Use of ICT and mobile banking has boosted the rural economy in the country, the minister says
Information and Broadcasting Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud on Tuesday said Bangladesh was ranked third globally in maintaining the positive GDP growth rate amid Covid-19 situation, thanks to mainly implementation of Digital Bangladesh.
“Only 20 countries across the world have been able to keep up positive GDP growth rate amid the pandemic situation and Bangladesh is one of them. As per the growth rate 5.4%, the country was ranked third last year,” he said.
Hasan, also joint general secretary of the ruling Awami League, made the remarks while addressing the inaugural session of a virtual workshop as the chief guest.
National news agency Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS) and aspire to innovate (a2i), being implemented under the ICT Division with support from UNDP, jointly organized the workshop titled “Role of Local Journalists in Implementing Digital Bangladesh.”
BSS Managing Director and Chief Editor Abul Kalam Azad presided over the opening session.
The information minister said that the use of ICT and mobile banking has boosted the rural economy in the country to a large extent which has become an example for other courtiers across the world.
Highlighting different positive impacts of the ICT on various sectors, including agriculture, education, economy and media, Hasan said: “When we talked about the concept of ‘Digital Bangladesh’ in 2008, many people made jokes … it [the concept] was a dream at that time, but now it’s a reality.”
Due to materialization of the “Digital Bangladesh” concept, the brainchild of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s ICT Affairs Adviser Sajeeb Wazed, he said all the newspapers have launched their online versions and many entrepreneurs are opening online portals, which are helping the media outlets to publish news easily in a quickest possible time.
Noting that the government has already gave approval to 200 online portals, the information minister urged the journalists to maintain extra cautions in publishing news so no false or wrong information is published while competing for uploading news first.
ICT Division Senior Secretary NM Zeaul Alam addressed the event as the special guest and a2i Project Director Dr Abdul Mannan spoke as the key speaker, while BSS Managing Editor Anisur Rahman delivered the welcome address.
In his speech, NM Zeaul Alam presented an overview on the objectives of the a2i and said: “We (a2i) work on the four pillars — skill development, e-governance, infrastructure development in IT sector and IT export”.
Mentioning that a total of 900 government services have been brought under digitisation, and broadband connectivity has been ensured in 3800 unions across the country, he said different projects have been taken to bring all the unions in the remote areas under the connectivity.
A2i Project Director Dr Abdul Mannan in his address highlighted the a2i’s innovations and its services in implementing the vision of Digital Bangladesh.
Though it was a prime challenge of bringing the rural people under the digital services for materializing the vision Digital Bangladesh, he said, but now more than 290 digital services are being delivered by the union digital centres across the country.