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Robi and a2i launch Government Citizen Certification services payment through mobile balance

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Aspire to Innovate (a2i) and Robi have collaborated to facilitate the payment for availing Government certification or Prottoyon & myGov services using mobile balance, which is popularly known as Direct Operator Billing (DOB) for the first time in Bangladesh.

With the addition of DOB, citizens registered in the Prottoyon (https://prottoyon.gov.bd) & myGov (https://www.mygov.bd) platform can easily complete their payment for the certificate service using their Robi mobile balance sitting at the comfort of their home. Due to the very simple nature of DOB based payment services, even the marginalized section of the population can avail this convenient method.

Earlier, using the Prottoyon portal, citizens of Bangladesh could apply for these certificates online to their Mayor or Councilor or Chairman and if they didn’t have access to digital payment mechanism, had to physically visit the Government offices to complete the payment.

The initiatives of a2i (Aspire to Innovate) programme of the Cabinet and ICT Divisions supported by UNDP have emerged as blessing for the people, especially those living in marginal area, in terms of making life easier and boosting people’s access to citizen services.

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In the launching program, from a2i Project Director, Dr. Dewan Muhammad Humayun Kabir, Head of e-commerce Rezwanul Haque Jami, e-service team lead Mohammad Salahuddin & National Consultant Mohammad Moshiur Rahman and from Robi’s Chief Corporate and Regulatory Officer, Shahed Alam, Vice President, Public Affairs and Sustainability, Sharif Shah Jamal Raz, General Manager, VAS and New Business, Shafiq Shamsur Razzaq and relevant high officials from both organizations were present in the launching ceremony.

The Government of Bangladesh had launched the Prottoyon web portal to provide all types of certificate related services to the public. It was launched as part of Bangladesh Government’s Portal with the Prime Minister’s aim of providing Government services, integrating all Government websites and their information into a single web portal.

Robi’s Chief Corporate and Regulatory Officer, Shahed Alam said, “We are very happy to partner with a2i for launching the first ever DOB based public services like nationality certificate, birth certificate, marriage certificate etc. making it a significant impact in delivering Smart Bangladesh. I am sure this DOB system will bring revolution in future for availing all other applicable public services in making Smart Government.”

Commenting on the initiative, a2i’s Project Director (Joint Secretary), ICT Division, Dr. Dewan Muhammad Humayun Kabir said, “Our unified mobile payment system, ekPay connects all banks and MFS providers to enable P2G (person to government) payments for hundreds of public services including 23 utilities. Despite the meteoric rise of MFS and agent banking in the last decade, 18% of adult population, especially in rural Bangladesh, are still unbanked. To promote inclusivity in P2G payments, we are introducing DOB with mobile operators in the government ecosystem. This is a positive step towards ensuring financial inclusion in achieving our vision of a Smart Bangladesh 2041, with a direct impact by reducing time, cost and visits. We intend to onboard more government services to enhance citizen’s convenience.”

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Divine IT Conducts Training on Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission’s Uniform System of Accounts for Standardized Gas Sector Accounting in Bangladesh

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Divine IT Limited recently conducted a comprehensive training session on the Uniform System of Account of the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission.

The event featured distinguished attendees including the Chairman of BERC, Md. Nurul Amin, and Divine IT’s MD and CEO, Iqbal Ahmed Fakhrul Hasan. Additionally, the Director of Gas of BERC, Md. Fazle Alam, Mohammad Kamruzzaman (Deputy Director (Tariff)), Divine IT’s COO, Md Kamrul Hassan, and Mahfijur Rahman Jewel (V.P. PrismGRP) were also present.

This training aimed to enhance understanding and implementation of standardized accounting practices across the gas sector in Bangladesh, promoting transparency and regulatory compliance.
The Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission’s Uniform System of Accounts standardizes accounting practices across all licensed gas sector entities in Bangladesh, including Petrobangla and its subsidiaries, ensuring consistency and transparency. It facilitates consolidated financial reporting, aids in regulatory compliance, and supports fair tariff determination.

By implementing BERC’s Uniform System of Accounts, gas sector entities can achieve greater transparency in management and operation, protect consumer interests, streamline the collection and management of energy statistics, and provide a clear framework for dispute settlement. These enhancements promote a competitive market and attract private investment, fostering a well-regulated energy sector.

DivineIT’s expertise positions them to significantly aid gas sector companies in Bangladesh, potentially mirroring past successes like with Titas Gas in 2015. With their experience with automation solutions, they developed and implemented a customized software solution that adheres to the BERC Uniform System of Accounts. This system could automate data collection, account management, and reporting processes across all gas sector entities. This would streamline compliance for companies and simplify the consolidation of financial reports for BERC. Additionally, Divine IT provides training and support to ensure a smooth transition for all stakeholders involved. This initiative not only enhances regulatory compliance but also fosters a transparent and well-regulated gas sector in Bangladesh.

