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Dhaka Tribune

Sustainable development: Clean energy, small entrepreneurs, new innovations crucial

Experts, academicians speak on vision 2041 agenda for Bangladesh

Update : 30 Oct 2018, 10:11 PM

Bangladesh has to move towards the use of clean energy sources, inspiration of small entrepreneurs, and development of new innovations to achieve sustainable economic development, speakers at an international conference said yesterday.

Praising the country’s economic and social achievements, they also stressed the need for resolving issues related to manpower, terrorism, corruption, inclusiveness, and political stability to maintain the trend of economic growth.

The international conference, titled “Pathways to a sustainable economy: Vision 2041 agenda for Bangladesh,” was organized at the Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) Auditorium in Agargaon by the Dhaka School of Economics, Dhaka University, Jagannath University, Griffith University in Australia, University of Bath in the UK, and Bremen University in Germany. 

PKSF Chairman Prof Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad chaired the conference, while University Grants Commission (UGC) Chairman Prof Abdul Mannan delivered a speech as the chief guest.

Prof Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad said: “The country has had an immense number of economic and social achievements. All problems, including those with manpower, terrorism, corruption and political stability, need to be resolved properly to consolidate these achievements. In order to overcome obstructions, everyone should be included in development.” 

He added that it was important for Bangladesh to maintain its strong performance in various indicators, in order to be officially recognized as a middle income country in 2024.

Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad further said the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted around the globe are consistent with the spirit of the Liberation War of Bangladesh.

Prof Abdul Mannan said: “Bangladesh has made significant progress in economic development, but the biggest challenge is sustainability. To achieve sustainability, we need political stability and the government needs to empower various areas for further development.” 

“If corruption is eased, then it is possible to increase the current GDP by 2%” he added. 

Also addressing the conference, Griffith University’s Prof Moazzem Hossain said: “Bangladesh is entering a new phase of the development process. The country has to move towards the use of clean energy sources, inspiration of small entrepreneurs, and development of new innovations to achieve sustainable development.”

Delivering the keynote speech at a session titled “University-Industry Collaboration for Skill Enrichment and Industrialization: Global Picture,” Prof Boubakar Diawara of France’s PSL University said: “In order to achieve sustainable development, we may use renewable energy and increase efficiency. We need to develop new technology or improve the efficiency of existing technology. Such initiatives will help reduce damage to the environment.”

He also urged for the implementation of computational chemistry, which uses computer simulations to solve chemical problems, to develop chemistry education and research in Bangladesh.

Prof Boubakar Diawara further said it was necessary for developing countries to conduct research in solar energy, despite the sophistication of technology in developed countries. “We need research in solar energy, to develop experts who can help make decision on the choice of system to install. We need to be ready to develop out own technology in the future, as well as be involved in the development of new technology in developed countries.”

Research in solar power would also help improve simple and cost effective technology, such as solar water heaters, which more developed countries are less interested in researching.

The session was chaired by Prof Mijanur Rahman, VC of Jagannath University. 

Delivering a presentation titled “Biotechnology vision 2041,” Prof Zeba I Seraj said: “The planting of neem trees can help prevent desertification, while the planting of coconut trees along rivers can help prevent river erosion.”

She also stressed the need for tissue culture technology, to preserve endangered flora of the country, and highlighted the commercial potential of indigenous species of orchids.  

PKSF Managing Director Md Abdul Karim delivered the welcome speech.

Local and foreign experts will present a total 15 papers on topics such as industrialization, agriculture, food security, public health, nutrition, and climate change at the two-day conference, which is set to end today.

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