Hashtag Zero Digital Divide Campaign has started to bring down digital inequality to zero level to establish equality of access to equality for all.

The a2i inaugurated this project through online participation of participants from 64 districts of the country at the conference center of Bangladesh Computer Council on Saturday evening.

Under the initiative, the creation of a donation hub to share digital devices and the internet among all came up during the inauguration ceremony. The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) has collaborated with this global program from Bangladesh to establish digital equality through South-South and triangular cooperation.

The a2i Head of Culture and Communication Puravi Matin presented the keynote on ‘#Zero DigitalDivide’ moderated by a2i Policy Advisor Anir Chowdhury. A2i Project Director Mamunur Rashid Bhuiyan delivered the welcome speech.

It was informed in the event that Bangladesh is launching an e-Quality Center to ensure equality in the use and participation of digital platforms worldwide. Around the establishment of that center, this global campaign has been organized to raise awareness to reduce the digital divide to zero. The campaign aims to raise awareness about building inclusive and sustainable digital systems in the world’s underdeveloped countries through the exchange of technology and innovation experiences.

UN Assistant General Secretary Kanni Wignaraja, BISS Chairman AFM Gauchul Azam Sarkar, Women and E-Commerce Forum We Founding President Nasima Akhter Nisha, National Press Club President Farida Yasmin and Commonwealth Disabled People’s Forum co-founder Mahua Pal participated in the main discussion. The ICT State Minister Zunaid Ahmed Palak presided over the event.

While speaking as the president, Palak said, I will be the first to participate in the device donation program to end digital discrimination. If everyone has access to digital devices and the internet, it will be possible to ensure equal rights for all. The country now has 13 million internet users reducing bandwidth costs and creating competition in the telecom business.

In the meantime, we have undertaken the ‘Triple A’ strategy to ensure internet access for all citizens to realize the vision of Smart Bangladesh by 2041. It is available to all, affordable to all, and awareness. That is why I call on everyone to declare the Internet as a fundamental right at the individual level. Because without the Internet we cannot develop skills, conduct business, or learn. Internet education, business, justice, health, and journalism cannot add extra value to anything.

 

The UN Assistant Secretary-General Kanni Wignaraja, while speaking as the chief guest, said that the biggest dark side of digital technology is division. We want to work together to bridge this gap. If we can identify this dark side, there is no way that 3 billion people in the world cannot be excluded from the power of the Internet. Still, 1.3 billion school-going children are away from this new medium of education. But after 2020, I came to Bangladesh again and saw the light of hope. Bangladesh has been able to set an example in the world in bridging the digital divide.

The resident representative of UNDP Stefan Lilar, additional secretary Naveed Shafiullah, child Nobel laureate Sadat Rahman, Moner Bondhu founder Tawhida Shiropa, and others were present at the event.


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