Dig­i­tal Bangladesh

Southasia - - Briefing -

Bangladesh has launched an am­bi­tious e-ser­vices plat­form ti­tled ‘Dig­i­tal Bangladesh’ that aims to dig­i­tally con­nect the coun­try by 2021. The vi­sion is to con­nect peo­ple, in­crease ed­u­ca­tion, com­pete glob­ally and re­duce cor­rup­tion. For Bangladesh, a coun­try that lags be­hind the rest of the world, the ben­e­fits could be in­sur­mount­able. In an ef­fort to do this, the state-owned tele­com com­pany, Tele­phone Shilpa Sangstha (TSS) re­cently un­veiled a lo­cally pro­duced lap­top, ‘Doel’ that runs the Android op­er­at­ing sys­tem and is priced at $130. 10% of the lap­top is cur­rently pro­duced lo­cally but TSS Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, Mo­ham­mad Is­mail is con­vinced that, “Within six months we will be able to pro­duce 60% of the com­po­nents.”

Bangladesh is rapidly de­vel­op­ing its IT and ser­vices sec­tor and is groom­ing more than 5,000 soft­ware pro­fes­sion­als an­u­ally. More than 800 reg­is­tered soft­ware com­pa­nies are func­tion­ing and em­ploy­ing close to 30,000 pro­fes­sion­als and en­gi­neers that of­fer spe­cial­ized IT ser­vices. Govern­ment plat­forms are also dig­i­tiz­ing not only for the com­fort of the peo­ple but also to pro­vide trans­parency and re­duce cor­rup­tion. Close to 160 Bangladeshi com­pa­nies ex­port soft­ware to 60 coun­tries, with the US be­ing the largest re­cip­i­ent. In ef­forts to es­tab­lish IT clus­ters all over the coun­try, the govern­ment is also seek­ing in­ter­na­tional ex­per­tise in set­ting up an IT park near Dhaka.

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