Karachi (Saturday, 23 October 2020) Ignite – National Technology Fund of Ministry of IT and Telecommunications (MoITT) and Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (AKRSP) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to promote entrepreneurship across Pakistan through tailored business support services in the shape of financing and technical assistance to start-ups, and small and growing businesses here in Karachi this afternoon.

Honorable Federal Minister for IT & Telecom Syed Amin Ul Haque, CEO Ignite Syed Junaid Imam graced the MoU signing ceremony along with CEO AKF Mr. Akhtar Iqbal, General Manager AKRSP Mr. Jamil Uddin Hisam, and Executive Director AP in Central and South Asia Mr. Imran Shams. In 2019 Ignite signed an MoU with AKU to jointly support start-ups developing innovative ideas in healthcare and biomedicine and earlier this year.

Speaking at the occasion, the honorable Federal Minister for IT & Telecommunication, Syed Amin Ul Haque said: “This is a great initiative to build synergies between MoITT and AKDN and promote innovative, sustainable businesses to boost private sector growth in Pakistan and create employment and income-earning opportunities in the country”.

Federal Minister said, “A mutual understanding of both the parties will contribute in promoting public and private partnerships to develop an improved business environment in the regions. A partnership that has great potential to contribute to private sector development in Pakistan.”

Later Federal Minister Syed Amin Ul Haque was briefed on AKU’s recent health technology and innovation initiatives by Saleem Sayani, Director of AKDN’s Digital Health Resource Centre and AKU’s Technology Innovation Support Centre. The Federal Minister visited AKU Centre of Innovation in Medical Education (CIME) and was briefed about the state-of-the-art technology employed at CIME by Director Professor Charles Docherty.

CEO Ignite Syed Junaid Imam said “Joining hands with AP – Agha Khan Foundation will have a strategic impact in fostering entrepreneurship in Pakistan. Over the years Ignite has made earnest efforts to create entrepreneurial ecosystem in Pakistan that has led to attract lot traction from national and international venture capitalists.”

Earlier; Akhtar Iqbal, CEO AKF highlighted the objectives of the partnership. The ceremony also included showcasing of emerging trends and responses in Health Technology and Innovation that AP and AKU aim to facilitate through Health Venture 2020.