The 2017 Digital Youth Summit (DYS), a joint initiative of the KPITB and the World Bank and powered by Jazz, kicked off in Peshawar today. KP’s Digital Strategy was also unveiled to provide a roadmap for KP to equip young people with the skills, access, and markets they need to secure and create jobs in the knowledge economy. Around 4000 people are expected to attend the discussions and workshops to discuss a wide range of topics from e-commerce to digital security in Pakistan. The weekend of tech will culminate in a Startup Cup for young entrepreneurs to showcase their business ideas to investors.
“KP takes digital opportunities for our people very seriously and wants to be a leader in technology. This strategy through sound policies and reforms will set a road map for us and we shall announce initiatives to support this over the next few days,” said Dr. Shahbaz Khan, Managing Director of the KP-IT Board. “We’ve already launched programs to attract investment such as the CPEC corridor and other infrastructure and private sector initiatives and hope to build on these foundations with our private sector and development partners.”
“The digital strategy encompasses inputs from a wide range of groups including government departments, the private sector, and organizations such as the World Bank, making it as relevant and robust as possible,” said Khan. “As we implement it, we will continue to refine it based on feedback and experience to keep it relevant and cutting edge.”
Ms. Aniqa Afzal Sandhu, Chief Digital Officer, Jazz said that not only the local populace but the country at large benefits from such positive endeavors: “Our country is ripe with talent and has a remarkable pool of digital innovators who are looking for opportunities like these to present their ideas. This partnership is a testimony to Jazz’s commitment to fostering a conducive environment where the digital ecosystem can thrive in Pakistan.
The World Bank has been providing technical assistance to the Government of KP and has assisted in the development of the strategy and has also developed a trust fund for the KPIT to implement projects. The relationship is in its third year and Mr. Patchamuthu Illangovan, World Bank Country Director for Pakistan said, “Digital economy is the future. It’s a driver of innovation and entrepreneurship than can boost inclusive and smart development in Pakistan. Over 80 percent of Pakistan’s population is offline. Closing this gap will create new job opportunities for the millions entering the labor force.’ said
This year’s summit is organized by the KP-IT Board and the World Bank Group and is powered by Jazz, supported by USAID, and sponsored by the Tourism Corporation of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, UNDP, Bank of Khyber, Gloria Jeans Coffee, March Designs, Pakistan Telecommunications Authority, the Multi-Donor Trust Fund for KP, FATA and Balochistan, Codematics, and Animation Republic.