Digitalization of Villages, Driving Rural Economic Growth and Improving Quality of Life

Digitalization of Villages, Driving Rural Economic Growth and Improving Quality of Life - The digitalization of villages is believed to be able to drive rural economic growth to unprecedented levels. Therefore, villages must be able to utilize digital connectivity to open access to information, education, and business opportunities for the improvement of rural community's quality of life.

This was stated by the Minister of Village, Disadvantaged Regions Development, and Transmigration, Abdul Halim Iskandar, during the launch of Digital Village and Blankspot Network Access in Sidoarjo Regency on Wednesday (August 23, 2023).

"We must be able to harness the progress of this era to accelerate development and improve the quality of life in rural areas," said the Minister, who is familiarly known as Gus Halim.

In addition, Digital Villages must also serve as a framework for building accountability, roles, and decision-making authority in village governance.

For Sidoarjo, according to Gus Halim, the most important thing now is to have fast internet access in every village. Currently, strong cellular signals are recorded in 313 villages, but weak signals in 5 villages.

However, Gus Halim continued, the digitalization of villages will accelerate the achievement of the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) in rural areas.

With digital villages, it will help reduce the gap between urban and rural areas and significantly improve the quality of life for rural communities.

"Currently, the achievement of SDGs in Sidoarjo is 52.31 percent. Digitalization will further enhance this achievement in the coming years," said the Honorary Doctorate from UNY.

Furthermore, the digitalization of villages will also accelerate the progress of Village-Owned Enterprises (BUM Desa). The data interoperability of BUM Desa will easily connect various Ministries and Agencies, regardless of location and time.

After obtaining a legal entity number from the Ministry of Law and Human Rights, supported by digitalization and the Business Identification Number (NIB) from the Investment Coordinating Board, BUM Desa will be able to access the digital market, making it easier to market village's superior products to various regions.

"The NIB opens opportunities for BUM Desa to sell goods and services through the LKPP e-catalog and interconnected e-commerce platforms," said Gus Halim.

In addition to the digitalization of villages, Gus Halim also praised the development of Self-Reliant Villages in Sidoarjo. In 2015, there were no self-reliant villages, and there were still 71 underdeveloped villages and 5 highly underdeveloped villages.

"In 2023, there will be no more underdeveloped villages, dominated by 152 self-reliant villages and 136 advanced villages, as well as 30 developing villages," said Gus Halim.

Meanwhile, in Sidoarjo, there are currently 302 Village-Owned Enterprises, with 277 active BUM Desa operating business units, and 64 Joint Village-Owned Enterprises.

"Currently, there are only 78 BUM Desa that have legal entities, as well as 2 legal entities for Joint Village-Owned Enterprises (LKD)," said Gus Halim.

During the event, Gus Halim was accompanied by the Secretary-General Taufik Madjid and officials from the Ministry of Village, Disadvantaged Regions Development and Transmigration, Minister of Communication and Information Technology's Special Staff Mochamad Hadiyana, Regent of Sidoarjo Ahmad Muhdlor Ali, to inaugurate the Digital Village and Blankspot Network Access.

Afterwards, Gus Halim conducted a teleconference with Kupang Village in Jabon District, Gebang Village in Tanjungsari Hamlet, and Kalikajang Village, as well as Sawohan Village in Buduran Subdistrict.

Accompanying Gus Halim were Special Staff Nasrun Annahar, Head of the Planning Bureau Cece Sanusi, Head of Data and Information Center (Pusdatin) Theresia Junidar, Forkompimda Sidoarjo, village heads, and Professional Assistance Personnel.


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