Private-sector investment into technology can help developing countries meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), representatives said yesterday at a conference, sparking debate on how Cambodian entrepreneurs can incorporate humanitarian goals into core business operations.
As smartphone ownership and internet connectivity continues to rise in the Kingdom, local entrepreneurs have more ability than ever to harness the power of technology and monetise it, while simultaneously addressing the Kingdom’s developmental failures.
“We are in an era of technology,” said Education Minister Hang Chuon Naron.
“Farmers can now use phone applications to be informed about the price of commodities, for example. Applications can be created to promote health, too.”
At the annual United Nations Day celebration yesterday, the UN launched a new mobile phone application meant to address its 17 SDG’s that include the aims to end poverty, reduce hunger and promote gender equality.
Members of the private sector put forth potential business ideas that could help address these goals.
“Technology is an enabler to get people into jobs and to help them create their own businesses,” said Thomas Hundt, CEO of Smart Axiata, adding that a recent Phnom Penh Hackathon showed great potential on how innovations could be monetised.
Sok Sikieng, a recently named “Technovation Ambassador” for Cambodia who has devoted herself to educating tech-savvy businesswomen, said businesses could employ the use of technology to address domestic violence.
“There are apps to alert nearby people for help during a domestic attack, and apps for online counselling for survivors,” she said. “But there is more we can do.”