Digital Pakistan Vision aims to unleash full potential of youth, women of the nation

  • Technology
  • Friday, 06 Dec 2019

Khan believes that Pakistan has been left behind in the global digital race. — AP

The Digital Pakistan Vision sets Pakistan's digital ambition and has been designed for the government and the private sector to work towards a digitally progressive and inclusive Pakistan, a statement from the Prime Minister Office states.

Speaking at the launch, Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan expressed his regret of not introducing the Vision at the very beginning when his government was formed.

"I should have given attention to Digital Pakistan earlier. This is the most important thing for Pakistan right now, especially its youth. The whole world is moving forward digitally and we have been left behind.

"But you all know, and must be tired of hearing it, but we had an unprecented debt ... and all our attention was focused towards stabilising the economy and our currency."

The premier said Pakistan has the world's second largest youth population "which can be converted into our strength with this one initiative alone". "Our women will be able to fully contribute. This is a very big opportunity."

"E-governance is the best way to make the lives of people easier."

"You won't be able to stop us for much longer," he said, addressing the institutions opposing the shift to digital platforms.

Khan said e-commerce will also be brought in after removing cybersecurity hurdles.

The premier reiterated his oft-repeated mantra of "(you must not give in to fear)" and promised "exciting times ahead" for the country.

"The country will experience a quantum leap ahead."

Billion-dollar opportunities

Tania Aidrus, a senior Google executive who quit her position to lead the initiative, also addressed the event.

She said that with the premier's assurances she had the confidence to "take a leap of faith and contribute to Pakistan".

Aidrus said that one of the foremost reasons why she was so bullish regarding opportunities in Pakistan was the fact that "more than 100 million people are below the age of 25".

"This means that for every Pakistani who retires in the next 20 years, three young Pakistanis will enter the workforce," she said.

Aidrus said these young Pakistanis are tech-savvy. "Technology is a part of their lives."

She also spoke of a "strong, growing middle class" and a growth in consumer spending "in every vertical (market)". "Penetration of technology in these vertical markets is very low currently."

"In every market, whether it is transport, commerce, payments, in every vertical there is an opportunity to have billion-dollar companies," said Aidrus.

The tech consultant also said that Pakistan has more than 70 million Internet users and local tech talent. "All these people are ready to contribute to the development of Pakistan."

She said all the government has to do is create an enabling environment, make digital building blocks, and policies which do not constrain innovation.

Aidrus then introduced the five strategic pillars which will form the basis of the new digital initiative:

"Today we all need to make a commitment that we are ready to be a part of the revolution and will work together to move it forward.

"And to the skeptics: the question is not whether or not it can take place in Pakistan. The question is: how quickly can we begin?" she concluded by saying. – Dawn/Asia News Network

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