The First Smart Village in Gokina is Launched by Huawei

Business Tech and Telecom

The Federal Minister for IT & Telecommunication, Syed AminUl Haque, announced the establishment of Smart Village Pakistan, a nationwide initiative aimed at digitally transforming remote and rural communities with internet connectivity and providing access to digital services to improve residents’ quality of life and well-being. The initiative aligns with the government’s Digital Pakistan vision and the UN SDGs. The Gokina Smart Village Project, a pilot project under this initiative, was inaugurated in a local hotel, and Pakistan became the first country to establish a Smart Village in the Asia Pacific region.

The Smart Villages of Pakistan initiative is a collaboration between the MoITT, Universal Service Fund (USF), International Telecommunication Union (ITU), and Huawei. The project’s overarching goal is to address key challenges faced by rural communities, including limited access to healthcare, education, financial, and digital services; lack of employment and income-creation opportunities; digital literacy and gender gaps; and a rural-urban divide exacerbated by uneven technology proliferation. The Smart Village Pakistan Projects will be initiated in all provinces soon.

The Gokina Smart Village Project aims to improve education, health, and digital skills and entrepreneurship in the valley settlement, located 21 kilometers away from Islamabad. The project identified three priority areas through a needs assessment study. Firstly, the e-education provider Tele-Taleem was selected to bridge the gap in science education for girls. Secondly, the e-health provider Sehat Kahani was selected to address the limited availability of medical services. Finally, digital skills enhancement and entrepreneurship were identified as a clear need and demand in the community.

The Chairman of NADRA, Tariq Malik, announced the launch of NADRA Motorcycle Services, which will provide NADRA facilities such as family registration certificate and child registration certificate close to people’s homes. Haaris Mahmood Chaudhary, CEO of USF, highlighted the importance of sustainable digital growth in accelerating rural development and supporting the socio-economic stability of individuals. Atsuko Okuda, Regional Director of ITU, emphasized the whole-of-government approach to bring digital transformation benefits to rural and remote communities. Ahmed Bilal Masud, Deputy CEO of Huawei Technologies Pakistan, spoke about the challenges and opportunities of digitalization in Pakistan.

In conclusion, the Gokina Smart Village Project is an exemplary model of digital inclusivity envisioned for Pakistan’s future. The collaboration between esteemed partners ITU, Huawei, NADRA, and Jazz, as well as service providers TeleTaleem and Sehat Kahani, is expected to have a significant impact on people’s lives. Digitalization is essential for competitiveness and represents an incentive to increase Pakistan’s ability to play a more significant role in the international community.

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