Digitization is no longer a privilege, but a necessity
One of the reasons that Digital Bangladesh remains perhaps the government’s most commendable initiative is the fact that it increases inclusivity, allowing even the most marginalized amongst us with the opportunity to avail goods and services essential to their future progress and, thereby, the nation’s.
In order for Digital Bangladesh to be successful, we must then ensure that the digitization process itself becomes easy and accessible to everyone and, in this regard, Bangladesh’s rise in position in the recently published Digital Inclusion Index 2020 is worth celebrating.
In the index -- which ranks nations based on accessibility, affordability, ability, and attitude -- Bangladesh saw improvements in the first three categories, in large part bolstered by the government’s drive towards widening the scope and reach of digitization across the nation.
These improvements are commendable and would not have been possible without the authorities prioritizing Digital Bangladesh, which the current administration has done with much aplomb.
Unfortunately and perhaps somewhat surprisingly, when it came to “attitude,” which considers the people’s trust and enthusiasm to harness digital tools, Bangladesh’s score fell from 69 in 2017 to 64 this year.
In addition, while indeed these are worthwhile improvements, a nation that is specifically focusing on digitization should not see such incremental improvements, with our progress far superseded by regional powers such as Myanmar, Vietnam, and Pakistan.
In an increasingly globalized world, digitization is no longer a privilege, but a necessity that drives growth, creates jobs and opportunities, and increases efficiency. It has become essential to catering to the most basic needs of the people.
If we are to ensure that the rapid growth we are experiencing is sustainable, not to mention that the Bangladesh of the future is equitable, we must, at the very least, also ensure that the tools we need to get there are improving at the same rate.