eAsia 2011 opens in city, draws host of experts, policy-makers, industry leaders from the region
Asia’s mega technology event, eAsia 2011, kicked off in the capital yesterday, thereby putting regional information and communication technology focus on Bangladesh.
No other ICT event hosted in the country has seen so many foreign and local experts sharing their knowledge and experience under the same roof. Some 2,000 foreign and local representatives are taking part in the three-day event at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre.
With the presence of policymakers, senior government officials, industry leaders, international development agencies, civil society members, academia and investors, the event is hosting seminars and showcasing Bangladesh’s mark in the digital era.
A total of 30 international seminars and workshops are to be held in the course of the event. Along with many international technology companies, country pavilions of Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Japan and the Netherlands stand in the main exhibition area.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated eAsia, 2011, by clicking on a laptop.
“Our goal is to harness the power of appropriate information and communication technology to achieve development targets in education, health, employment, poverty reduction and economic development as well as empowerment of toiling masses,” she said, adding that IT should be used to bolster the standard of living of ordinary citizens.
She said the government had been familiarising the new generation with technology.
She noted that there was strong demand for IT-skilled manpower at home and abroad. She said such skilled manpower would contribute immensely to the manpower export of the country.
She said she hoped to build a nation devoid of any digital divide, irrespective of rich and poor, educated and uneducated.
“We have already taken measures to establish ICT Park. We have set up National Data Centre at Bangladesh Computer Council.”
Hasina said the government was also expanding e-governance and had taken initiatives to increase the bandwidth of submarine cables, enhance access to internet services and introduce 3G mobile service, besides arranging ICT training for professionals.
The prime minister visited a few stalls and released a commemorative stamp on eAsia conference.
State Minister for ICT Yeafesh Osman presided over the inaugural session.
Munir Hasan, consultant of the ICT ministry, said the main objective of the event was to focus on Dhaka as a knowledge and conference hub while branding local products around the globe.
He said there should be synchronisation between the new generation and technology and eAsia event was doing that successfully. At least 10,000 students went to the fair yesterday. It was very encouraging that on the first day ten seminars were organised and all those were successful, he said.
Mahboob Zaman, president of Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS), said, “So far representatives from 34 countries have arrived…If we can satisfy them, the IT industry of the country will reap the benefits.”
Having chatted with some foreign delegates, Mahboob said they were not aware of what was being done here in Bangladesh.
The event has been jointly organised by Bangladesh Computer Council and ICT division of the science and ICT ministry along with India’s Centre for Science, Development and Media Studies. Access to Information Programme is also a co-organiser.
-With The Daily Star input