ISLAMABAD: A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Special Communications Organization (SCO) and the Aga Khan Foundation (Pakistan) [AKF (Pak)] to improve IT and digital infrastructure and services in Gilgit-Baltistan (GB).
According to a press statement, the overall purpose of the MoU is to strengthen cooperation between SCO, AKF(Pak) and other Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) agencies in light of the shared objective of sustainable socio-economic development of GB through reliable internet and telecom infrastructure.
One of the key objectives of the MoU is the establishment of an IT Park in Nasirabad, Hunza, which will provide state-of-the-art IT infrastructure with un-interrupted power supply, high speed internet facility and a co-working space for small and growing businesses, start-ups, freelancers and chambers of commerce.
The MoU was signed by Brigadier Muhammad Maqbool Ahmed, Deputy Director General SCO, and Mr. Akhtar Iqbal, Chief Executive Officer AKF(Pak) in the presence of Major General Ali Farhan HI(M), Director General SCO and AKDN leadership in Pakistan including Mr. Sultan Ali Allana, Director of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development, Mr. Hafiz Sherali, President, Ismaili Council for Pakistan, Mr. Iqbal Walji, Chairman Aga Khan Foundation, Pakistan, Mr. Aziz Boolani, CEO Serena Hotels & Chairman AKRSP and Air Cdre Waqar Ahmed, Director Operations and External Affairs AKF(Pak).
The MoU, according to the press statement, also envisions greater cooperation between SCO and AKF(Pak) for the provision of high-speed internet services to schools and health facilities, creation of market linkages, mobilization of resources to strengthen the ICT infrastructure, and strengthening disaster risk reduction surveillance systems amongst other.
The MoU will enable SCO and AKF(Pak) to support communities in GB to attain maximum economic benefits from larger development initiatives such as CPEC by using ICT as major source of employment and economic returns.