Bangladesh’s Smart Initiative Uses AI to Bridge Digital Divide
In an effort to bridge the digital divide in Bangladesh, experts believe that the best use of digital public infrastructure (DPI) and artificial intelligence (AI) can play a crucial role. This insight was shared at the international conference titled DPI and AI for #ZeroDigitalDivide, organized by the government’s Aspire to Innovate (a2i) in collaboration with the ICT Division.
Anir Chowdhury, a policy advisor, highlighted the importance of the DPI approach in eliminating the digital divide and achieving zero digital divide in Bangladesh. The conference focused on exploring the feasibility of creating an inclusive and digitally-empowered world through the optimal utilization of DPI and AI.
DPI encompasses various digital resources and services for the public, such as internet access, open data, cybersecurity, digital identity, e-government services, and open source software. The goal is to ensure accessibility, affordability, and security in order to promote digital inclusion and societal advancement.
Zunaid Ahmed Palak, the state minister for ICT, emphasized the potential for prosperous and sustainable development through the integration of DPI and AI. He pointed out that over the past 14 years, Bangladesh has successfully delivered digital services to marginalized communities through a bottom-up approach. More than 9,000 digital centers have been established to provide civic services to rural areas, with many of these centers being operated by women entrepreneurs.
Efforts are also being made to bridge the gender-based digital divide by reducing the gender gap in labor force participation and empowering women in leadership roles. The planning minister, MA Mannan, highlighted that Bangladesh is progressing towards building a smart Bangladesh after successfully implementing its vision for a Digital Bangladesh. However, to ensure sustainable development by 2041, it is essential to bridge the digital divide.
The conference was moderated by Samira Zuberi Himika, senior vice-president of the Bangladesh Association of Software & Information Services, and addressed by other key figures in the ICT Division. The event emphasized the need to create a digitally inclusive society in Bangladesh by leveraging DPI and AI effectively.
By embracing technological advancements and utilizing DPI and AI, Bangladesh aims to overcome the challenges posed by the digital divide. The country’s commitment to digital transformation and inclusivity is expected to pave the way for a prosperous and digitally empowered future.