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The training session by Divine IT marks a significant step towards standardized and transparent accounting practices in Bangladesh’s gas sector, paving the way for improved efficiency and regulatory adherence.

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Bangladeshi Startup Celebrates Success at VivaTech 2024, Unveils Future Plans

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By Mojahidul Islam

Europe’s biggest tech event, VivaTech 2024, took place from May 22–25, and this year, Bangladesh embarked on its inaugural participation at VivaTech with 12 renowned startups.

Through selection by the ICT Division of Bangladesh, these startups got the opportunity to showcase their innovations in AI, automation, quantum computing, cybersecurity, microchip design, and other frontier technologies on the world stage in Paris.

Bangladeshi exhibitors for the 8th edition of VivaTech included the renowned companies Riseup Labs, Brain Station 23, BJIT Limited, Astha IT, and others. Furthermore, with over 165,000 attendees, this year’s VivaTech broke previous records in terms of attendees, exhibitors, speakers, online viewers, and even the number of business connections made. Following their exhibition, Riseup Labs shared their experience with The Daily Frontline, providing insights into the event’s success and the newfound opportunities for the company. According to their representative:

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“VivaTech 2024 could open many doors for Bangladeshi tech startups. The event provided a formative ground to network with the international tech startup community and to observe global innovation trends unfold in real time. The huge platform opened doors for strategic partnerships and helped forge innumerable sessions with investors, prospects, and large corporations. Moreover, it provided the perfect stage for showcasing Bangladesh’s strides in tech and innovation to a global audience.”

Additionally, the company’s representative told us that Riseup Labs was able to secure around 25 new business opportunities through the event. The company looks forward to embarking on its new projects and setting a stronghold on the international scene.

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WSIS Prizes 2024 recognize the best in tech projects to support sustainable development

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Winners from around the world honoured for innovative approaches to advance the UN Sustainable Development Goals

​​Winners of the WSIS Prizes, recognizing innovative technological approaches to support sustainable development, were announced today at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS)+20 Forum High-Level Event 2024 in Geneva, Switzerland.

Overall, projects from 18 countries were presented with WSIS Prizes top honours, showcasing leading efforts to bridge the digital divide, foster digital inclusion, and drive socio-economic progress on a global scale.

“This year’s WSIS Prizes demonstrate the innovation and energy that exist to find technological solutions to some of the globe’s biggest challenges,” said ITU Secretary-General Doreen Bogdan-Martin. “These are the creative contributions that the world needs in our effort to advance the UN Sustainable Development Goals.”

WSIS Prizes 2024 Winners

Category 1: The role of governments and all stakeholders in the promotion of ICTs for development
Organization: Saudi Data and AI Authority (SDAIA)
Project: The National Data Bank (NDB) and Estishraf
Country: Saudi Arabia
Description: To revolutionize Saudi Arabia’s governance through data and AI, enhancing sectors like healthcare, education, and transportation while promoting innovation and collaboration.

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Category 2: Information and communication infrastructure
Organization: Department of Information and Communications Technology – Region 10
Project: Empowering Disaster Response in Northern Mindanao through the use of Local Radio Networks
Country: Philippines
Description: To establish a resilient radio communication network across Northern Mindanao to enhance disaster response and mitigate the impact of future crises.

Category 3: Access to information and knowledge
Organization: Internet Society Tanzania Chapter (ISOC-Tz) & Partner Organization for Digital Africa & ISOC Foundation​
Project: Tanzania Digital Inclusion Project (TADIP)
Country: United Republic of Tanzania
Description: To bridge the digital divide in Tanzania by providing affordable Internet access, digital skills training, and community engagement initiatives, thereby fostering socio-economic development and inclusivity.

Category 4: Capacity building
Organization: Perkumpulan Mitra TIK Indonesia (ICT Watch)
Project: JaWAra Internet Sehat
Country: Indonesia
Description: To promote digital literacy and empower communities in Indonesia through grassroots initiatives led by local champions, fostering a conducive internet ecosystem and enhancing digital skills and safety awareness.

Category 5: Building confidence and security in use of ICTs
Organization: Bangladesh Computer Council
Project: NationalConnect: Empowering Governance, Education, and Sustainability through Secure Government Video Conferencing
Country: Bangladesh
Description: To provide a homegrown video conference platform developed by the Bangladesh Computer Council (BCC) to ensure seamless government services and educational continuity, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, while fostering innovation and cost-saving measures.

Category 6: Enabling environment
Organization: Federal Telecommunications Institute (IFT)
Project: Interactive Tool of Policies, Terms and Conditions Applicable in the use of Digital Platforms
Country: Mexico
Description: To provide transparent and accessible information to users about privacy policies and terms of service on various digital platforms, empowering them to make informed decisions and promoting digital literacy.

