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Oxford professor lauds Bangladesh’s progress in technology

  • Staff Correspondent
  • 21 June, 2022 12:00 AM
  • Print news
Oxford professor lauds Bangladesh’s progress in technology

Prof Stefan Dercon of Oxford University has appreciated the progress of Bangladesh in empowering the economy through digital transformation over a decade.

“The opportunity of digital transformation is not only for service delivery, but it changes how goods and services are produced, capital is exchanged, and how production and distribution are organised,” Prof Dercon of Blavatnik School of Government at University of Oxford said while presenting the keynote paper at a seminar in Dhaka on Monday.

BRAC Institute of Governance and Development (BIGD) of BRAC University organised the conference styled as "Digitalisation and New Frontiers of Service Delivery: Opportunities and Challenges" at Brac Inn in the capital.

In his keynote, Prof Dercon mentioned that digitalisation is creating changes everywhere including in Bangladesh, which is evident in the ways many services are offered.

The professor of economic policy also shared the key global insights on the use of digital technology for inclusive development and commented that "digitalisation at times can be chaotic but is a more systematic introduction of digital technology to the economy and society."

He supported his statement by saying that the RMG sector was made profitable due to the digitalisation of port management and transportation.

The conference brought together researchers, practitioners, and policy actors from around the world to share their experiences, learnings, and insights on a wide range of issues around digitalisation and development.

In a welcome speech, BIGD Executive Director Imran Matin said that digitalisation has come a long way since the government announced the Digital Bangladesh agenda in 2008.                 He said the conference was inspired by the idea that there is real potential for digitalisation to improve governance, development outcomes, and processes in Bangladesh.

“This conference also stems from a belief that we need a strong learning-focused knowledge agenda to be able to deliver on the right pace of the sequence strategy. We will need to deliver on a meaningful, impactful, and transformative digitalisation agenda for Bangladesh,” he added.BRAC University Vice-Chancellor Prof Vincent Chang said the academy has shifted focus to technology from social issues because digitalisation is crucial for any development. In his speech, Aspire to Innovate (a2i) Policy Advisor Anir Chowdhury shed lights into the achievements, future challenges, and opportunities of digitalisation in Bangladesh.

Anir said the country has come a long way following the Digital Bangladesh declaration of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina as 65 percent of the population has been connected to the internet.