Minister of State for Information Technology and Telecommunication Anusha Rahman Wednesday highlighted Pakistan’s initiatives taken under the Universal Support Fund (USF) to promote the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) across the country. Addressing a key session of the Digital Society track at the World Economic Forum ( WEF ) here, she said: “The availability of digital platforms has eased service delivery and e‑education, e‑learning, e‑health, e‑agriculture etc are some of the avenues where industry can actively work with governments.”

The title of the session was “Unlocking Societal and Industry Value of Digital Communications.” The minister said industry and government priorities should be synchronized and sustainable partnership models need to be operationalized under the public‑private partnership (PPP) to achieve societal and industrial benefits.

“The macro policy outlook of the governments should be supportive of such initiatives of the industry resulting in bringing investment in the sector,” she said while giving specific examples
out of the USF and R&D programs launched by the government of Pakistan under such PPP arrangements.

The minister also attended the joint session of the Broadband Commission and the WEF. With the theme of “The Internet for All Communities”, the special session provided a high‑level discussion platform deliberate upon methods and initiatives to boost connectivity and digital development initiatives.

Minister of State for IT and Telecom highlighted the initiatives undertaken by Pakistan through its Universal Service Fund to spread the ICT services across the length and breadth of the country. The Minister further applauded the ITU/UNWomen initiative “EQUALS”, and termed it as a landmark global program for providing equal opportunities for women and girls in the global technology revolution.

Anusha further highlighted that our programs worth billions of rupees, which are targeted at provisioning ICT services, training, and even the gadgets to women and girls to reap benefits of economic opportunities offered by ICTs and at the same time to enable them to unleash their potential and become productive citizens of the digital world.

She also attended the WEF dinner reception by the executive chairman and the management body of the World Economic Forum.

The reception and dinner was attended by heads of state, government and international organizations as well as Annual Meeting 2017 Co‑Chairs, members of the Board of Trustees, the International Business Council and Strategic Partners, including Prime Minister of Sweden, Queen of Belgium, President of the Republic of South Africa, President of Mongolia, President of the Republic of Mauritius, Vice‑President of the U.S.A., President of the World Bank,

On the sidelines of the WEF Annual Meeting in Davos, the delegation of VimpleCom, headed by Jean‑Yves Charlier, Group Chief Executive Officer, called upon the Minister for IT & Telecommunication.

The minister appreciated the efforts and initiatives undertaken by VimpleCom in Pakistan for the promotion of ICTs for development. VimpleCom is the parent company of Pakistan’s largest cellular operator Mobilink.

Telenor Group’s Chair Mrs. Gunn Warstad and President & CEO Sigve Brekke also called upon the Minister for IT & Telecom in Davos.

Key points to further spur industry and market development, and the continued collaboration required to foster a resilient investment climate were discussed.

Anusha while appreciating the industry’s focus on digital services initiatives concluded that “It is through the collective efforts of both governments and private sector to actively and positively leverage digitalization that societies can be fundamentally transformed in a sustainable way”.


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