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WIFI for reaching SDG 5

-Anonno Razzak

Bangladesh Women in Technology (BWIT) and Bangladesh Institute of ICT Development (BIID) will jointly work to implement the flagship initiative ‘Women and ICT Frontier Initiative’ (WIFI) of UNESCAP APCICT (The United Nations Asian and Pacific Training Center for Information and Communication Technology for Development) to achieve the SDG 5 goal.

To celebrate International Women’s Day, a program titled “Pre-launching of WIFI Bangladesh, Accelerating the Pathway of Digital Bangladesh” was held at Bangladesh Computer Council (BCC) Auditorium, ICT Tower on March 15, 2017 with the slogan “Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030”. The State Minister for ICT Zunaid Ahmed Palak attended the program as the chief guest.

WIFI aims to promote women’s entrepreneurship in Asia and the Pacific through enhancing capabilities of female entrepreneurs in ICT.

State Minister for ICT Zunaid Ahmed Palak said they are highly optimistic to create a pool of 30,000 more women entrepreneurs under Women and ICT Frontier Initiative (WIFI) Programme by 2018. The state minister made the remark at the pre-launching event of Women and ICT Frontier Initiative (WIFI) at the Bangladesh Computer Council (BCC) auditorium on Wednesday.

He also said, “I strongly believe, the WIFI programme will have a transformative impact on the lives of women entrepreneurs, their families and their communities.” “As our Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina emphasizes on women empowerment and promotion of ICT at every sphere of life, we like to reinforce our commitment to achieve the SDGs,” he said.

Palak also said that the government has provided freelance training to more than 20,000 women at the union level, the lowest tier of our local government. An advanced level training program is going on to train more women at the upazila and district level.

“We’ve initiated the women programming contest under the umbrella of National High School Programming Contest. So, we are prioritising the promotion of women’s entrepreneurship through enhancing capabilities of women entrepreneurs in ICT so that they can become more productive and their initiative would be sustainable,” the state minister said.

Attending as the special guest, Australian High Commissioner Julia Niblett said, “Women of Bangladesh already engaged themselves in e-Commerce and f-Commerce. They are doing well. Now, under the WIFI initiative, the industrious and creative women of Bangladesh will go forward with the help of this global initiative and government’s cooperation.”

Presided over by Showpon Kumar Sarker, executive secretary of Bangladesh Computer Council (BCC); Subir Kishore Chowdhury, secretary of ICT Division, Sara Taylor, deputy country representative of Asia Foundation, Melissa Balzan, gender and partnership specialist at UNDPalso spoke at the programme.

BCC of ICT Division, Bangladesh Women in Technology (BWIT) and Bangladesh Institute of ICT in Development (BIID) in partnership with UN ESCAP – APCICT as part of their flagship programme for reaching SDG Goal 5 and signed an MoU on December 7, 2017.

To implement the initiative in Bangladesh, already 20 master trainers (training of the trainers) received training at the BKIICT of Bangladesh Computer Council.

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