June 17: The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors on Thursday approved $140 million for the Digital Nepal Acceleration (DNA) Project to expand access to broadband and engage more people in the digital economy, the World Bank said in a press statement.
“Countries that embrace a digital transformation can accelerate their transition to green, resilient, and inclusive development,” said Faris Hadad-Zervos, World Bank’s country director for the Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. “The World Bank is proud to support Nepal’s goal to promote an inclusive and secure digital economy that will connect people and businesses to information, services, and markets.”
The project will support the implementation of the Digital Nepal Framework, the country’s digital economy strategy that was announced by the Government in 2019. According to the World Bank, the project will improve access to high-quality and affordable broadband services, especially for people and businesses in rural areas.
It will also support and secure the delivery of digital government services through improvements in Nepal’s data infrastructure and cyber security, the statement further said.
Specific activities will seek to boost internet use, digital skills and entrepreneurship, and access to digital services by women, ethnic and social minorities, and persons with disabilities. The project will also create better job opportunities for about 1,500 people by providing digital skills development training, the World Bank said.
“The first World Bank-financed project in Nepal was for a telecommunications project in 1969. The DNA Project represents an evolution in Nepal’s economic growth story by investing in high-speed broadband connectivity and in digital skills and services that will position the country, its people and its businesses to be more competitive and integrated into the global digital economy,” the statement quoted Siddhartha Raja, World Bank’s task team leader for the project as saying.
The DNA project is financed by the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA).