Bangladesh Struggles to Keep Pace: Falling Behind in Global ICT Development Index

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Despite significant investments in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) over the past decade and a half, Bangladesh finds itself trailing behind its peers in a crucial global ICT index, shedding light on the challenges hindering its digital progress.

Falling Behind:

According to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Bangladesh scored a modest 61.1 in the ICT Development Index (IDI) 2023, lagging notably behind neighboring economies such as Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Vietnam, Maldives, and Cambodia. Notably, countries like Sri Lanka scored significantly higher, indicating a substantial disparity in ICT development within the region.

Connectivity Concerns:

Bangladesh’s performance in the IDI underscores disparities in both universal and meaningful connectivity. While internet penetration and household access remain relatively low, mobile network coverage and broadband internet traffic paint a more promising picture. However, challenges persist, particularly in bridging the digital divide between urban and rural areas, as well as addressing disparities based on gender, age, and socioeconomic status.

Bridging the Divide:

The report highlights the urgent need for concerted efforts to bridge the digital gap and ensure universal and meaningful connectivity for all citizens. Key areas of concern include mobile broadband accessibility, internet speed, ICT skills, and digital safety. Additionally, initiatives to enhance mobile data affordability and increase mobile phone ownership are essential to fostering broader digital inclusion and participation.

Addressing the Challenges:

To overcome these challenges, stakeholders must prioritize investments in ICT infrastructure, promote digital literacy and skills development, and implement policies that foster a conducive environment for ICT innovation and entrepreneurship. Collaborative efforts between the government, private sector, and civil society are crucial to driving sustainable progress and ensuring that no one is left behind in the digital age.

A Call to Action:

As Bangladesh strives to accelerate its digital transformation journey, it is imperative to heed the insights provided by the IDI report and take proactive steps to address existing gaps in ICT development. By embracing inclusive and forward-thinking strategies, Bangladesh can unlock the full potential of ICT to drive economic growth, empower communities, and create a more equitable and connected society.

For further insights into Bangladesh’s ICT landscape and opportunities for advancement, visit today. Let’s work together to build a more inclusive and digitally empowered future for all.

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