KATHMANDU. The Executive Board of the World Bank (WB) has approved approximately Rs 17 billion (USD 140 million) in assistance to expand broadband access in Nepal and increase the participation of more people in the digital economy.
The board gave the approval recently to boost the digital economy by expanding broadband access through the Digital Nepal Acceleration (DNA) project. Nepal has announced Digital Nepal to advance public service delivery through information technology at the federal, state, and local levels. The WB’s support is crucial at a time when more investment is needed to promote the digital economy.
Faris Hadad-Zervos, Country Director for the WB for the Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka, said the countries embracing digital transformation have agreed to support green, reliable, and inclusive development. “The WB is proud to support Nepal’s goal of promoting an inclusive and secure digital economy by connecting people and businesses to information, services, and markets,” he said.
The project will help implement the Digital Nepal Framework, the country’s digital economic strategy announced by the government in 2019, the WB added. The project is expected to help improve access to high-quality and affordable broadband services and digital people’s activities and businesses in rural areas.
The project will support and secure the flow of digital government services through improvements in Nepal’s data infrastructure and cyber security, the WB said.
The special activities carried out through the project are aimed at helping increase internet access, digital skills, entrepreneurship, and access to digital services by women, ethnic and social minorities, and persons with disabilities. The WB has stated that the project will create good employment opportunities for about 1,500 people by providing digital skills development training.
The first telecommunication project in Nepal was launched in 1969 with the financial support of the WB. ‘The project will boost Nepal’s economic growth by investing in high-speed broadband connectivity and digital skills and services, helping to integrate people and their businesses into a more competitive and global digital economy’, said Siddharth Raja, World Bank Task Team Leader.