“By encouraging the use of mobile technology across all aspects of society, especially driven by government agencies that may not have considered mobile a key tool they can use to achieve their development targets, Bangladesh can potentially leapfrog other developing markets in terms of growth and economic progress,” said Alasdair Grant, Head of Asia Pacific for the GSMA. “The government has already embraced the UN SDGs and incorporated the goals into the Vision 2021 plans, and it is clear that mobile can play a critical role in achieving those long-term goals.”
Vision 2021 is the government’s roadmap for Bangladesh to become a middle-income country where poverty will be completely eradicated by 2021 – the 50th year anniversary of Bangladesh’s independence. One of the components of Vision 2021 is Digital Bangladesh, which aims to bring socio-economic transformation through information and communication technology (ICT). To date, mobile has been an important element in the advances that Bangladesh has made.
“In Bangladesh, Sida focuses on deepening the support to basic health care, gender equality and women's rights, private sector development and the environment, as well as climate change adaptation, said Johan Hellström, Program Manager Specialist, Digital Development, Unit for Global Economy and Environment (GECO), Department for International Organisations and Policy Support (INTEM), Sida. “Sida believes that mobile technology is a cost-effective – and increasingly essential – large-scale tool for inclusive development. Delivering access to information can help in reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions, and increases the effectiveness of private and public services including health care and financial services.”
“UNDP feels privileged to partner with Bangladesh on yet another transformative development initiative. Long known as a rich laboratory for innovative development solutions, Bangladesh has creatively leveraged the unprecedented availability and use of simple technologies to pioneer simplification of governance and improvement of people’s lives,” said Mia Seppo, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Bangladesh. “With this new engagement, I am confident that Bangladesh will have plenty to offer for other developing nations to emulate, thereby contributing to global achievement of Agenda 2030.”
The GSMA report also lists ways in which the mobile industry can provide applications and services that are vital to a digital society, beyond basic connectivity, including :
Given the progress Bangladesh has experienced during the past few years, it is well on its way to achieving its Vision 2021 goals and contributing to the SDGs. However, several challenges still remain, including population growth, poverty and inequality, urbanisation and natural disasters and climate change.
The report highlights the opportunity for the government and the mobile industry to work together to unlock digital transformation for millions of Bangladeshis, and identifies seven areas in which collaboration could accelerate impact, including closing digital access and gender gaps, increasing digital literacy and improving health outcomes and financial inclusion.
The GSMA report is available at:
About the GSMA
The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, uniting nearly 800 operators with more than 300 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset and device makers, software companies, equipment providers and internet companies, as well as organisations in adjacent industry sectors. The GSMA also produces industry-leading events such as Mobile World Congress, Mobile World Congress Shanghai, Mobile World Congress Americas and the Mobile 360 Series of conferences.