Islamabad: The “ITU-Pakistan Digital Inclusion Week: Meaningful ICT for All” was organized by the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication, Pakistan and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in Islamabad, Pakistan. This event was supported by the Government of Australia, represented by the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts (DITRDCA) in their support to the ITU Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific to implement the ITU Asia Pacific Regional Initiatives.
The Digital Inclusion week aims to raise awareness and highlight the ongoing digital inclusion initiatives led by the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication, in collaboration with the International Telecommunication Union, to bridge the digital divide, particularly amongst people in vulnerable situations such as girls, children, and persons with disabilities.
In promoting a multi-stakeholder and inclusive approach to digital development, this event will gather various stakeholders and partners that are supporting this effort. ITU-Pakistan Digital Inclusion Week: Meaningful ICT for All will highlight three ongoing digital inclusion initiatives:
Girls in ICT Day Pakistan 2022 International Girls in ICT Day is celebrated worldwide every year on the 4th Thursday of April (28 April 2022). Girls in ICT Day provides an opportunity for girls and young women to see the benefits of ICT in enabling their careers and aspiration. To date, over 377,000 girls and young women have taken part in more than 11,400 celebrations of International Girls in ICT Day in 171 countries worldwide. The MOITT and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) continued the collaboration in 2021, organizing the Girls in ICT Day Pakistan, in partnership with the Pakistan Government, the United Nations, GSMA, Code for Girls, international organizations, and other stakeholders.
In order to develop and implement a national initiative to make the internet safer for children and young people, to raise awareness of the issues, and to deal with them in a practical way, it is vital to bring together all the key stakeholders and players. The international collaboration and partnerships also help share the lessons learned, and receive international expert feedback to strengthen child online protection mechanisms in Pakistan.
Accessible Cybercafe for all The Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication (MoITT) aims to support Persons with Disabilities by establishing Accessible Cybercafes for All and introducing digital skill programs to bridge the digital divide. Digital skills will enable persons having visual and hearing impairment, mental illness, physical disability, autism, and other vulnerabilities, with ICT skills, and support their education, businesses, and employment opportunities. ITU with the support of MOITT, Pakistan, is launching the Accessible Cybercafe for all, and the Digital Literacy Training Program that will mainstream ICT accessibility and digital skills.
Federal Minister for IT and Telecommunication Syed Amin Ul Haque Inaugurated the Ceremony of ‘Pakistan-ITU Digital Inclusion Week’ as the Chief Guest. He had emphasized that increased awareness and interest in ICT and STEM subjects amongst the stakeholders, enhance career progress and opportunities inclusively through digital skills, leadership programs, and strengthening the network of program beneficiaries in Pakistan and the Asia-Pacific region through the Girls in ICT Day Pakistan is very important . He had concluded his remarks by appreciating the contribution of local and international stakeholders including PTA, Huawei, and Telecom Operators as PTCL, Jazz, Telenor, Ufone, and others for celebrating together the Digital week in Pakistan.
In her address, the Guest of Honor Mrs. Atsuko Okuda Director of ITU APAC- appreciated the initiative and arrangements made by the IT Ministry and the Government of Pakistan. Ms. Shaza Fatima Khwaja Special Assistance to Prime Minister on Youth Affairs while addressing the ceremony also highlighted the importance of the Digital revolution is the shift from mechanical and analog electronic technology to digital electronics which began in the latter of half of the 20th century that continues to the present day. She also appreciated PTA, USF, and Huawei along with many other organizations for their Valuable contribution
Along with other dignitaries Mr. Julien Harneis, UN Resident Coordinator & Humanitarian Coordinator in Pakistan also spoke at the event. Ms. Ashleigh Light, Acting Deputy Head of Mission, Australian High Commission, Pakistan ensured the best possible support from the High Commission.
Huawei CSO and CTO also addressed this two days event, highlighting our world needs a secure and stable network environment.