March 1, 2024, 3:42 pm


Diplomatic correspondent

Published:
2023-11-27 23:16:15 BdST

Govt, UN to work together range of initiatives for development of smart cities


The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) and the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Division agreed to working closely on a range of initiatives encompassing e-governance, digital inclusion, and the development of smart cities.

To this respect, the parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Monday (27 Nov) at the UNOPS Dhaka Office.

The MoU establishes a framework of cooperation and collaboration between UNOPS and ICT Division in various areas of common interest.

With the signing of the deal, the parties will collaborate in institutional development, capacity building, pre-implementation project support, project formulation support, appraisal & feasibility studies and capacity building support on public procurement, knowledge sharing on international best practices, and technical advisory support for enhancing ICT and digitalization capacities, reads a press release of the UNOPS.

On consultation and exchange of information, both parties will engage in periodic meetings to review ongoing activities, plan future endeavors, and keep each other informed of matters of common interest.

The MoU allows the Parties to conclude project agreements to implement specific activities, with costs and expenses apportioned accordingly. The MoU will be in effect for a period of Five (5) Years, with the possibility of extension by mutual written agreement.

The signing ceremony represents a significant milestone in fostering a partnership that aligns with the global agenda for sustainable development and the Government’s vision of a Smart Bangladesh.

The signing ceremony took place in presence of Mohammad Navid Safiullah, Additional Secretary, ATM Ziaul Islam, Joint Secretary, Nargis Parvin, Deputy Secretary, Md. Zakir Hossain Baccu, Deputy Secretary, Md. Zillur Rahman, Deputy Secretary and Mohammed Aminul Ahesan, Deputy Secretary from ICT division, Sudhir Muralidharan, Country Manager of UNOPS Bangladesh, and UNOPS representatives.

The Additional Secretary of the ICT Division presided over the signing ceremony, emphasizing the shared commitment to achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and fostering a Smart Bangladesh.

The collaboration seeks to leverage cutting-edge technologies and international best practices to enhance the nation's digital ecosystem and propel it towards becoming a Smart Nation. Under the MoU, both parties commit to working closely on a range of initiatives encompassing e-governance, digital inclusion, and the development of smart cities.

The strategic alliance will facilitate knowledge exchange, capacity building, and provide support to ICT surveys, research, design and development wherever necessary including promotion of E-Health, E-Commerce, E-Governance and similar areas; to take concrete steps on bridging the Digital Divide.

Mohammad Navid Safiullah, the Additional Secretary of ICT Division, emphasized the importance of collaboration in achieving national goals, stating, “The MOU with UNOPS marks a significant step towards realising our vision of a digitally advanced and inclusive Bangladesh. Together, we will harness innovation to address societal challenges and create a smarter, more resilient nation”.

UNOPS Bangladesh Country Manager, Sudhir Muralidharan, shared similar sentiments, stating, “For us it is a momentous occasion when the ICT Division and UNOPS join hands in a Memorandum of Understanding, fostering collaboration for a future where technology and innovation empower a SMART Bangladesh and sustainable development."

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