The officials from the United States (US) department of communication have appreciated the efforts of the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecom (MoITT) for increasing the scope of digital connectivity in Pakistan.
This was highlighted during a meeting between the Federal Minister of ITT Syed Amin-ul-Haque and a delegation led by US Deputy Secretary of Communication Mcclain Delaney on the sidelines of the International Telecommunication Conference (ITU PP-22) in Bucharest. US delegation appreciated the plans and efforts of the Ministry of IT & Telecom in enhancing automation and digital connectivity across country.
Syed Amin-Ul-Haque apprised the US delegation about the loss of lives and property caused by floods in Pakistan. Both sides also discussed digitalization, connectivity and policies related to the ITT sector.
ITU PP-22 Conference
Earlier, the Pakistani delegation led by Syed Amin-ul-Haque, participated in the opening ceremony of the ITU PP-22 in which Ministers and Heads of Missions of 186 member states participated.
The Pakistani delegation comprising of former IT Minister Anusha Rahman, Permanent Representative of Pakistan to United Nations in Geneva Khalil Hashmi, Pakistan Ambassador to Romania Dr. Zafar Iqbal, Member International Coordination Ajmal Awan and Chief Executive Officer Universal Service Fund Haaris Mahmood Chaudhary.
The Plenipotentiary Conference (PP), ITU’s highest policy-making body, meets once every four years to set the union’s general policies, adopt the four-year strategic and financial plans, and elect the senior management team of the organization, the member states of the council and the members of the Radio Regulations Board.
Talking about the ITU Conference, IT Minister Syed Amin-ul-Haque said, “The theme of the conference is “Building a Better Digital Future for All” this conference is held every 4 years, this time the venue is the historical Palace of Parliament building in Bucharest, Romania”.
He highlighted that every four years, ITU brings together the brilliant minds of the world and gives them the chance to decide, which is the best way to make technology work for the benefit of all humankind.
“Today, the power of technology is impressive; it connects people worldwide in ways we never imagined decades ago. Just remember that during the pandemic, technology was the only way we could keep in touch with each other,” he added.
Syed Amin-ul-Haque met with the delegations of 17 different countries including the USA, Japan, Turkey, Bahrain, Egypt, Azerbaijan etc.
In the meetings, ITT and bilateral issues related to future digital projects were discussed.
Haque informed the delegations that Pakistan is committed to working for affordable internet, universal and meaningful connectivity, and close global and regional cooperation.
He said the government, through its Universal Service Fund initiative, is running diverse telecom infrastructure and services programs that are playing a pivotal role in providing high-speed Internet to un-served, underserved and hardest-to-connect communities. The subsidy-driven programs are accelerating digital transformation and are empowering marginal communities to ease into the digital ecosystem, with special emphasis on gender inclusivity, he added.
During the last four years Pakistan has contracted 79 new projects worth over 2$66 million to provide coverage to 28 million people, he added.
He said the government of Pakistan also intends to provide not only a conducive environment but to drive both the demand and supply sides of the ecosystem, hence creating an image of a globally competitive and prosperous country that provides a high quality of life for all its citizens.
The minister highlighted that as part of Pakistan’s digital transformation journey, the government is targeting an ambitious slogan “Smartphone for All”. It is pursuing a multipronged implementation strategy. This will range from nascent policy interventions for creating a harmonized regulatory environment to digital awareness and skills development programs for harnessing a culture of indigenous research and innovation, he added.
Moreover, for augmented, seamless and transparent delivery of government to government/business/citizen services, the government is implementing a comprehensive smart government ecosystem which is helping it to consolidate its resources and efforts for achieving public service delivery efficiently and effectively, Syed Amin-ul-Haque said.
The Federal Minister said the government has a strong vision to empower the talented youth of Pakistan by providing opportunities where they can embark on entrepreneurship as a career. For this purpose, the government is providing an enabling environment to talented youth by establishing tech-based National Incubation Centers(NIC), he said.