The biggest Digital Conference held till date in KP concluded yesterday, leaving hundreds inspired and motivated to make KP the IT hub of the country. While the youth from other areas are charging forward in the field of technology, talent from Pakistan’s North hasn’t yet shown its full potential, a fact that KP citizens are now determined to change.
The conference and expo received a great response. More than sixty speakers participated in twenty-eight sessions. From Freelancing 101 session to the discussions on Big Data and Impact Entrepreneurship, the Digital Youth Summit transformed into an excellent platform for equipping youth with the much needed information.
“2 days, 28 sessions and 66 speakers from around the country – definitely one of the best youth conferences I have ever seen in Pakistan. Good to see the government and local NGIs (Non-Governmental Individuals) coming together to build a healthy freelancing & entrepreneurial ecosystem.” – Saad Hamid
Perhaps the best part about the summit was that the local government came together to show support for the cause of Digital Literacy, a phenomenon we need to focus on. Minister for Information Technology Mr. Shahram and Minister for Education, Mr. Atif Khan participated in the event, shared information and answered the questions of participants.
“We want to train and equip the youth with modern technology for a better tomorrow.” – Shahram Tarakai
Chairman KPITB also gave the news of a software competition which will be organized soon. The prize will include 12 IT fellowships for talented students and a chance at better future. The board is also working with Universities to establish incubation centers which can then lead raw ideas to fully formed brands and self-sustainable startups. In an attempt to embrace the power of digital technology, KP Health department is also working on digitization to improve the health services provided to people.
The Digital Summit featured speakers from all over the country and beyond who were all skilled and established professionals. From the young Madeeha Hassan of Savaree to Omair Bangash of Tossdown, all the speakers pointed out that Peshawar and KP had great potential for e-commerce and startups. However more activities like DYS are required to encourage and guide the talent in the right direction. Cecilia Guildford of Worldbank went as far as to say that K-P could be a $5 billion market by 2018, just four years from now.
“Sell your turban, pakol (Chitrali hat), khushq mewa (dried fruit), chappals (shoes) to the world. They love it, and are waiting for it, do not compare Peshawar to the Silicon Valley. Just do things according to your environment and culture” —Omair Bangash
“Civic startups allow citizens to solve problems for government,so they can solve people’s problems. ” – WorldBankSAsia
We have seen the people of KP rise well to challenges like Peshawar Hackathon previously. The long term effect of DYS remains to be seen but for now, Peshawar has sent out clear message to the tech world: they won’t stay behind.