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Category 7: ICT applications: benefits in all aspects of life (E-government)
Organization: Innovation and Digital Development Agency (IDDA)
Project: “MyGov”
Country: Azerbaijan
Description: To create a unified digital service platform that seamlessly integrates citizens and state entities, providing efficient access to government services and fostering collaboration.

Category 8: ICT applications: benefits in all aspects of life (E-business)
Organization: Financial Service Authority (FSA)
Project: Analytical Portal (Bayanat)
Country: Oman
Description: To establish an analytical portal (Bayanat) that facilitates the exchange of business information based on the global XBRL standard, providing accessible and reliable financial data to market participants.

Category 9: ICT applications: benefits in all aspects of life (E-learning)
Organization: Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona
Project: Young ArcHers project
Country: Spain
Description: To develop efficient training materials and accessible tools to support primary school teachers in promoting European cultural heritage among students, including those with disabilities and from diverse backgrounds.​

Category 10: ICT applications: benefits in all aspects of life (E-health)
Organization: Check Me Ltd
Project: Check Me
Country: Rwanda
Description: An AI-powered e-health platform aimed at combating breast cancer in Africa by addressing awareness gaps, accessibility issues, and high healthcare costs through education, self-screening guidance, and connectivity with specialists and survivors.

Category 11: ICT applications: benefits in all aspects of life (E-employment)
Organization: Digital Dubai Authority
Project: Smart Employee
Country: United Arab Emirates
Description: To revolutionize staff management in Dubai’s government entities by providing an innovative, user-friendly, and efficient solution for various services, contributing to the city’s digital transformation goals.

Category 12: ICT applications: benefits in all aspects of life (E-environment)
Organization: Advanced Info Service Public Company Limited (AIS)
Project: AIS E-Waste+ Application
Country: Thailand
Description: To revolutionize e-waste management in Thailand by providing a comprehensive platform that encourages responsible disposal and recycling through the innovative use of blockchain technology.

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Category 13: ICT applications: benefits in all aspects of life (E-agriculture)
Organization: Department of Agriculture
Project: GeoTanaman
Country: Malaysia
Description: To revolutionize Malaysia’s agriculture by providing a comprehensive digital platform for farmers to manage, analyze, and present geospatial information related to food crops, fostering a resilient and self-sufficient agricultural landscape.

Category 14: ICT applications: benefits in all aspects of life (E-science)
Organization: China Mobile Communications Group Co., Ltd
Project: Large-Capacity Wide-Area Data Express for Scientific Computing Breakthroughs
Country: China
Description: To address the inefficiency and security risks associated with wide-area transmission of large volumes of data in scientific research by proposing an efficient and economical online data transmission solution based on a computility network and AI intelligent scheduling.

Category 15: Cultural diversity and identity, linguistic diversity and local content
Organization: Digitization Association for Technology and Science (DATS)
Project: Center for Digitization and Documentation of Heritage and Arts Setif
Country: Algeria
​​​Description: To document the heritage and arts of Setif in the virtual world, to digitize them in two- and three-dimensional formats, and to obtain certificates of ownership in the virtual world with tradable crypto assets (NFT’s), enhancing the protection and conservation of the cultural heritage and arts.

Category 16: Media
Organization: Upview
Project: One-stop AI Solution for content creators to go viral – consistently!
Country: United States of America
Description: An AI-powered growth platform for video content creators, aiming to automate video strategy, support execution, and drive distribution for content creators using proprietary AI technology.

Category 17: Ethical dimensions of the Information Society
Organization: Nokia
Project: Smartpur
Country: India
Description: To empower and support local communities in India through digital technology, focusing on connecting the unconnected and providing access to essential services in health, education, livelihood, financial inclusion, and governance.

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Category 18: International and regional cooperation
Organization: South School on Internet Governance
Project: University Diploma in Internet Governance and Regulations
Country: Argentina
Description: To train young students and professionals from various disciplines in understanding the importance of Internet Governance and its impact on developing economies, enhancing representation in global Internet Governance discussions.

Showcasing technology for impact
The WSIS Prizes are a global platform aligned with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The WSIS Prizes 2024 received over 1000 submissions from over 100 countries. Since its inception in 2012, the contest has received more than 5,000 submissions and engaged with millions of stakeholders, including voters, on success stories from around the world that are built around technological solutions to sustainable development challenges.

At the WSIS Prizes 2024 ceremony, the Swiss Confederation and the United Arab Emirates were recognized for 20 years of implementation of WSIS Action Lines.

The WSIS+20 Forum High-Level Event 2024 is meeting from 27 to 31 May to address challenges and log achievements in the two decades since the multi-stakeholder WSIS process was established.

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