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State Minister for ICT Division Zunaid Ahmed Palak said the government would ensure 100 percent internet penetration and 50 percent broadband connectivity for all by 2021.

“We have already materialized programs like BanglaGovNet, InfoSarker-2 and impersonating the InfoSarker-3 program under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and close direction of her ICT Affairs Adviser Sajeeb Wazed.

Besides, another program named Connected Bangladesh is in pipeline. With these programs, we will ensure 100 percent internet for all and 50 percent broadband connectivity for the people of Bangladesh,” he said.

Palak came up with observations while addressing plenary session of Global Cyber Space Conference 2017 titled ‘Bridging the digital divide – empowering by technology led inclusiveness’ in New Delhi, India on November 23.

“We are delivering almost 200 types of public services from the more than 5,000 Union Digital Centres. So, the people are availing digital services without harassments,” the state minister added.

Mentioning different initiatives for achieving the targets of Digital Bangladesh, Palak said the key challenges for reducing digital divide are- the inefficiency of digital infrastructure and services, the lack of affordable network services, devices and applications, the lack of digital skills to create or add values and most importantly, the lack of coordinated efforts to foster social and economic equality. ”

“So, we are focusing to lessen those barriers and materializing some notable activities. Through these, we have a very specific target to achieve $5bn from hardware, software and R&D sectors of Bangladesh by 2021,” Palak said.

Alphons Kannanthanam, Minister of State for Electronics and IT and Tourism of India, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, Minister of Communication of Ghana and Director General of International Telecommunication (ITU) Haolin Zhao delivered their speech on the topic.

IT Ministers over 20 countries and senior delegates from 136 countries are taking part in Global Cyber Space Conference 2017.

Prime Minister of India, Norendra Modi inaugurated the conference on November 23. ■

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