KP Minister for health and technology Shahram Khan Tarakai talking to TNN reporters. Photo by Abdul Qayyum

PESHAWAR, 14 October: Provincial government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has decided to  mark 2016 as the Year of technology, said  Provincial Minister for health and technology Shahram Khan Tarakai while talking to reporters in Peshawar on Wednesday

The Minister highlighted several events that would be take place in 2016 including an Art and Technology Festival (“ArtTech Festival”), a KP Apps Challenge, and Digital Youth Summit 2016.

The five components of the plan announced by Tarakai for 2016 included: 1. Building skills in ICT for the youth. This includes freelancing and online work to promote the digital economy and new trending areas that are high in demand – like design, app development, marketing, fundraising and finance. Initially, the provincial government would investing 40 million rupees to train the youth of 7 divisions of KP for 3000 jobs in the digital economy. 2. Supporting initiatives like incubation programmes to develop early stage startups and enabling the ecosystem through other resources. 3. Support flagship events, like the emerging Digital Youth Summit in Peshawar – which has been reported to be the largest tech conference in the country – which will be bigger next year, and events, like the new Art+Tech Festival, which for the first time in Pakistan, will highlight the intersection of technology, culture and art. 4. The government would be working with different partners and individual investors in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to create Angel Investment and other funding opportunities for the youth. This will be following up on the 20 million rupees already invested in startup locally. 5. Supporting  community building efforts with other stakeholders like the academia, the private sector and the development sector, to further enable developments like academic consortia, curriculum development, non-traditional investment mechanisms, etc.

All of these initiatives, the Senior Minister said were part of a broader strategy and a longer term vision which would  transform Peshawar into a hub of technology, design and art and all of KP into a digitally ready workforce.

 

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