The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government believes that an effective digital strategy needs to be in place. According to them through an effective strategy they can create a competitive advantage and sustain that advantage through the people and a culture of innovation. ICT is to be used to achieve and to deliver transformation. For any digital transformation strategy to be effective, it needs to have a strategy kernel with the following underpinning components such as digital government, digital access, digital economy and digital skills.
Therefore, the Information Technology Board of Khyber Pakthunkhwa has recently released their Digital Policy 2018-2023. The announcement came through KPITB Managing Director, Dr. Shahbaz Khan who has played a pivotal role in developing the policy and changing the technology landscape in the region.
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Under digital governance, the board is to introduce digital governance across the government, have an annual financial allocation, enable data driven decision making, adopt cloud based services and blockchain, adopt the global data protection regulation, implement cyber security protocols across the government, adopt open source software, increase software standardization, and implement an open-data framework.
With regards to digital access, the policy focuses on: tax reductions on the internet to enhance footprint and upgrade technology infrastructure, deploy broadband conduit under all roads to reduce the cost of fiber deployment, switch to optic fiber based networks from copper based, provide purpose built facilities that lead to innovative digital products and services, and promote and encourage investments through PPP model into digital access projects.
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To promote a digital economy, the KPITB is to work on promoting digital payments to increase financial inclusion, support digital startups and SMEs to encourage innovation and generate employment, adopt preferential procurement of digital services and products from KP based vendors and suppliers to promote the local ICT industry. Along with supporting the business process outsourcing industry in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and will be facilitating the government in improving ease-of-doing-business for investors in the digital space.
To promote digital skills, the KP government will be developing a digital competency and literacy framework to assess and improve the digital literacy levels; they will also maximize the use of technology in primary, secondary and tertiary education and enable market relevant talent pipeline.
The KPITB Digital Policy, which has been delivered as part of the Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf government’s 100 day plan, can be found on the website here.
Image source: KPITB