Tuesday, June 25, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

Digitization must be for equity

We must remember to leverage technology for collective good

Update : 22 Oct 2023, 09:18 AM

There is no questioning the impact that going digital has had on Bangladesh’s economy. About a decade and a half ago, we made a conscious decision to embrace digitization, and that has paid dividends, with our per capita GDP increasing five times over during this period.

However, we remain some distance away from truly being a digital nation, and for that, efficient digitization across all sectors remains imperative. To that end, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina earlier this week inaugurating five newly developed digital initiatives of its a2i program shows us that when it comes to the digitization of government services, we continue to be on the right track. 

What is particularly exciting is the future thinking nature of these initiatives, giving us a glimpse of the direction Bangladesh is heading towards as it marches on to try and become a developed, innovative nation in the next two decades. 

Bringing artificial intelligence and automation into government service delivery is just the first step to ushering in the era of Smart Bangladesh; as we have seen previously, while digitization will bring dividends, it will also bring with it its own issues, with digital divide remaining the most damaging side effect.

As technology becomes more and more ubiquitous, we must remember to leverage technology for collective good, and digitize keeping in mind those within our society that could be left further behind. 

Therefore, if we are to build not just a smart Bangladesh, but an equitable one as well, our digitization plans and policies must always keep in mind those most vulnerable and marginalized, so that Smart Bangladesh is a Bangladesh with zero digital divide.

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