Islamabad, 23 February 2023 (TDI): In collaboration with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the Universal Service Fund (USF), Huawei has opened the world’s first smart village in Gokina, Pakistan.
This initiative is part of the Smart Villages of Pakistan programme and aims to transform remote and rural communities by giving them access to digital services and Internet connectivity to enhance their quality of life.
Syed AminUl Haque, the Federal Minister for IT & Telecommunication (MoITT), praised Pakistan for being the first country in the Asia Pacific region to establish a smart village during the project’s official opening ceremony.
He also emphasized the project’s potential to address important issues that rural residents face, including limited access to financial, educational, healthcare, and digital services, a lack of employment opportunities, gender gaps in digital literacy, the rural-urban divide, and uneven technology adoption.
Through a needs assessment study, the Gokina Smart Village project, which is located 21 kilometers from Islamabad, identified three priority areas. These include entrepreneurship, digital skills, health, and education.
The project has identified Tele-Taleem as an online education provider to fill the gap in science education for girls in high school. Sehat Kahani is an e-health provider who offers fundamental medical services.
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Finally, community members will be given a hybrid model of digital and non-digital tools in fashion, stitching, handicrafts, modern agricultural skills, chef skills, & product marketing in order to promote the development of digital skills and entrepreneurship.
Tariq Malik, the Chairman of NADRA, also announced the beginning of the NADRA Motorcycle Services, which will enable people to access all NADRA services nearby, including family registration certificates, child registration certificates, & other services.
In addition to the Mobile NADRA vehicle, which has already been useful in serving the neighborhood, this is also available.
The Gokina Smart Village project has been praised by USF CEO Haaris Mahmood Chaudhary as a shining example of digital inclusivity in Pakistan.
He highlighted the significance of sustainable digital growth in fostering individual socioeconomic stability and accelerating rural development.
The Smart Village Pakistan initiative, according to ITU Regional Director Atsuko Okuda, encourages a whole-of-government strategy to bring the advantages of digital transformation to rural & remote communities in areas like health, education, & agriculture, leaving no one behind and offline.
While Ahmed Bilal Masud, the Deputy CEO of Huawei Technologies Pakistan, underscored the firm’s dedication to advancing in Pakistan as a market leader with USF projects in rural areas through its operators.
Although he acknowledged the difficulties associated with digitization, he believes Pakistan offers an even greater opportunity.
Digitalization is crucial for competitiveness and serves as motivation for Pakistan to become more capable of contributing significantly to the international community.
A national project called “Smart Villages of Pakistan” will soon be launched across the country’s provinces.
The Smart Villages of Pakistan initiative hopes to transform more isolated and rural communities in Pakistan and foster sustainable digital growth and development by using the Gokina Smart Village project as a pilot.