E-Governance A Shared Priority For EU, Bangladesh In Coming Years: Ambassador Whiteley


A consultation workshop on ‘Supporting Transparent E-Governance Policies in Bangladesh’ was held in Dhaka Wednesday which is seen as a “shared priority” for the European Union (EU) and Bangladesh in the coming years.

State Minister for Information and Communication Technology Zunaid Ahmed Palak spoke at the workshop as the chief guest while ICT Division Senior Secretary N M Zeaul Alam spoke as special guest.

“Much appreciated the very active participation by ICT State Minister Palak at consultation workshop on e-governance – a shared priority for the EU and Bangladesh in the coming years,” Head of the EU Delegation to Bangladesh, Ambassador Charles Whiteley, who delivered the closing remarks, tweeted.

The EU Ambassador said they appreciate the vision of ‘Smart Bangladesh’ by 2041. “We are really with you (Bangladesh). It’s a really important area for us.”

He said they want to support “transparent, responsive, accountable and timely” delivery of services, something they aspire for their own people, too. 

“Let’s focus on capacity-building and responding to those needs,” said the EU ambassador, adding that they want to do more on non-traditional areas of cooperation.

To transform Bangladesh into a knowledge-based economy by 2041 (‘Smart Bangladesh Vision’), the government of Bangladesh’s ‘Digital Bangladesh Vision’ (launched back in 2009) views digital development as core to its overall economic development strategy.

The government’s “E-government Master Plan” of 2019 provides a strategic guideline for government innovation using Information Communications Technology (ICT).

With its digital transformation policy, the European Union (EU) has extensive experience in public sector digitalisation.

Additionally, Bangladesh is part of the EU’s recent “Strategy for the Indo-Pacific” (2021), in which digital governance and partnerships are defined as a key priority.

According to the 8th Five Year Plan, the Government of Bangladesh (GoB) views digital development as core to its overall development strategy and aims to transform Bangladesh into a digital economy by 2021 (‘Digital Bangladesh’) and to a knowledge-based economy by 2041 (‘Smart Bangladesh’).

The European Union (EU) has also identified digitalisation and e-governance as one of its current and future policy and programme priority areas.

In this context, the EU has prepared, with the support of a team of external consultants, a report, which identifies policy initiatives where the EU can concretely support GoB with their digital transformation plans considering existing opportunities and constraints and following a sustainable and citizen-centric approach.

The consultation workshop discussed and validated the preliminary findings of the ‘Bangladesh Digital Readiness Assessment’ draft report developed with the support of a team of external experts as part of the European Union’s support to the government of Bangladesh’s digital transformation policies.

The workshop aimed to prepare a list of recommendations on priority policy areas and initiatives by gathering relevant digitalisation and e-governance stakeholders.

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