Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday (July 29) said that the country’s young generation would be the key-force in building Smart Bangladesh.
“Our young generation would be the most skilled manpower in each field in building the Smart Bangladesh,” she said while inaugurating the first ever two-day Bangladesh Startup Summit-2023 in city’s Hotel InterContinental as the chief guest.
Mentioning that Bangladesh will be a smart country by 2041, the premier said the young generation is meritorious and they have the ability to implement their new innovations.
Referring to her government’s different initiatives to develop skilled Human Resources to face the challenges of Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), she said they are setting up vocational and technical educational institutions in each upazila and arranging training facilities for future.
“To meet the challenges of 4IR, skilled human resources have to be created in advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, internet of things, block chain, robotics, big data, medical scribes, cyber security,” she noted.
Sheikh Hasina said that her government’s goal is to help create five unicorns (startup company with at least US$ 1 billion is called unicorn) by 2025 and 50 unicorn startups by 2041 where each unicorn startup will create employment opportunities for millions of people.
“I urge domestic and foreign investors to invest more in startups,” she said, adding, “We’ve formulated necessary policies to protect your investment.”
State Minister for Information and Communication Technology Zunaid Ahmed Palak made a keynote presentation in the event.
ICT Division Secretary Shamsul Arefin and Managing Director of Startup Bangladesh Sami Ahmed also spoke.
At the function, the Prime Minister also inaugurated “Smart Bangladesh accelerator” alongside “India-Bangladesh Startup Bridge” networking platform and “Smart Bangladesh Startup Fund” at the function.
Three audio-visual documentaries on Bangladesh Startup Summit, Bangabandhu Innovation Grant and Smart Bangladesh were screened at the ceremony.
Besides, eight startups were given startup award in eight different categories for their outstanding performance and they were Shopup, Pathao, bkash, 10 minute school, UNDP Youthco lab, Nagad, SBK Tech Venture and funded next.
Nagad managing director Tanvir A Mishuk and SBK Tech Venture managing director Sonia Bashir Kabir expressed their feelings on behalf of the award recipients.
In addition, grant was also given from the Bangabandhu Innovation grant among two entrepreneurs.
The Prime Minister said that her government has transformed the country into Digital Bangladesh enduring criticism, insulting remarks and ridiculous comment from different quarters.
“Yes, we’ve transformed the country into Digital Bangladesh. But, we had to face severe criticism, insult and ridiculous comments initially. Even, whenever there was any technical problem or fault, the quarter ridiculed us, saying ‘it was the result of Digital Bangladesh,” she added.
Sheikh Hasina said that Awami League included the “Digital Bangladesh” scheme when it declared their election manifesto in2008.
“At that time, we had to face many criticism. Now, I can say it proudly that we’ve transformed the country into digital one,” the Prime Minister said.
The premier said that the government has emphasised on creating skilled human resources in advanced technology to build a cost-effective, sustainable, intelligent and knowledge-based smart and prosperous Bangladesh by 2041._BSS.