Nepal is at the nascent stage of an ICT revolution – with very high mobile penetration which is going to play a key role by 2030. ICT will touch each and every Nepali, city dwellers as well as poor farmer in the village by 2030. Internet of things (IOT) will play a key role in transformation as every Nepali will have access to Internet via mobile phone; internet will be fast, reliable and readily accessible, and IOT and few smart cities will be a reality. “Talent is distributed equally but not opportunity” but by 2030 ICT will enable every Nepali to grab the local/global opportunities. Three major areas where ICT will play a vital role in transforming Nepal are
Education: Education will be supplemented with national and international online materials. One example is academicearth.org which offers free courses from top universities like Harvard University, Stanford University, MIT etc. With rapid advancement on ICT, students will not only need to learn but need to learn how to learn. They will have to constantly learn new technology just to survive. With this, gaining knowledge will be more important than having a degree.
Work: Distributed and Crowdsourcing will be the norm, hiring globally on-demand workers will be the new way of getting work done. Companies will hire wherever they can find talent. Nepal can take full advantage of this as we have a number of educated and talented people who will be producing products which can be delivered using ICT and without physical port. Companies like CloudFactory already have 2,200+ cloudworkers (workers working from home to digitize data) in Nepal.
Banking: Hard cash, ATM, physical bank will be the thing of the past. Just like m-Pesa (Kenya) and bKash (Bangladesh) we believe local companies like iPay and eSewa will practically reach every Nepali and provide banking and payment services directly from their mobile phone. This will allow everyone to buy/sell what they have/need and earn/pay using their mobile. Mobile banking will play a vital role in reducing corruption and increase accountability by the means of digital trail.
All in all, poor people will enter the digital age which will lead to financially independence, and as a result they will be able to contribute to Nepal’s economic growth.