Digital Bangladesh: Dream turned into reality

13 December, 2019 12:00 AM printer

Bangladesh has achieved phenomenal success in the last one decade. Majority of the unprecedented pace of progress can be credited to digitisation of Bangladesh’s economy under ‘Digital Bangladesh’ policy. It is Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, under supervision of her ICT Advisor Sajeeb Wazed Joy, who turned the ‘Digital Bangladesh’ dream into a reality. December 12 marks the day on which the technology-driven national strategy of ‘Digital Bangladesh’ was initiated through the electoral manifesto of ruling Awami League for ninth parliamentary election in 2008.

The journey of Bangladesh towards knowledge-based economy from traditional agro-based economy began with the implementation of Digital Bangladesh. Several other countries including India, Maldives and Fiji followed Bangladesh in developing national policy on technology.

The transformation into a knowledge-based economy is the most significant progress for Bangladesh in the last ten years, driven by the national strategy of Digital Bangladesh. Digital financial services, including Nagad, have brought unbelievable changes in trends of economic life of the citizens. The government has maintained four pillars in the ICT sector such as connectivity, citizen services, infrastructure and human resource development.

Bangladesh is now the second largest source of online workers after India, with 16 per cent working population at online workstations. Bangladesh has taken mega projects for developing sustainable infrastructure to make the country a future destination of information technology sector. Development work has been going on in 28 hi-tech parks across the country which will contribute to the national economy by supporting local innovations alongside attracting foreign direct investment.

Bangladesh is the 57th satellite owning country having sent the Bangabandhu-1 satellite into space with the Bengali slogan of Joy Bangla. Now Bangladeshi satellite TV channels can transmit their programs to the viewers using own country’s satellite. This will save millions of foreign currency which had to be paid before to foreign satellites for similar service.

The government has developed infrastructure for digital services by setting up 4500 digital centres to ensure service delivery at citizen’s doorsteps, connecting 3800 unions with hi-speed broadband connectivity, which in next two years will stand at 4500. Our young, dynamic and IT savvy population can contribute to enormous future growth in the information and communications technology (ICT) sector.