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Federal minister addresses the inauguration ceremony of the Gokina Smart Village project

“In line with the Government’s Digital Pakistan vision and UN SDGs, Smart Village Pakistan aims to digitally transform remote and rural communities with internet connectivity and provide local residents with access to a range of digital services to improve their quality of life and improve well-being. . I am very pleased to announce that Pakistan is the first country to establish a Smart Village in the Asia-Pacific region.” – Federal Minister of IT and Telecommunications (MoITT), Syed Amin Ul Haque said while addressing as the chief guest at the inauguration ceremony of Gokina Smart Village Project Wednesday at a local hotel.

This pilot project falls under the umbrella of Smart villages of Pakistana nationwide initiative launched by the MoITT in 2021 together with Universal Service Fund (USF), International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and Huawei.

Federal minister addresses the inauguration ceremony of the Gokina Smart Village project

While applauding the efforts of USF, ITU and Huawei, Federal Minister of MoITT, Syed Amin Ul Haque said: “The pilot projects and the Smart Pakistan Village initiative as a whole are expected to help overcome key challenges people face in rural areas such as limited access to healthcare, education, financial and digital services; lack of employment and opportunities to create income; digital literacy and gender gaps; and an urban-rural divide exacerbated by an uneven spread of technology. The Smart Village Pakistan projects will be launched in all provinces very soon.”

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Highlighting the details of the Gokina Smart Village project, the IT minister said three priority areas were identified through the needs assessment in Gokina, a settlement in the valley 21 kilometers away from Islamabad.

  1. Education– The village of Gokina has a secondary school for boys and girls. However, it was found that there were no science teachers, particularly in girls’ schools, creating barriers for students to gain advantages, both in terms of learning and competing for the future professional opportunities offered by the science field at national and international levels. . The project has identified an e-education provider (Tele-Taleem) to bridge this gap.
  2. Health– There is a medical center in the village with limited to no medical services available. The health worker is responsible for providing basic health advice and services to the members of the community. It was also stressed that the biggest challenge to access health services is time consuming as it involves commuting to Islamabad, no emergency services, no doctors and absence of pharmacy etc. The project has an e-health provider (Sehat Kahani) identified to bridge this gap.
  3. Digital Skills & Entrepreneurship- It was identified that there is a clear need and demand for improving digital skills and entrepreneurship where community members can use a hybrid model of both digital and non-digital tools to become entrepreneurs in the identified areas such as fashion, sewing, handicrafts and other household chores. businesses for women; modern farming skills, cooking skills for local youth, product marketing and access to finance and market for existing and emerging business people in the communities.

Speaking on the occasion, President NADRA, Tariq Malik said, “Following the success of the NADRA mobile vehicle, we are delighted to launch the NADRA Motorcycle Services – starting from Gokina Smart Village and soon across Pakistan – where people can use all NADRA facilities close to their homes, such as family registration certificate, child registration certificate, etc.”.

Earlier in his opening speech, Haaris Mahmood Chaudhary, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of USF said; “The Gokina Smart Village project is an exemplary model of how we envision the future of digital inclusion in Pakistan. Sustainable digital growth is essential to accelerate rural development and support individuals’ socio-economic stability. The USF’s agenda was to empower underserved and underserved communities. We look forward to transformative collaborations with our valued partners ITU, Huawei, NADRA and Jazz, as well as service providers TeleTaleem and Sehat Kahani, to make a significant impact on people’s lives.”

Responding to the occasion, Atsuko Okuda, Regional Director of ITU said, “The Smart Village Pakistan initiative promotes a government-wide approach to bring the benefits of digital transformation in sectors such as health, education and agriculture to rural and remote communities, leaving no one behind and offline”.

While also seizing the opportunity, Ahmed Bilal Masud, deputy CEO of Huawei Technologies Pakistan said: “Huawei continues to make progress in Pakistan as a market leader with USF projects in the rural areas through our operators. The challenges that digitization brings are great, but the opportunity is even greater in Pakistan. Digitization is essential for competitiveness and an incentive to increase the ability to play a greater role in the international community.”

Amir Hussain

Amir Hussain is the founder of Freemium World, a geek by nature and a professional Blog writer . I love to write about new technology trends, social media, hacking, blogging and much more.

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