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WB will continue to aid Bangladesh’s digital journey

UNB . Dhaka
22 Jan 2023 19:33:03 | Update: 22 Jan 2023 22:01:12
WB will continue to aid Bangladesh’s digital journey
— UNB Photo

Visiting World Bank (WB) Managing Director Axel Van Trotsenburg on Sunday praised the excellent progress of 'Digital Bangladesh' and promised to continue their support in Bangladesh's digital journey to flourish the ICT sector.

His assurance came at a function organised by the ICT Division, marking the "Celebration of 50 years of Bangladesh Partnership," at the conference room of the ICT Division.

Making comments on the powerpoint presented by the State Minister for ICT, Zunaid Ahmed Palak on the progress of Digital Bangladesh and on the plans to build Smart Bangladesh, Trotsenburg said the World Bank is one of the important partners of Bangladesh's development. "Both Bangladesh and the WB are ready to work together in the days to come."

He welcomed Bangladesh's initiative to flourish startup culture and laid emphasis on exploring the latent talent of the young generation.

Speaking on the occasion, Palak said they have already developed a Smart Bangladesh Masterplan which proposes the implementation of more than 40 projects in line with four pillars - Citizen Government, Smart Government, Smart Economy, and Smart Society.

He said the Smart Bangladesh vision has been announced by the visionary and prudent leader, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, after the successful implementation of Digital Bangladesh.

The ICT State Minister lauded the WB for financing various projects, including Enhancing Digital Government and Economy (EDGE) project, which goes with the objectives of Smart Bangladesh.

Seeking assistance from the WB, Palak said $300 million will be required for building a new data centre, $50 million for establishing Smart Digital Leadership Academy, $100 million for Sheikh Russel Digital Lab and School of Future, and $300 million for establishing 35 Sheikh Kamal IT Training and Incubation Center.

Managing Director of Startup Bangladesh, Sami Ahmed who also presented a power point focusing on startups, said the government will build at least 50 unicorn startup companies by 2041 following the Smart Bangladesh Plan.

Executive Director of Bangladesh Computer Council (BCC) Ranajit Kumar, Managing Director of Bangladesh Hi-Tech Park Authority Dr Bikarna Kumar Ghose, Addition Secretary of ICT Division Dr Khandoker Azizul Islam, Managing Director of Startup Bangladesh and Adviser of EDGE Project Sami Ahmed, Project Director of Enhancing Digital Government and Economy (EDGE) Dr Muhammed Mehedi Hassan, Senior Operations Officer of World Bank's Regional (SAR) Vice President Martin Raiser, Country Director, SACBB Abdoulaye Seck, Infrastructure lead Rajesh Rohatgi, and Digital Development Specialist Suparna Roy were, among others, present at the function.

Three beneficiaries described their success stories after getting training from the WB-financed LICT project. Later the WB delegates visited the Data Center and Idea Project set up at the ICT Tower.