Minister of Post and Telecommunications Chea Vandeth encouraged female students to join a new digital competition. The format features training, a digital bootcamp and a pitch contest for each team’s finished product.

The female-only programme aims to develop young women into the entrepreneurs and leaders in digital technology of tomorrow.

Vandeth presided over the February 4 launch ceremony of Technovation 2023, a collaboration between the telecommunications ministry, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports and Tech For Kids Academy at the American University of Phnom Penh.

Technovation 2023 is a 12-week training programme and competition which aims to empower female students with an understanding of technology, and teamwork and problem solving skills.

He said Prime Minister Hun Sen considers education a priority area to support the development of Cambodia.

“The telecommunications ministry has always supported research, innovation, and participation in cultivating technological talent, through cooperating with relevant partner institutions,” he added.

“Students who participate in this programme will have the chance to develop themselves. They will gain a solid foundation for further studies, and it could lead to an increase in the number of women participating in careers relating to technology,” he continued.

Vandeth said the government has implemented many important policies and strategies to encourage Cambodians to become digital citizens.

He mentioned a collaboration between the ministries of education and telecommunication as an example.

“We recently launched a provisional high school certificate system, which students can access via a chatbot on Telegram,” he said.

Soeur Socheata, education ministry undersecretary of state, attended the launch.

She praised Technovation Cambodia for organising the programme, saying it would encourage female students to be interested and in STEM careers.

“Technovation Cambodia will play an important part contributing to the education ministry’s promotion of digital education in Cambodia,” she said.

She expressed her support for the programme, saying it will encourage young women to cultivate ideas and increase their confidence in choosing technology for their future studies.

“This will lead to an increase in female professionals working in the tech sector,” she said.

The Technovation 2023 programme will be attended by hundreds of female students and teachers from Phnom Penh and the provinces. The training will last for 12 weeks, from February to April, with a bootcamp programme scheduled for June 9 and 10.

Twelve teams will be selected for a national pitch tournament, which will be on June 11. The students and their mentors will receive awards and incentives.

The top twelve global teams will be selected to join the Technovation World Summit 2023, which will be held in San Francisco, the US, in August.