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    Innovation laboratory launched in Kabul

    KABUL (PAN): An innovation laboratory, marking the beginning of a three-day workshop, was launched at a hotel in Kabul to bring together new media experts, journalists, bloggers, civil society leaders and technology developers from Afghanistan and abroad.

    Information Technology Director at Ministry of Communications and Information Technology Mohammad Aimal Marjan and USAID Democracy and Governance Office Director David Thomson jointly launched the first Kabul innovation lab.

    The facility presents a networking opportunity for emerging information and communication technology (ICT) developers in Afghanistan, the United States Agency for International Development (USIAD) said in a statement.

    Workshop participants will discuss the creation of local technological solutions, such as applications, tools, games, and blogs that respond to social issues in Afghanistan, and will pilot the use of these tools during the workshop.

    “Afghanistan’s telecommunication sector has improved a lot during the past ten years. This innovation laboratory will help us use new technologies to solve social problems in the country,” said Marjan.

    Organised by the USAID-funded Afghanistan Media Development and Empowerment Project (AMDEP), the lab showcased tools that can be used to generate social change in the health, education, citizenship, media, agriculture, and crisis-response sectors by telecommunication companies, online and social media enterprises, information technology experts, members of civil society, ISAF Telecommunications Advisory Team and representatives from the Afghan Ministry of Communication and Information Technology.

    “Over the last 10 years, we have seen an explosion of growth in Afghanistan’s media sector. Today, Afghanistan has at least 13 million cell phone users and over one million internet users, with rising numbers of bloggers and other social media users,” said Thomson.