The Federation of Information Technology in Sri Lanka (FITIS) will be hosting Sri Lanka’s first-ever Internet Day on 6 and 7 April.
The inaugural event is themed ‘Digital Inclusion’ and is in line with the two key mandates conceptualised by FITIS based on the digital economy and the regional hub, as well as the 7-pillar digital strategy in association with the Ministry of Technology and ICTA.
‘Digital Inclusion’ has been made the theme of this event to acknowledge the country’s recognition of the need to prioritise its digital economy to face future economic and social challenges, much like the COVID-19 pandemic which wreaked havoc across all spheres of the economy.
Additionally, ‘digital inclusion’ also intends to showcase citizen engagement in a digital society and its positive impact in terms of access, affordability, and digital ability. The event will also exhibit Sri Lanka’s digital strategy, featuring digitisation initiatives already taken by both, the public and private sectors in several key areas as well as showcasing national priorities of enhancing the country’s digital infrastructure to facilitate a digitally empowered eco system.
The public sector’s implementation of digital IDs, Digital Payment Mechanism and PPS will be some of the focus points at the event while the private sector’s areas of focus would be FinTech, Agri Sector (Use of IOT), Digital Products for SME sector and the digital adoption by conglomerates. Additionally, over 15 key influencers are expected to speak on their experience in the digital ecosystem and over 10,000 participants are expected to attend the two-day session.
The events will cover a wide range of topics, with the focus being on small and medium scale businesses, social media interaction and major factors that drive community engagement. Additionally, topics in relation to digitisation in the future will also be covered, such as Digital Vision, Digital Strategies, Digital Policies, Digital Payments, Digital ID, Digital Start-ups, Digital Growth, Investors, Digital SMEs, Digital Products for overseas markets, Digital Tax, Digital Communication, Digital Education and Technology such as Cloud, Data and AI.
As the apex body representing the ICT industry of Sri Lanka, the first of the two mandates are centred on digitally transforming Sri Lanka, addressing digitisation on every level, with the mandate covering areas from smart cities, e-gov, connectivity, etc. The second mandate is pivoted on making Sri Lanka a regional hub for the purposes of Technology, which is contingent on developing innovative and vibrant startup culture, establishing investments based on technology, supporting the government to improve ease of doing business, etc.
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in his 2021 budget has given the green light towards the digitisation of government mechanisms and other market structures as well as marking the establishment of international e-commerce and e-payment systems and related mobile network systems as investment priorities. Events such as the Internet Day are a steppingstone in this direction of a technological revolution and the awareness it intends to bring on the rapid technological changes taking place is more than necessary.