Ladies and Gentlemen,
On behalf of the World Bank, I’m pleased to be in Peshawar today at the Digital Youth Summit (DYS), co-sponsored by the World Bank with the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) IT Board and many other partners.
As an organization dedicated to ending poverty and increasing prosperity for all, we’re proud that the Digital Youth Summit has grown from an idea of bringing together the next generation of digital innovators, to becoming a major platform to help map out Pakistan’s digital future and create new jobs and opportunities.
It is helping redefine Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as an emerging technology hub, and helping provide the necessary skills and resources for Pakistan’s youth to take advantage of digital opportunities. We are seeing promising results – as the digital strategy is implemented. So far 4,000 young people have graduated from the Youth Employment program. Combined with the growth of innovative startups, investments in infrastructure, and interest from international businesses to create jobs, we are confident that the digital strategy’s goal of creating 75,000 jobs can be achieved.
We are thankful for the commitment demonstrated by the KP government with Chief Minister Pervez Khattak’s support, and everyone that helped make this summit possible. To all the speakers, trainers, and companies in sharing their knowledge and resources to train and invest in the youth of KP, we truly appreciate your efforts.
Today, 50 percent of the people in KP are age 30 and below. Young men and women stand to gain significantly from global opportunities. Let’s continue to invest in their skills and mold their ideas into new products, services, and successful businesses that will benefit us all. Let’s continue to refine policies and investments to attract investors and turn the region into the next business processing outsourcing center, which has the potential to create many jobs for women and men.
Let’s seize this opportunity to connect Pakistan’s youth to a global and networked economy. In this dynamic and globalized world, the youth of even the most far flung areas of KP will increasingly have an opportunity to work, to make money, and to innovate through virtual connections whether at the office, or at home.
Most of all, we are happy to see all the young people here today—students, entrepreneurs, enthusiastic young women and men eager to learn and contribute to Pakistan’s development through the digital economy. We hope that you will be inspired by innovative ideas, learn new skills, and use them to shape your future and connect with the world. Thinking back to last year’s DYS, we were so impressed by the products and services pitched to investors at the Startup Cup.
The market for digital entrepreneurship, a multi-billion-dollar industry, growing at a rapid rate and is thirsty for young talent. With creativity and passion, you can be at the forefront of social and economic change. I hope you will be in the driver’s seat of this exciting future.
We are excited to learn, share and hear from you in person, or on social media using hashtags #DYS18 and #KPGoesTech. I’d also like to encourage you to join our sessions on the Vision of Pakistan at 100 Years and Fake News in the Digital Age conducted by my World Bank colleagues.
Indeed, KP has the potential to become a hub of technological innovation and business processing for a brighter, more prosperous future. Let’s continue to work together to make this dream come true.