Remarks by Venna Reddy, Acting Mission Director, USAID, Technovation Alumni Event

Saturday, October 28, 2017
Remarks by Venna Reddy, Acting Mission Director, USAID, Technovation Alumni Event
Remarks by Venna Reddy, Acting Mission Director, USAID, Technovation Alumni Event

(as prepared for delivery)

 

  • Phol Norith, Deputy Director for Planning, Institute of Technology of Cambodia
  • Ms. Heang Oumouy, Cambodia Technovation Ambassador, 
  • Ms. Kate Heuisler, Chief of Party, Development Innovations
  • Representatives of cooperating private sector partners
  • Distinguished ladies and gentlemen,

Good morning and welcome to the Technovation Alumni 2017! I want to recognize the organizers who have worked so hard to make this exciting event possible. I would like to thank Development Innovations, Digital Mobile Innovations, Smart, EZECOM, as well as the other organizations that have supported this initiative. It is my great pleasure to join you today.

We are here to celebrate the extraordinary success of Cambodia Technovation. Over the past four years, Cambodia Technovation has helped assemble 50 teams of around 200 girls to compete in the program using the funding and support from USAID through its Development Innovation project. Today represents an important chance to share experiences and network among all the Cambodian Technovation girls and their mentors. In addition, our hope is that events like these will continue to inspire you to seek out new opportunities for careers in science technology engineering and math fields – or STEM as it is often called -- and make positive contributions to Cambodia’s development

Anyone who follows the U.S. Embassy’s and USAID’s Facebook pages or Twitter feeds knows how much we encourage STEM. STEM is an important pathway to expand economic growth and prosperity. In fact, improving STEM education is a priority within the American school system.  Like the United States, one of the many great things about Cambodia is the collaborative culture of innovation that brings together the creativity of the Cambodian people with technological tools that can advance your country’s development. Programs like Technovation and people like you play a vital role in supporting and strengthening this culture.

Too often, though, women are underrepresented in the STEM fields. That means there is a lot of talent that is not being used. This is true in countries around the world, even in the United States. That is why I am particularly happy and proud to be here today to see all of the young women who participated in Cambodia Technovation, and who continue to conceptualize the tools that can help their communities, their country, and even the world. 

Cambodia Technovation is  not just an opportunity for you to improve your STEM skills through hands-on learning. It is also a venue to bring people together and get others excited about possible careers in the STEM field. The U.S. Government through USAID is proud to support STEM as well as information and communication technology development in Cambodia. We strongly believe that technology and innovation offer great solutions for many of Cambodia’s development challenges. 

Having only arrived to Cambodia a couple of months ago, I have already been very impressed with the great work of USAID’s Development Innovations program, and more importantly the creativity, enthusiasm and entrepreneurial spirit of the Cambodian people. When combined with the energy and creativity of people like you – there is no limit to what technology can do for Cambodia.

Thank you to the teams for participating and to all of you for coming out to support them. I hope that today’s Cambodia Technovation Alumni Event will encourage even more young Cambodian women in technology, whether that is within the school system or other events like Technovation.  

Thank you!  

Phnom Penh
Issuing Country 

Last updated: October 30, 2017

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