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ICT

The Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector is one of the fastest growing sectors globally, and in Nepal. After the coronavirus pandemic, in contrast to the other sectors, ICT sector was among the first to respond and switch to remote working, some even before the lockdown, due to the nature of the sector whereby many domestic firms, especially outsourced firms were already working remotely for western clientele. The Internet Service Provider (ISP) sub-sector in fact experienced a surge in demand for new and faster home internet connections, in the midst of and after the lockdowns. The pandemic and lockdown also necessitated and hastened the e-governance system in coordination with various arms of the government at national and local levels, development partners and private sector. However, e-governance and the digital economy have not only served the general public during the crisis, but also ensured efficiency, transparency and reliability of services for various sectors, including agriculture and manufacturing, at affordable costs. Further, digital payment gateways have reportedly experienced customer growth of upto 300% and increment in digital payments, leading to business growth since the lockdown.

As per the World Economic Forum (WEF), there were 756,000 unfilled jobs in the European ICT market in 2020; U.S. had 1.4 million more software development jobs compared to applicants; there will be a void of 10.7 million tech job roles by 2030 in the FinTech industry; and 4.3 million missing digital workers by 2030 in high-tech, media, and telecom industry. As per WEF’s Future of Jobs Survey, 2020, most of today’s job roles will be transitioned to Cloud Computing, Engineering, Data and Artificial Intelligence (AI) roles. Nepali students have ICT degrees, but not the right skills to fit into the global workforce, or the local market demand. There is asymmetry in terms of soft skills such as problem solving and analytical skills. The labor force participation rate of women in Nepal is stunningly high, but the proportion of these women who have careers in data and tech is very small. According to Nepal’s 2017–18 Labor Force Survey, 81% of the female population over 15 years old is economically active, but only 0.5% of these women and girls work in the ICT sector. Among Nepal Government’s priorities in skilling young Nepali in ICT are: integration of IT education in schools and colleges; geospatial/GIS education for schools and colleges; systematically strengthening Nepal’s education system’s capacity to impart advanced ICT education; and ICT literacy programmes aimed at combating digital exclusion in rural communities and underprivileged parts of Nepal. Skilling Nepali youth on ICT has the potential to boost Nepal job-market across different verticals. UKaid सीप is co-investing with key emerging private sector actors to build a more productive and equitable industry-aligned skilling system linked to high-value and futuristic employment and enterprise growth for Nepal.

With catalytic technical and co-investment support from सीप, Genese Solution, since 2019, led a skills development initiative that has successfully expanded adoption of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and other cloud-based solutions by industries in Nepal through enhanced capacity of academia and employability of students. Genese Solution, through Genese Cloud Academy, provides a wide variety of tools and resources to introduce, train, and upskill students in the Cloud Computing ecosystem. This partnership upgraded the capacity of 50 partner colleges across Nepal and successfully skilled over 2,100 students in future-proof job roles. Genese is promoting greater participation of women in ICT, with the likes of Girls in Tech, a U.S. based non-profit organization working to bridge the gender gap in technology. Genese and UKaid सीप also jointly launched a Province 2 specific chapter of Girls in Tech - Nepal together with the Province 2 Government. Similarly, with facilitation from UKaid सीप, Genese secured scholarships with the likes of Prabhu Bank and Nepal SBI Bank, setting up a CSR fund to support skilling of girls from Province 2. (View More...)

Fusemachines, a U.S. based company led by Nepali entrepreneurs works with a mission to Democratize AI, to make AI accessible to everyone. Through सीप’s support, FuseMachines has established a state-of-the-art AI centre in Nepal to impart skills and enable high-value jobs. Fusemachines’ short-term curricula—covering Machine Learning, Deep Learning, Computer Vision, and Natural Language Processing—that were iterated, tested, and refined and have been adopted by five colleges to build broader training capability and democratize access for Nepali students. (View More...)

The programme is also supporting Upaya: CityCargo, a cargo company for intra-city logistics, and it’s subsidiary DV Excellus Kheti which is an agri-food tech digital platform—by accelerating transformation of the intra-city logistics industry as well as farm-to-market delivery of agricultural produce, closing the supply chain logistic gaps, and boosting digitally powered self-employment—for drivers and farmers. सीप has helped integrate skilling, including digital literacy, in Upaya and its agri-business extension Kheti’s business model to drive up adoption of digital technologies; financing solutions; and inclusion. (View More...)

Another partner Laxmi Bank, an “A” grade commercial bank in Nepal—along with its micro finance partner Laxmi Laghubitta—is expanding and refining the use of block chain technology by integrating an Application Programming Interface (API) platform to make loan against remittance and other services more accessible and affordable for migrant households in Province 2 and Lumbini Province, targeting the migrants already working in and traveling to the Dubai and Malaysia Corridors. (View More...)

Genese Solution/Genese Cloud Academy

UKaid सीप’s partnership with Genese Solution, through Genese Cloud Academy, led a skills development initiative that has successfully expanded adoption of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and other cloud-based solutions by industries in Nepal through enhanced capacity of academia and employability of students. This partnership upgraded the capacity of colleges across Nepal and successfully skilled students in future-proof job roles. Genese is promoting greater participation of women in ICT, with the likes of Girls in Tech, a U.S. based non-profit organization working to bridge the gender gap in technology.  (View More...)

Fusemachines Nepal: AI Shikshya for Nepal

UKaid सीप’s partnership with Fusemachinesa U.S. based company led by Nepali entrepreneurs to make AI accessible to everyonehas established a state-of-the-art AI centre in Nepal to impart skills and enable high-value jobs. Fusemachines’ short-term curricula—covering Machine Learning, Deep Learning, Computer Vision, and Natural Language Processing— were iterated, tested, and refined with सीपs’s support and have been adopted by five colleges to build broader training capability and democratize access for Nepali students. (View More...)