate impact [of this] will be better public services, as our work can be done more speedily than before.”

He added that ICT development is ongoing within government sectors. Officials are now converting English computer keyboards into Khmer language.

Khmer Unicode is also being introduced so that all the government’s computers can “talk to each other”.

According to the secretary general, the use of ITC forms one of the core ideas in the government’s strategy for development.

Cambodia’s recently established e-government system, named the Provincial Administration Information System, has grown to serve 10 out of the country’s 24 provinces.

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