31 October, 2023
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Dhaka-Bangladesh; October 31, 2023: Hon’ble State Minister for ICT Zunaid Ahmed Palak, presented a 10-point declaration Titled “Dhaka Declaration” during a two-day international conference titled ‘DPI and AI for Zero Digital Divide’ held at Hotel InterContinental in Dhaka. The declaration, announced on Tuesday, aims to foster an inclusive and non-discriminatory digital world through the optimal use of Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) and Artificial Intelligence (AI).
The key points of the Dhaka Declaration 2023 included Equity in Digital Access, Harnessing the Power of DPI and AI, Responsible AI for Global Benefits, Collaboration, Partnership, and Alliances, North-South and South-South-North Triangular Cooperation, Education and Digital Literacy, Inclusion for Frugal Innovation Financial Inclusion, Technological Framework for Responsible AI and Gender Inclusivity.
The conference, chaired by ICT State Minister Zunaid Ahmed Palak and Education Minister Dr Dipu Moni, saw the participation of experts from renowned international organizations such as the World Bank, UNESCO, and UNDP, along with five other technology organizations. Notable attendees included Stefan Liller, Resident Representative of UNDP Bangladesh, Abdullah Sek, Country Director of the World Bank, and Gabriela Ramos, Assistant Secretary-General of UNESCO.
Education Minister, Dr Dipu Moni, emphasized the transformative impact of technology on education under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. She noted the adoption of the Master Plan of Blended Education to transition from traditional to modern education. Additionally, the recently launched ‘Noipunyo App’ was introduced to enhance the digitalization of education by making learning and assessment more efficient.
She called for global support to create smart education initiatives through AI technology and to eliminate digital discrimination, aligning with sustainable development goals. She expressed the hope that, by 2041, Bangladesh, known as Smart Bangladesh, would contribute to a smarter world.
ICT State Minister Zunaid Ahmed Palak underlined the significance of the Dhaka Charter on DPI and AI and the exchange of experiences at the international conference. He emphasized the need for a non-discriminatory digital world, powered by DPI and AI, to enhance digital services, making them more accessible and citizen-friendly.
On the concluding day of the international conference, 6 sessions/seminars were held on the best use of artificial intelligence (AI) in e-commerce sector, fintech, public service digitization, EdTech, healthcare, green ecosystem development.
These sessions shed light on how AI can contribute to building a non-discriminatory and inclusive smart state and building a sustainable world. The panelists in the sessions elaborated on the importance of AI in the digital economy. Apart from this, various technology sharing, policy, cyber security and mutual cooperation and creation of platform to solve multilateral and global problems were discussed through the open platform.
In the closing ceremony, Former Principal Secretary & Vice-Chair of Smart Bangladesh Network (SBN), Abul Kalam Azad shed light on the best practices of inclusive AI. There was a question-and-answer session with leaders of the technology sector, representatives of various government departments and academicians on the issues to be done in the implementation of Smart Bangladesh. ISPAB President Emdadul Haque; BCS President Subrata Sarkar; BASIS Director Ahmedul Haque Babu, E-CAB President Shomi Kaiser, BACCO Finance Secretary Md Aminul Haque and AMTB Secretary General Mohammad Zulfikar spoke in the question-and-answer session. Resident Representative, UNDP Bangladesh, Stefan Liller; Country Director of World Bank Abdullah Sek and ICT Secretary Md. Shamsul Arefin, Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Commerce Maleka Khayrunnessa; Chairman of Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education Professor Azad Hossain Chowdhury and Scientist Dr. Senjuti Saha participated in the discussion. UNESCO Assistant Secretary-General Gabriela Ramos and UNDP Chief Digital Officer Robert Opp also joined the video conference on the need and impact of artificial intelligence in the world.
Among others, leaders of the public and private sectors of various countries, academia, entrepreneurs and international experts from home and abroad, along with senior officials of Information and Technology Division and a2i were present.