Pakistan realizes ICTs potential to spur socio-economic growth: Anusha

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ISLAMABAD, Dec 17 (APP): Minister of State for Information Technology Mrs Rahman Khan on Thursday said that the Government in Pakistan fully realized the potential of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) to spur socio-economic growth.

The minister, who is visiting the United States, attended the United Nations General Assembly and said Pakistan considered it as a key enabler to achieve efficiency, transparency, good governance and empowering the people.

“We are pursuing with the vision of accelerated digitization to transform Pakistan into a knowledge based economy,” she added.

The minister said the ICT was a true driver of economic growth. Broadband proliferation was Pakistan’s policy priority and it had achieved notable progress in that regard through legislative and policy frameworks. The ICT journey had led to an increasingly interconnected world with the novel use of cyberspace resulting in economic and social opportunities for Internet users, she said, according to a message received here.

During her stay, the minister also received a prestigious UN prize, known as “GEM-TECH Global Achievers” award, with the pledge to continue her work for cause of women empowerment through technology.

The award was conferred on the minister in recognition of her work on the development of the ICTs and, especially the practical initiatives for the cause of women and girls.

In her comments, she said, “Today I stand here as one of millions of emancipated women of Pakistan who undoubtedly if provided the right opportunities are capable of rising to any level of  success.”

The minister’s initiatives of direct significance include technical ICT skill development and capacity building programme particularly for disadvantaged women from the lowest strata of the society to enable self-employment opportunities for them.

Referring to her special initiative for girls, she said the Ministry of Information Technology (MoIT) had partnered with Microsoft Corporation to increase access for all girls particularly those extremely disadvantaged, to learn computer and communication skills.

Besides, the bedrock component for improving digital literacy of young girls particularly focused trainings will be delivered to these girls, at purpose specific facilities and infrastructure being funded by Universal Services Fund (USF).

She said this programme, which in its inaugural year 2016 will enable economic opportunity for thousands of girls every year, and will be replicated for hundreds and thousands of youth and women through institutionalization in more 500 purpose built Telecenters also being launched by USF programme in the next two years through Public Private Partnership.