In a remarkable stride towards a tech-driven future, the Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka has triumphantly executed multiple strategies as part of the Lighting Digital National Initiative. This ambitious undertaking, launched two years ago, aimed to infuse digital technology across sectors, fostering economic growth and empowerment.
The culmination of these efforts was celebrated at the Lighting Digital National Conference 2023 held at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall. During this event, stakeholders were duly recognized for their invaluable support in propelling Sri Lanka into a digital era.
The Lighting Digital National Initiative, focused on education, government, citizen capacity development, and regional progress, has evolved into a catalyst for change. The biennial Lighting Digital National Conference served as a vital knowledge-sharing platform, bringing together over 70 stakeholders, including government agencies, IT industries, international development agencies, educational institutions, and community development agencies.
This collaborative effort facilitated an internationally acclaimed regional development program, empowering communities across the country. Through this initiative, the groundwork for comprehensive digital transformation programs was laid, empowering citizens, and fostering economic growth.
Key accomplishments include the formulation of the District Digital Readiness Index, a new criterion for digital literacy, and digital transformation action plans for four districts. These initiatives aim to bridge digital disparities, ensuring informed decisions for future digital journeys. The redefined digital literacy criteria adhere to international standards, setting a benchmark for excellence.
The official launch of District Digital Transformation Committee action plans for Gampaha, Kalutara, Kegalle, and Galle districts marked a pivotal moment. These plans, rooted in the District Digital Readiness Index, signify a strategic move towards regional development.
The integrated capacity-building approach for empowering the public sector is already successfully implemented in 23 key government agencies. State Minister of Technology Hon. Kanaka Herath envisions a $15 billion boost to Sri Lanka's economy through the digital economic development strategy. He emphasizes the significance of capacity development and digital transformation across all communities and sectors, highlighting the pivotal role played by the Lighting Digital initiative as a solid foundation.
Keynote speaker Ms. Vishakha Nanayakkara, Board Member of The Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka, emphasized the pivotal role of capacity building in creating a citizenry adept at leveraging digital technology in daily life.
Chairman of the Federation of Information Technology Industry Sri Lanka, Mr. Indika De Soysa, lauded the Lighting Digital National Initiative for preparing necessary human resources and catalyzing regional development amid rapid digital economic growth.
Associate Chief Digital Economy Officer Mr. Sameera Jayawardena highlighted the initiative's role in laying the groundwork for the government's DIGIECON 2030 digital economy plan, achieving significant benefits at a minimal cost through a highly collaborative approach associated with the ecosystem.
Industry associations, including the British Computer Society (BCS), Sri Lanka Association for Software Services Companies (SLASSCOM), Computer Society of Sri Lanka (CSSL), and Federation of Information Technology Industry Sri Lanka (FITIS), actively contributed to this national initiative. Additionally, 253 volunteers, comprising industry experts, academia, and social activists, along with over 70 partner entities, contributed to the Lighting Digital endeavor in different capacities.
Distinguished figures at the event included Additional Secretary Waruna Sri Dhanapala, Additional Secretary A. K. R. Alawatta, CSSL President Dr. Ajantha Athukorala, British Computer Society Sri Lanka Office President Alonso Dole, SLASSCOM Vice President Nishan Mendis, Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation President Dr. Prasad Samarasinghe, ICT Industry Skills Council Chairman Sampath Trimavithana, and Census and Statistics Department Additional Director General Shyamali Karunaratne.