October 1, 2022, 11:10 pm

Staff Correspondent

2022-08-08 08:24:16 BdST

UNDP, Grameenphone, BIDA join hands to create economic opportunities for youth

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) and Grameenphone on Sunday jointly launched graduate employment in the private sector programme under an alliance called "FutureNation" to create economic opportunities for all by 2041.

Future Nation, an alliance of the private, public and development sectors, is created to accelerate the nation's future economic growth by enhancing the skills and potential of youth by identifying opportunities for development, employment, entrepreneurship, and investment in the post-pandemic situation.

Salman F Rahman, Private Industry and Investment Adviser to the Prime Minister; Zunaid Ahmed Palak, State Minister for ICT; Md Sirazul Islam, Executive Chairman, BIDA; Radwan Mujib Siddiq, Strategic Advisor, UNDP; Mohsina Yasmin, Executive Member, International Investment Promotion, BIDA Sudipto Mukerjee, Resident Representative, UNDP; and Yasir Azman, CEO, Grameenphone; joined the launching ceremony held in the city.

While speaking at the event as the chief guest Salman Rahman said after realizing a ‘Digital Bangladesh’, the government is now working to establish a ‘Smart Bangladesh’ to be successfully involved in the 4IR, engaging to create youth employment through various ICT initiatives, a pre-condition for sustaining Bangladesh’s prosperity.

“I wholeheartedly applaud this initiative, ‘FutureNation by Grameenphone, UNDP and BIDA,” he said.

Palak said Bangladesh is uniquely positioned to potentially benefi­t from a demographic dividend but to reap the benefits of a demographic dividend stable employment opportunities and equipping the youth with digital competencies is pivotal.

“We must collaborate to reduce the disparity between the urban and rural areas by transforming the country into a digitally connected society. FutureNation is one of this co-creation,” he said.

Radwan Mujib in a video message shared his vision about FutureNation and said FutureNation with its advanced grooming method and more realistic assessment procedure, will help endow the youth with employable skills.

“I am delighted to see this coalition support the very critical area of building skills through their technology and innovation. Such an initiative will be impactful to upskill the youth and prepare them for real work,” he said.

Sudipto Mukerjee said the global job market is consistently evolving and they must ensure that youth is prepared for the new reality presented by the fast-paced economic and technological evolutions.

“The blessings of a demographic dividend do not last forever. The private, public and development sectors have to work hand in hand and accelerate efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030,” he said.

Jorgen C. Arentz Rostrup, EVP, Head of Asia, Telenor, in his video message said creating opportunities for youth is fundamental for any nation and it is crucial for Bangladesh, more so due to its great national ambitions and is one of the fastest growing economies.

“Grameenphone has been creating employment opportunities for the last 25 years. At Telenor, we believe strong partnerships create a stronger impact and this alliance is exemplary of that. Time is now to create new opportunities for the youth of Bangladesh.”

Yasir Azman, CEO, Grameenphone, said at Grameenphone, they always take a youth-first approach through our tech, innovation and social impact projects.

“Today I am delighted to be a part of this collective effort- a step towards realigning the existing talent with emerging technologies, making them more cyber smart, and ultimately enabling better job opportunities and future proofing the youth of Bangladesh for the digital world."

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