GSMA Report: Mobile Industry to Play Critical Role in Bangladesh’s Digital Transformation

04-Dec-2017 Intellasia | BusinessWire | 8:00 AM Print This Post

Mobile Industry Uniquely Positioned to Realise Bangladesh’s Vision
2021 and UN SDGs

HONG KONG–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The GSMA today released a new report that highlights the mobile
industry’s unique position to play a critical role in achieving both the
Bangladeshi government’s Vision 2021 development roadmap and the United
Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Titled “Bangladesh:
Driving mobile-enabled digital transformation”, the report notes that by
working closely together, the government and industry have the capacity
to unlock digital transformation for millions of Bangladeshis, as well
as drive social and economic growth for the country. The report was
produced in partnership with the Swedish International Development
Cooperation Agency (Sida), the UK Department for International
Development (DFID), and supported by the United Nations Development

“By encouraging the use of mobile technology across all aspects of
society, especially driven by government agencies that may not have
considered mobile a key tool they can use to achieve their development
targets, Bangladesh can potentially leapfrog other developing markets in
terms of growth and economic progress,” said Alasdair Grant, Head of
Asia Pacific for the GSMA. “The government has already embraced the UN
SDGs and incorporated the goals into the Vision 2021 plans, and it is
clear that mobile can play a critical role in achieving those long-term

Vision 2021 is the government’s roadmap for Bangladesh to become a
middle-income country where poverty will be completely eradicated by
2021 – the 50th year anniversary of Bangladesh’s independence. One of
the components of Vision 2021 is Digital Bangladesh, which aims to bring
socio-economic transformation through information and communication
technology (ICT). To date, mobile has been an important element in the
advances that Bangladesh has made.

“In Bangladesh, Sida focuses on deepening the support to basic health
care, gender equality and women’s rights, private sector development and
the environment, as well as climate change adaptation, said Johan
Hellström, Program Manager Specialist, Digital Development, Unit for
Global Economy and Environment (GECO), Department for International
Organisations and Policy Support (INTEM), Sida. “Sida believes that
mobile technology is a cost-effective – and increasingly essential –
large-scale tool for inclusive development. Delivering access to
information can help in reducing energy consumption and carbon
emissions, and increases the effectiveness of private and public
services including health care and financial services.”

“UNDP feels privileged to partner with Bangladesh on yet another
transformative development initiative. Long known as a rich laboratory
for innovative development solutions, Bangladesh has creatively
leveraged the unprecedented availability and use of simple technologies
to pioneer simplification of governance and improvement of people’s
lives,” said Mia Seppo, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident
Representative in Bangladesh. “With this new engagement, I am confident
that Bangladesh will have plenty to offer for other developing nations
to emulate, thereby contributing to global achievement of Agenda 2030.”

The GSMA report also lists ways in which the mobile industry can provide
applications and services that are vital to a digital society, beyond
basic connectivity, including :

  • Providing affordable access to basic voice and data services to enable
    access to e-learning and online teaching networks, in order to
    increase digital literacy;
  • Empowering women, making them more connected, safer, and able to
    access information, services and life-enhancing opportunities (such as
    health, financial services and employment opportunities);
  • Improving health standards by enabling access to formal and informal
    health-related information via voice, SMS and apps, as well as
    facilitate access to a broader suite of digital health services,
    including remote patient monitoring, telemedicine, digital booking
    systems and drug stock management;
  • Improving agricultural productivity by providing access to nutritional
    information and effective agricultural practices, as well as
    connecting remote communities to digital agricultural marketplaces to
    increase price transparency and reduce volatility; and
  • Expanding access to financial services through mobile money, by
    providing the unbanked with the financial services they need to manage
    cash flows and save.

Given the progress Bangladesh has experienced during the past few years,
it is well on its way to achieving its Vision 2021 goals and
contributing to the SDGs. However, several challenges still remain,
including population growth, poverty and inequality, urbanisation and
natural disasters and climate change.

The report highlights the opportunity for the government and the mobile
industry to work together to unlock digital transformation for millions
of Bangladeshis, and identifies seven areas in which collaboration could
accelerate impact, including closing digital access and gender gaps,
increasing digital literacy and improving health outcomes and financial

The GSMA report is available at:


About the GSMA

The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, uniting
nearly 800 operators with more than 300 companies in the broader mobile
ecosystem, including handset and device makers, software companies,
equipment providers and internet companies, as well as organisations in
adjacent industry sectors. The GSMA also produces industry-leading
events such as Mobile World Congress, Mobile World Congress Shanghai,
Mobile World Congress Americas and the Mobile 360 Series of conferences.

For more information, please visit the GSMA corporate website at
Follow the GSMA on Twitter: @GSMA.


Media Contacts:
For the GSMA
Ava Lau
2533 9928
[email protected]
Press Office
[email protected]


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