Acceptance Statement of Her Excellency Sheikh Hasina Prime Minister Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh
ICT Awards Nights on the occasion of her receiving South-South Award
The United Nations, New York
19 September 2011
Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim
His Excellency Dr. Winston Baldwin Spenser, Prime Minister of Antigua & Berbuda,
Dr. Hamadoun Toure, Secretary General, I.T.U,
Mr. Abdoulie Janneh, Executive Secretary, U. N. E. C.A.,
Ambassador Francis Lorenzo, President of South – South News,
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen
Assalamu Alaikum and Good Evening to you all.
I feel honored to receive this prestigious Information Communications Technology award, on behalf of the people and government of Bangladesh. This award is indeed the recognition of all the hard work that our government has put in improving ICT conditions during the last two and a half years of our tenure. Our election Manifesto had promised to our people a “Digital Bangladesh” by transforming Bangladesh into ICT based middle income country. Our government has been pursuing the fulfillment of this promise ever since its formation.
Our digital movement began with wholehearted efforts at digitalizing our administration, port facilities, customs and tariff agencies, banking and stock markets, schools, colleges, universities, government procurement, agriculture and health. The entire country is now digitally linked with 4,500 local government
digital centers. This remarkable project was jointly inaugurated by UNDP Administrator Helen Clark and me, early this year. We are also close to digitally linking all our 8,500 post offices across the country.
Our government has with great enthusiasm progressed in digitalizing education. All our schools have been given free internet services for facilitating their work from filling applications to downloading all text books up to primary and secondary level and obtaining examination results. Moreover, we have introduced 17 mobile lab vehicles that are travelling all over the country teaching usage of computers and internet services to school children in rural areas. With equal enthusiasm, we are now digitalizing our health sector. We have brought most of our 11,000 community health clinics under digital reach to bring health services to the doorstep of the common people.
Digitalizing of health services has enabled the free treatment of malaria tuberculosis, as well as AIDS screening up to district level. It has also reduced maternal and infant mortality rates. During the UNGA session last year, we received the UN Millennium Development Goal for reducing child mortality. This year we are very fortunate to be recognized for our ICT work by our peers from the South. It will certainly inspire us to work harder towards a truly “Digital Bangladesh”, a step further on the road to a prosperous and egalitarian country.
I thank you.
May Bangladesh Live Forever!