Joint projects of the United Nations Development Programme with the Ministry of Employment and Poverty Reduction and the Ministry of Economy and Finance in cooperation with the IT-Park of Uzbekistan organised a regional conference on the development of digital entrepreneurship with the participation of entrepreneurs from Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan from the neighbouring regions of the Fergana Valley on 9-12 October 2023 in Fergana.
Regional Conference on Digital Entrepreneurship - a new platform for discussing cooperation between bordering regions in the Ferghana Valley
October 10, 2023
Digital entrepreneurship has gained its importance due to the rapidly evolving pace of digital technologies. The digital economy has the potential to increase productivity, income and social welfare. It creates employment opportunities in new markets and increases employment in some existing professions.
To discuss these and other topics related to cooperation in this area, the platform attracted more than 80 participants from three neighbouring countries in the Ferghana Valley, including leading digital experts, representatives of businesses, startups, investors, representatives of ministries and UNDP country offices.
The main objective of this event was to promote cooperation between representatives of the IT business, between the private sector and governmental and non-governmental organisations of the countries in the Ferghana Valley, as well as to establish new partnerships between representatives of digital entrepreneurship, to discuss the current status, development challenges and existing opportunities for cooperation in the development of digital entrepreneurship in the region.
The main topics covered at the conference included:
- The state of digital entrepreneurship development in the Ferghana Valley;
- Role and tasks of government, commercial and non-profit organisations in the development of digital entrepreneurship;
- Education in the sphere of Information Technologies;
- Partnership in the development of digital entrepreneurship.
In addition, separate discussions were held with local authorities, governmental and non-governmental organisations to identify opportunities to enhance the role of local authorities and regional organisations in the development of digital entrepreneurship in the region. A study tour to the Digital Technology Centre in the city of Margilan was also organised.
During the conference, the initiative to create a network of IT businessmen in the Ferghana Valley and promote the concept of "Digital Ferghana Valley" was also discussed. It is expected that this network will bring together digital businesses, government, commercial and non-profit organisations in this field and promote activities that stimulate the spirit of cooperation in the Ferghana Valley.
As noted by Mr. Ravshan Yunusov, Acting Cluster Leader of the UNDP Inclusive Growth Cluster in Uzbekistan, "In many countries, including those in Central Asia, digital entrepreneurship is seen as a critical component of economic growth, job creation and innovations in a wide range of economic spheres".
This initiative is being implemented as part of UNDP's joint projects with the Ministry of Employment and Poverty Reduction "Adapting population skills to the post-pandemic economy in Ferghana Valley" and the Ministry of Economy and Finance "Empowering the Youth to Embrace the Digital Economy and Digital Entrepreneurship".