Digital Cooperation: PM calls for strong global partnership

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday stressed the need for a “strong global partnership” on digital cooperation for the future generation to achieve common goals.

“We look forward to forging a strong global partnership on digital cooperation to achieve our common goals,” she told a high-level virtual event on the sidelines of the 75th United Nations General Assembly at the UN headquarters in New York.

While delivering her pre-recorded statement at the event titled “Digital Cooperation: Action Today for Future Generations”, the PM said Covid-19 pandemic has revealed the strength of digital services and also exposed the stark digital divide.

“Around half of the world’s population does not have access to basic internet. We must close this gap,” she said.

Hasina said the Bangladesh government has envisioned a “Digital Bangladesh” by 2021, and the country witnessed a boom in the internet due to its push for digitalisation.

“The total number of internet users stood at 103.48 million. Our digitaliastion has afforded our people huge opportunities to become changemakers,” she said.

The premier said the government’s focus on digital connectivity has facilitated economic development and catalysed social changes, including women’s empowerment. “It’s helping SDGs implementation and fighting against Covid-19.”

“As we set to transform Bangladesh into an advanced economy by 2041, we wish to place our younger generation at the centre of this transformative journey,” she added.

The premier pledged to set up digital academies and centres of excellence in every secondary school of the country by 2030 considering emerging job markets led by the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Paul Kagame, president of Rwanda, Chua Sock Koong, CEO of Singtel, Tim Berners Lee, founder of WWW, and Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University were present at the event as panelists.

Hasina joined the event at the invitation of Henrietta Fore, executive director of United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef), and Houlin Zhao, secretary general of International Telecommunication Union (ITU).


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