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Pakistan’s tech potential on display at Digital Youth Summit ’19

Digital Youth Summit ’19 (DYS), Pakistan’s premier tech conference aimed at strengthening, enhancing and propelling the technology-based entrepreneurship culture in the country, kicked off in Peshawar on Saturday.

The two-day conference, featuring eminent start-up owners, influencers and speakers from all around the world, is centred around the vision of imparting knowledge and creating awareness regarding the prospects of the ever-growing entrepreneurship ecosystem in the country, with an objective to influence young minds looking to take the plunge in the business sector.

Day one of the conference opened with a keynote address by country’s renowned technologist and academician Dr Umar Saif, who has worked as chairman of the Punjab IT board and under whose guidance the IT sector in the province flourished by leaps and bounds.

Dr Saif’s address revolved around his thoughts on how the technological realm has phenomenal scope to be used for creating revolutionising changes and reforms in the country.

Renowned technologist and academician Dr Umar Saif at Digital Youth Summit’19. Photo: Reporter

“Pakistan is the eighth largest mobile consuming country, with almost 40 million internet and social media users. The fact that there is an incredible amount of potential in the tech industry, is irrefutable. I believe that the country is standing at a real point of change as far as growth in the digital market is concerned. During my time at the Punjab IT board, we at tech incubator ‘Plan9’ incubated almost 160 start-ups, including the one that is now popularly known across the country as ‘Pataari’,” Dr Saif said.

Talking about implementing information technology in the health sector, the Chief Digital Officer of the Jang/Geo media group went on to speak on how — through a ground-breaking digitalised method — he was able to build the world’s first dengue epidemic warning system.

Renowned technologist and academician Dr Umar Saif at Digital Youth Summit’19. Photo: Reporter

“We developed an app to locate and report dengue outbreaks in different regions across Punjab, capable of predicting the next dengue outbreak. In 2011, 352 people died of dengue fever in Punjab. The following year, no one died, and deaths have been minimal since then due to the simple use of this innovative app,” he explained.

The revolution that Dr Saif has brought through his commendable excellence in the tech industry is what he expects to see amongst young individuals and the upcoming generation, for which he believes conferences like the Digital Youth Summit are highly essential.

An initiative by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa IT board, DYS provides a distinct opportunity for budding start-up owners to present their unique ideas to investors and influencers and seek guidance from reputed IT specialists, technologists from global companies like Facebook and Google who are participating at the summit to empower and educate young minds.

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