Dhaka — Bangladesh State Minister for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Zunaid Ahmed Palak has called on journalists to report on the success story of ‘Digital Bangladesh’ and present it to the people of the country and the world.
He said, “It is my expectation that the success story of Digital Bangladesh going forward, which is the best achievement of the last 12 years. You (journalists) will make a report on these and present it to the 170 million people of the country and the world.”
The state minister made the call in his keynote address at the inaugural function of a virtual workshop on ‘Role of Local Journalists in Implementing Digital Bangladesh’ on Tuesday.
The workshop was jointly organized by the Aspire to Innovate-A2I program implemented by the Cabinet Division and the Department of Information and Communication Technology with the support of UNDP and Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha-BSS.
Abul Kalam Azad, Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief of BSS, presided over the concluding session of the workshop. Managing Secretary Anisur Rahman presided over the inaugural function. Bass Infotainment Incharge Mahfuza Jasmine delivered the keynote address at the inaugural ceremony. Abdul Mannan, PAA. AJM Sajjad Hossain, Chief Message Editor, BSS, delivered the welcome address at the green event.
Madhusudhan Mandal, City Editor and Board Member of BSS, Mamunur Rahman, Communications Officer, ATUI, Adnan Faisal, Communications and Media Outreach Consultant, ATUI were present on the occasion. The closing ceremony was graced by the Joint-Project Director of A2I and Joint Secretary (e-Governance Branch) of the Cabinet. Dewan Muhammad Humayun Kabir.
Daulatuzzaman Khan, e-service specialist of A2I, and Afzal Hossain Sarwar, policy specialist, Ruhul Gani Sarkar Jyoti, chief news editor (Bangla) of BSS, and Mir Akram Uddin Ahmed, director of public relations at the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting attended the workshop as resource persons. 16 representatives of BSS’s Rajshahi and Rangpur divisions participated in the workshop.
Referring to the architecture of Digital Bangladesh’s vision, Sajib Wazed Joy, ICT Adviser to the Prime Minister, said, “Under his guidance, the A2I project and we have all worked together to implement this vision.” We have worked on how to bring 12-year-old Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s vision-2021 step by step from the center to the doorsteps of the people from the city to the village. In the last 13 months, 4 crore students have been able to continue their education despite the closure of schools, colleges, and madrasas due to the continuous implementation of these activities for the last 12 years.
He said, “Today’s workshop is not just to inform you, it is possible to reach out to 170 million people across the country through you.” We want to enrich ourselves by making people aware through you as well as taking important advice and counsel and the whole workshop has been designed in such a way that we can take the lead in the future of Digital Bangladesh.
He said that in the span of 10 years, by 2021, more than 14,000 entrepreneurs are working in about 7001 digital centers. Where 50 percent of women entrepreneurs are working. As a result, on the one hand, inequality between men and women, on, On the other hand, inequality between rich and poor and rural-urban inequality has been eliminated. As a result of this landmark decision of the Prime Minister, on the one hand, Bangladesh has not been discriminated against in the field of technology, rural-urban inequality has been eliminated and on the other hand, women and men have been given equal opportunity to participate in building our digital economy.
Zunaid Ahmed Palak said Sajib Wazed Joy emphasized human resource development as the most necessary aspect for building a digital Bangladesh. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina made ICT compulsory from class VI to class IX for the development of human resources. If ICT had not been mandatory in these ten years, there would not have been more than 1.5 million freelancers in Bangladesh.
He said the number of internet users in Bangladesh was only 5.6 million when Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina unveiled the Digital Bangladesh vision in 2010. 11 crore internet users have been created. The price of the internet has been reduced from Tk 78,000 per Mbps to below Tk 300. At the village level, fiber optical cable has been installed in 3800 unions, and 4G mobile network has been extended to every village.