Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal yesterday said that Bangladesh has made a place of “trust” in the whole world in the ICT sector.
He also expressed his firm resolve that the youth folk of the country would transform themselves as successful human beings and thus enrich the economy as well as project the beloved motherland before the whole world.
“Now the days have come for the youths to dream and thus materialize those,” the finance minister said, addressing the grand finale of the Bangabandhu Innovation Grant (BIG) 2021 as the chief guest held at the Bangladesh Film Archive Multipurpose Auditorium in the capital’s Agargaon area.
The programme was organized by the Innovation Design and Entrepreneurship Academy (iDEA) project being implemented by the Bangladesh Computer Council (BCC) under the ICT Division.
Presided over by State Minister for ICT Junaid Ahmed Palak, ICT Division Senior Secretary NM Ziaul Alam and Bangladesh Computer Council executive director and additional secretary Dr Md Abdul Mannan spoke on the occasion as special guest. iDEA project director Md Abdur Rakib gave the address of welcome, said a Finance Ministry press release.
Stressing the need for fully utilizing the potentials of demographic dividend of the country, Kamal said that the government had allocated Taka 100 crore in the budget for FY20 to promote startups.
In continuation of this, he said, another Taka 100 crore has been allocated in the budget for the current fiscal year (FY22) to facilitate the startups while a policy in this regard has also been finalized.
The finance minister informed that the young generation of the country would soon be able to take support from this fund as the government’s such efforts for transforming the youth folk as a well-organized, disciplined and production-oriented force would continue.
He said following the directives from Prime Minister’s ICT Adviser Sajeeb Wazed Ahmed, some 8,000 digital computer labs have been set up across the country where the children and the youths would be able to take education on ICT and thus groom themselves as worthy for leading the nation.
The finance minister hoped that the winners of the Bangabandhu Innovation Grant 2021 would be able to form giant companies like Google, Tesla and Amazon in the future.
He said the voluntary participation of over 7,000 entrepreneurs and startups from 57 countries, including Bangladesh, indicates that Bangladesh has made a place of “trust” in the global ICT sector.
Kamal also hoped that the iDEA project would be able to play a special role to form a proper start up ecosystem in the country through promoting the innovative ideas of young entrepreneurs.
Since the inception of start-up ecosystem in Bangladesh in 2010, the finance minister said, more than 2,500 startups are conducting their operations in the country and thus playing an important role in the economy.
He also informed that direct and indirect employment opportunities for around 15 lakh people have been created through startups in the country.