Minister of State for Information Technology & Telecommunication
Ms. Anusha Rahman, a Pakistani lawyer, politician and professional with previous association with the ICT sector, is the Minister of State for Information Technology and Telecommunication in Pakistan. She graduated in Law and secured a Masters in Law from University College London, United Kingdom, specializing in Law and Economics of regulated industries, networks and markets.
Ms. Rahman, in a short time span of just over three years in office has initiated a number of policy measures, projects and programs that have transformed Pakistani ICT markets and landscape to the next level of development. She has successfully overseen the auction of spectrum for the Next Generation Mobile Services (3G / 4G) in a fair and transparent manner, recognized and appreciated around the world. Resultantly, broadband penetration has reached to over 19% from mere 3% in early 2014. As a further boost to mobile broadband penetration, a second round of spectrum auction has also been carried out recently under her vision to provide enhance quality of services to the people. She aims at achieving 38% broadband penetration in the country by 2020.
She has undertaken several policy and legislative initiatives to achieve the vision of knowledge based society. She spearheaded formulation of Telecom Sector Policy 2015 to address emerging trends in the sector. She envisions availability of universal, affordable and quality telecommunication services provided through open and competitive markets for the benefit of people.
As a Chairperson Universal Service and National ICT Research & Development Funds Boards, the Minister has rolled out several projects targeted at bridging the digital divide between urban and rural areas of the Country, penetration of broadband and to nurture research culture in Pakistan. As a result of her emphasis on sustainable public private partnership under these programs, she has also set a target of coverage of underserved and un-served areas by 2018.
Ms. Rahman believes in providing opportunities to young entrepreneurs and talented youth of Pakistan. Special focus has been accorded to development of technology entrepreneurship culture in Pakistan. A national incubation center has been established for provisioning of incubation and hatchery for start-ups and to nurture entrepreneurship. She strongly advocates empowerment of women and the disadvantaged segments of society including persons with disabilities through the use of ICTs. In this regard she has spearheaded substantial nationwide initiatives for which she has been widely acclaimed.
She is pioneering the e-Governance initiative in Pakistan with an objective of increasing overall public administration efficiency, enhancing transparency, improving citizens’ access to services and enhancing their participation in democratic governance processes. Her leadership and apt policy interventions have also led Pakistan to be among top five nations in terms of freelancing in IT products globally. The export of IT products has increased significantly since 2013.
The efforts of Ms. Anusha Rahman have been widely recognized internationally as well. She has emerged as a very prominent figure globally when it comes to development agenda of ICT sector. Under her dynamic leadership, Pakistan has been elected as member of the ITU Council and has also been awarded the “Spectrum for Mobile Broadband Award” by GSMA in 2015. More recently, for her ICT related initiatives she has been recognized as GEM-TECH 2015 Global Achiever by ITU & UN Women for her ICT policy initiatives.