The news: Prime Minister Imran Khan participated in a virtual meeting with Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg. The premier encouraged the social media company to invest in Pakistan and discussed its support for digital literacy initiatives and other work concerning the covid-19 pandemic.
Investment: The prime minister welcomed the social media giant’s investments and encouraged the company to increase its footprint in Pakistan by further investing in the local industry. Raising concerns about the global rise in hate crimes, extremism, and other negative activities, he also commended the networking platform for making efforts to combat hate speech online.
Local industry: Khan also acknowledged that digital and social media platforms such as Facebook have great potential that can play an influential role in the local industry. He mentioned that Facebook can also use its platforms to provide global opportunities to the country’s youth and entrepreneurs. He commented that such opportunities can make a huge difference for the citizens of Pakistan and can lift people out of poverty and economic hardship.
The greater good: Sandberg and Khan also discussed many of Facebook’s community programs that aim to provide services to their users. They also talked about Facebook’s connectivity investments and research grants which have been awarded to Pakistan-based academics in 2020. Among others, Facebook’’s blood donation feature, which allows easier and faster access to blood donors, was also highlighted. More than five million people in Pakistan have signed up as blood donors through this feature since it was launched in the country. Facebook’s efforts and support to eradicate polio in Pakistan were also appreciated. PM Khan and Sandberg also discussed the company’s #SheMeansBusiness program, which provides women entrepreneurs with a platform to make valuable connections, seek advice, and progress. The program has imparted training to 6,700 women across the country so far.
Digital Pakistan: Previously, Khan and Sandberg had met during a meeting including heads of other digital platforms during the World Economic Forum. The premier had invited tech companies to invest in Pakistan and encouraged Facebook to consider investing in support of Pakistani incubators. He had also asked the tech giants to facilitate digital literacy initiatives across the country.