The US government on Wednesday launched e-learning platform “Politics Matters” which is part of its development agency USAID’s Strengthening Political Landscape Project.
US Ambassador Peter Haas, Information Minister Dr. HasanMahmud, Standing Committee Member of opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury, and Presidium Member of Jatiya Party Barrister Shamim Haider Patwary were present at the launching.
“….while I enjoy meeting with members of individual parties, I particularly enjoy settings like this where multiple parties join together despite their policy differences,” the ambassador said as the programme saw the presence of political leaders of different parties.
“This is a hallmark of democracy. And just to be clear, the United States does not favor any political party in Bangladesh over any other. The United States is proud of our close partnership with Bangladesh over the past 50 years,” he said.
“We continue to be a strong supporter of this country’s efforts to improve the quality of life for all its citizens. And a fundamental way to improve the quality of life for citizens is to give them the opportunity to participate in free, fair, and transparent elections held in accordance with international standards.
“What better way is there to allow the people to share their voices on what matters to them than through their ability to freely cast their ballot?
“I know from the United States’ experience that holding free and fair elections is a complicated task. And one that requires every part of society. From the election commission to the government, from the media to law enforcement, from civil society to political parties, everyone has an important role to play.
“If any one of them fails to fulfill their responsibility – or if any one of them prevents another from fulfilling their responsibility, free and fair elections become nearly impossible.
“Today, we are launching the Politics Matters e-learning platform (www.politicsmatters.com.bd). This free Bengali-language platform offers international-standard training modules on political party practices, leadership development, conflict resolution, and democracy strengthening to the smartphones and computers of political party activists and leaders,” he said, adding that he is “particularly excited about the potential of the Politics Matters platform to train the next generation of Bangladesh’s political leaders.”
“By making this type of training accessible to all, we give Bangladeshi women and youth the tools to become effective political activists and leaders. One of the training modules that particularly struck me is the one on women’s empowerment. I hope this training will help amplify female voices in the political arena,” he said.