Mobile phone industry can play a helping role to achieve the 'Vision-2021' and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through indentifying opportunities that maximize business and social impacts, observed experts at a discussion.
"The event reinforced the importance of mobile technology in helping the Bangladeshi government to achieve its long-term development goals," said Alasdair Grant, head of the Asia Pacific for the Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA), at a dialogue in the city on Thursday.
Access to Information (a2i) Programme under Prime Minister's Office hosted the "National Dialogue for Mobile Services to Accelerate SDG Achievement in Bangladesh", an initiative of the GSMA, in partnership with the Bangladesh government, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) and the UK Department for International Development (DFID), and supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Association of Mobile Telecom Operators of Bangladesh (AMTOB).
Speakers at the dialogue focused on how commercially sustainable mobile services can be used to empower citizens in an accessible way.
Alasdair Grant said "By identifying opportunities that maximize business and social impact, working together, government and the mobile industry can make the 2030 agenda a reality, and in doing so, improve the lives of citizens across Bangladesh."
Both the government of Bangladesh and the mobile industry have demonstrated strong commitment to supporting the progress towards the SDGs, he added.
"By collaborating more closely on opportunities that align with each stakeholder's organisational goals, the government and industry have an exciting opportunity to unlock digital transformation for millions of Bangladeshis," he said.
Agriculture Minister Begum Matia Chowdhury, Advisor to the Prime Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Dr Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury, Principal Coordinator for SDG affairs in the Prime Minister's Office Abul Kalam Azad, Country Director for UNDP Bangladesh Sudipto Mukherjee, Director General (Admin) of Prime Minister's Office and the Project Director of a2i Program Kabir Bin Anwar and a2i's Policy Advisor Anir Chowdhury were present at the dialogue.