Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s COO, held a virtual meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan to discuss Facebook’s investments in Pakistan.
Also on the agenda of the meeting was the company’s support for digital literacy initiatives in Pakistan and the work on COVID-19. The prime minister praised Facebook’s investments and programs in Pakistan and encouraged them to increase their presence.
He recognized the huge potential of digital platforms such as Facebook and the role they can play in providing global opportunities for Pakistani youth and entrepreneurs and how the opportunities they create can lift people out of poverty.
However, he also expressed concern about the global rise in hatred and extremism and recognized the immense challenge of tackling hate speech online.
Facebook’s Prime Minister and COO discussed the company’s connectivity investments and research grants awarded to academics in Pakistan this year.
Other topics covered included Facebook’s blood donation product, which has attracted more than 5 million people since its launch in the country, and Facebook’s support for the government’s polio free goal.
In 2019, Facebook also partnered with the Ministry of Information Technology’s Ignite Program to support local startups through the Innovation Lab and the Startup Circles Program. This association continues to hold virtual workshops to guide startups in Pakistan.
The two sides also discussed Facebook’s #SheMeansBusiness program, which trains nearly 6,700 women across Pakistan. Nick Clegg, Facebook Vice President of Communications and Global Affairs and Sarim Aziz, Facebook Public Policy Officer for Pakistan, also attended the meeting, along with Dr. Arslan Khalid, PM’s Digital Media Officer.
Before that, Sandberg and Khan last met in January of this year in Davos, Switzerland.