Next-Generation Agreement Signed between ICT Division and UNDP

26 April 2017

ICT Division-UNDP MoU signing 26 April 2017 -4-5

Dhaka, 26 April 2017 – A new partnership has been announced between the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Division of the Ministry of Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology of the Government of Bangladesh and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Bangladesh. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed this morning between the two organizations at the Software Technology Park, Janata Tower, Dhaka.

As announced by the Honorable State Minister of ICT, Mr. Zunaid Ahmed Palak and Mr. Sudipto Mukerjee, Country Director of UNDP in Bangladesh, both agencies are optimistic that the partnership will help Bangladesh become a new leader in IT expertise area.

The partnership seeks to place ICT at the heart of the country’s national development efforts, fostering innovation to accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“In order to achieve SDGs, we must include ICT in all sectors and in all development activities,” said Mr. Zunaid Ahmed Palak, Hon’ble State Minister for ICT.

The signing of this new agreement is an important occasion in Bangladesh’s transition to a middle-income country under the government’s 7th Five-Year Plan. The economic and social potential of the ICT industry is significant, and provides avenues for integration into global markets and information networks.

“Bangladesh is the seventh largest market in the world and we are also enjoying demographic dividend. With this, we will make Bangladesh the next global IT destination,” said Hon’ble State Minister for ICT.

“Bangladesh is showing an impressive growth in the ICT area. Knowing the potentials of this country for homegrown IT expertise and creativity, Bangladesh could become a leader in IT and provide expertise services to other nations,” said Mr. Sudipto Mukerjee, Country Director, UNDP Bangladesh.

ICT Division and UNDP are already planning on cooperating on a series of projects designed to promote Bangladesh’s tolerant and inclusive spirit, using online platforms and partnering with the global Facebook giant.

An important focus of this cooperation under the partnership arrangement will be expanding opportunities for women and girls to equally participate in the country’s development. The partnership is announced only a day prior to the marking of “Girls in ICT Day”, a global initiative to encourage girls and young women to consider studies and careers in information and communication technologies, which takes place every year on the fourth Thursday of April and this year will be marked on 27 April 2017.

The MoU is a flexible and dynamic arrangement, allowing the ICT Division and UNDP to collaborate in designing and developing new projects and initiatives. Through closer cooperation, the institutions plan to harness and expand the positive power of the internet and communications technology, developing new strategies for engaging youth, improving technical skills of the population, and making Bangladesh a notable player in the fast-moving ICT industry.

The partnership is envisaged to be wide-ranging, from UNDP’s support to ICT Division in providing more responsive services, building capacity to implement ICT policy, and developing human capital across the whole of government for integrating ICT-enabled development. The partnership will connect Bangladesh to global innovation hubs that can bring new ideas and expertise to the country.

In expressing optimism for the future partnership, UNDP Country Director Sudipto Mukerjee praised the leadership and commitment of the Government of Bangladesh to develop the IT sector. “To develop knowledge societies we must bridge digital divides, give voice to the voiceless and connect the unconnected,” said Mukerjee. 

For further information, please contact:

Dejan Drobnjak, UNDP, , +88 02 55667788 Ext. 1826

Md. Ekram, ICT Division, +88 02 01915660306

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