How Bangladesh is going through a Digital Transformation

The year 2021 marks 50 years of Bangladesh’s independence. The country has come a long way since the days when it was separated from Pakistan.

Bangladesh is in the process of a transition from being known for being the world’s textile hub, a large number of workers working abroad to now digitally transforming the economy. This has assumed significance since the onset of COVID

In a keynote address by Sultana Afroz, Honourable Secretary & CEO, PPP Authority – Prime Minister’s office – Government of Bangladesh on ‘ Digital Bangladesh and Vision 2021’ at W.Media’s Digital Week South Asia edition, focussed on the plans that the government has outlined for accelerating digital transformation.

“Bangladesh has made a strong presence in the global economic market and has constantly been doing better with each passing day”, said Sultana Afroz.

She further added that the Bangladesh government is looking forward to accelerate the process of digital transformation which also includes incorporating digital services for the government and the promotion of the ICT industry. The promotion of the ICT industry is central to the digital transformation plans.

“The honourable prime minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina had launched more than four thousand digital centres in the country in the year 2010”, she added

“An important part of the mission 2021 is ‘Digital Bangladesh’ which aims to bring socio economic transformation to information and communication technology”, said Afroz

She further added that an immense progress has been seen under the guidance of the ICT experts and the architecture of Digital Bangladesh.

The Human Resources services have improved in the country. The Digital Bangladesh project also looks forward to make the private sector more productive and competitive.

Digital Bangladesh has gained importance across the country and everyone is looking forward to it, Afroz stated. The development of ICT infrastructure, technological skill development and e- governance are the areas which have seen immense development.

“We have managed to establish internet connectivity up to the union level. About 38 thousand union have access to the benefits of the optical connectivity”, said Afroz

She further added that a large number of the population has the access to mobile internet and with the help of such steps they are trying to reduce the digital divide in the country.

Telemedicine facilities have also been implemented ever since the COVID19 pandemic began in order to make it easier for people to consult the doctors.

In terms of the e- governance there is a flagship programme which focuses on simplifying the services for the government and transforming the government services.

The cost of the internet has also been reduced in comparison to what it was earlier, pointed Sultana Afroz.

Bangladesh has around 120 million mobile subscribers and over 43 million Internet subscribers.

She further added that the ICT industry in Bangladesh has increased from $25 million to $1 billion with the increase within just a year. The e- commerce sector has also expanded and coupled with mobile financial services.

The Bangladesh government is also working with the local workforce skilled in line with the global demands. They are also working to bringing changes in the educational curriculum in secondary and post-secondary sections to incorporate coding and programming related courses.

The goal of Digital Bangladesh is to bring transformations in Bangladesh and achieve the goal of the ‘Golden Bangladesh’ by creating an equitable society by ensuring equal distribution of resources.

There are also plans of incorporating digital solutions for the benefit to the masses, specifically people who don’t have access to internet, smartphones and help in bridging the digital divide.

The government of Bangladesh also plans on providing internet services in the rural areas and has adopted two packages to connect 1407 and 1293 unions under the internet connectivity plans.

They also plan to improve the network infrastructure and provide the services in all districts. This will improve the connectivity in the rural areas of Bangladesh but will also improve the quality of life.

Sultana Afroz also spoke about the Bongobondhu High Tech City project which aims at generating investments in the high tech business sectors.

Anuradha Nagar

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