Speech by Ms.Chamberlain at the IT Hub Osh Opening Ceremony

April 5, 2022

It is a pleasure for me to be here and I want to thank His Excellencies, Mr. Talantbek Imanov, Minister of Digital Development, Mr.Almaz Mambetov, Mayor of Osh city, Mr. Andrey Bibishev, General Consul of Russian Federation in Osh for taking the time out of their busy programmes to grace this event.

I also want to thank Mr. Mirlan Chynybaev, Rector of the Kyrgyz State Technical University, who is participating in this event online and Mr. Kudaiberdy Kojobekov, Rector of Osh Technical University who worked hard with our project’s team to make sure that project comes to its successful finalization and this event is happened.

Let me now thank Mr. Daniyar Amanaliev and Ms. Ainura Amanalieva, the “Welcome.kg” company’s founders, Mr. Chubak Temirov from High Tech Park, Welcome KG company and all other our good and valuable partners on its valuable support and hard work on establishing and launching this IT Hub.

Project supported a series of hackathon/hackfest events to engage young computer programmers, interface designers, private-sector project managers, and subject-matter experts to collaborate on the designing of new business scalable solutions and software products; Training contents in Russian and Kyrgyz were developed on YouTube and Blogging and conducted online trainings for 847 participants, 445 are men and 360 and women and girls. As a result, 304 participants were technically supported. 33 finalists started to earn money (11 women, 22 men).

The project also conducted webinars together with the High Technology Park. Participants were SME representatives, business association members, innovators, IT entrepreneurs, university teachers including KSTU and OshTU, students and other interested people. More than 310 people participated University teachers improved their skills on University as an ecosystem of innovations and planning to launch accelerator labs in universities.

Distinguished colleagues,

Over the past decades, the ICT sector has grown to become one of the world's most successful and inspiring ecosystems. The global economy has gone digital, and this calls for new skills, and for new knowledge. We have now entered the Information-Knowledge Society where new opportunities are emerging every day and only those that have the ability to learn and adapt will gain competitive advantage. This is why the focus of UNDP remains that of bridging the digital divide. As we do that, we must also bridge the knowledge divide.

Today, the ICT world is increasingly being driven by grassroots entrepreneurship, delivering local solutions to tackle local challenges. It is clear that it is the SMEs who extend the power of new ICT technologies and services to reach local communities everywhere in the world. To some extent, there is no possibility for big companies to succeed if they do not have the support of SMEs.

Entrepreneurs and SMEs, they are the source of innovative ICT-enabled solutions that make a long-lasting impact in global, regional and national economies. SMEs are an important source of new jobs especially for youth, and they make up more than 90 per cent of all businesses worldwide, provide up to 70% of global employment and represent a 'path out of poverty' for many developing countries, and we need their expertise, innovation and investment to achieve our common goals of sustainable economic and social development.

Governments around the world recognize this, and many are now actively promoting national innovation and entrepreneurial hubs, with the aim of creating a vibrant start-up culture.

Anyone, anywhere in the world today – with good connectivity and the necessary skills – has the potential to create and innovate with global impact.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Distinguished Guests,

Thank you for being with us at this IT Hub opening ceremony and I am very glad that we are able to have FIRST IT Hub in Osh city that will serve as a place where young people can meet together in order to learn how to successfully be integrated into the new digital world. Fully functioning IT hub in Osh will have at least 100 permanent residents; 3000 participants in the digital events; 1200 of young people will be studying at IT Hub Osh with 50% of girls among digital course attendees.

UNDP stands ready to further support the government in its digital development based on our expertise, networks and fresh insights on digital innovations.

As I conclude, let me assure you that UNDP is committed to “Leave no one behind” that also includes the bridging the digital divide, and building capacity in order to bridge the knowledge divide. Our mandate would not be complete if people did not have the skills to fully utilize the technologies that are increasingly accessible to them.   Let us show the world what we can do to help deliver on the promise of the digital economy and leave no one behind and let us come together to succeed.

UNDP will continue to work with our partners in supporting these endeavors to achieve widespread digital social innovation, and to promote ICT entrepreneurship for social impact, to create a better world for all.

Thank you very much for your attention!