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Steps to set up two digital economy hubs

Published : 30 Aug 2023 10:17 PM | Updated : 31 Aug 2023 04:33 PM

The Government has announced its plans to establish two Digital Economy Hubs aimed at fostering a conducive environment for the ICT industry.

These hubs will offer policy support, enhance skill development, bolster digital capabilities in both public and private sectors, and cultivate a community of local innovators.

In a significant step towards this goal, separate Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) were formalized at the Bangladesh Computer Council (BCC) auditorium on Wednesday. 

The MoUs were signed by BASIS and BACCO, in collaboration with the ICT Department’s Enhancing Digital Government and Economy (EDGE) project, which is backed by funding from the World Bank. 

The signing ceremony was graced by the presence of State Minister for ICT Zunaid Ahmed Palak and World Bank Regional Director Pankaj Gupta. The MoUs were endorsed by EDGE Project Director Nahid Sultana Mallick, BASIS President Russell T Ahmed, and BACCO President Waheed Sharif, representing their respective organizations.

ICT State Minister said the government’s commitment to nurturing skilled human resources in advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics, big data, blockchain, and 3D printing. The objective is to align with the ongoing fourth industrial revolution. To achieve this, the EDGE project aims to train 100,000 graduates and post-graduates in these cutting-edge fields.

He also said building upon the success of the Digital Bangladesh initiative, the government is embarking on the Smart Bangladesh program. The ultimate aim of this program is to position Bangladesh as an intelligent and innovative global entity by 2041. 

“As part of this endeavor, the government is establishing Research and Innovation Centers (RIC) in ten public and private universities across the nation. These centers will serve as hubs for fostering innovation and research. It is anticipated that the innovation and research stemming from these RICs will give rise to entrepreneurs who will contribute significantly to employment generation,” he added.

The agreements reached between the signatories entail collaborative efforts in creating digital economy centers (hubs). These hubs will serve as dynamic spaces for innovation, knowledge exchange, and skill enhancement. 

Business organizations will pool their expertise and networks to develop these hubs. Furthermore, partnerships with international organizations will be forged to facilitate knowledge and resource sharing. The collaboration also involves the generation of content related to the fourth industrial revolution, catering to participants within the digital economy.

Key figures at the signing ceremony, including Secretary of the ICT Department MdSamsulArefin, BCC Executive Director Ranjit Kumar, Project Director of the EDGE Project Nahid Sultana Mallick, Policy Advisor of the EDGE Project Abdul Bari Tushar and Regional Director of the World Bank Pankaj Gupta shared their insights on the occasion.

As part of the event, the State Minister unveiled the inaugural issue of the newsletter titled ‘Tech Insight’ a publication by the EDGE project, and edited by the project’s Communication Specialist Ajit Kumar Sarkar.

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