Nov 24, 2016
A World Bank report, which was released recently, on rural accessibility termed Bangladesh as the champion amongst eight developing countries of South Asia and Africa. The report also gave heaped praise on the LGED under the Local Government Division as one of the key architects of the landslide success, urging the rest to emulate the strategy for changing lives and fast-tracking development process in remote areas. To date, out of the total, 88% of sub-district roads and 66% of union roads are paved.
Bangladesh saw remarkable success in achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals (MGDs) as out of 33 targets it fully implemented 13, including the one of halving the population living under the poverty line, said a final evaluation report. According to the report, as prepared by the Planning Ministry, with sustained GDP growth rate of over 6%, poverty rate brought down to 24.8% by 2012 against the MDG target of halving the population living under the poverty line from 56.7% to 29% by 2015. Bangladesh performed better than Pakistan and India in terms of under-5 mortality and infant mortality rates.
Bangladesh ranked 3rd most peaceful country in South Asia after Bhutan and Nepal, according to the Global Peace Index (GPI) 2016. Bangladesh stood 83rd in overall GPI rankings while Bhutan and Nepal 13th and 78th respectively, revealed the GIP 2016, conducted by the Sydney-based Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP). South Asia's position remained unchanged at eighth out of the nine regions, according to the Index. Iceland remains the most peaceful country according to the Index.
World Health Organization (WHO) Director General Dr Margaret Chan has lauded Honorable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for her far reaching initiatives in reaching the health services to the doorsteps of grassroots people. According to the expert, the country’s present achievements in health sector have set an example for many countries around the world, lending out high optimism that Bangladesh will succeed in attaining the health-related targets of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.
The Bangladesh government has expressed deep concern to Myanmar over the continued deteriorating situation in the Rakhine State of Myanmar. The call was made at a meeting between two Ambassadors of both countries. Proposals have been placed by this government that Myanmar should give due consideration to the demand from international community to conduct impartial investigation into the alleged indiscriminate and disproportionate use of force and human rights violation during the ongoing military operation in the Rakhine State against Rohingyas.
HPM Sheikh Hasina today commissioned the newly procured state-of-the art marine survey vessel, RV Meen Sandhani. Introduction of this new marine vessel was aimed at launching an extensive study on marine aquaculture in extended territorial waters of the country as well as to help government develop a short and long term plan for its balanced extraction of marine resources under a pragmatic policy. MeenSandhani is 37.8 metre in length, 9.2 metre in width and has a 3.3 metre draft having accommodation facilities for 28 researchers and crew onboard.
Bangladesh will get $20 million for reducing the risks of damages caused by natural disasters and climate change. The United Nations (UN), the European Union (EU) and Sweden joined hands together to provide the fund to address the country's key climate change priorities set out in the Seventh Five Year Plan. To be implemented in the next four years in seven of the most climate vulnerable districts, this initiative would see 200,000 most vulnerable households be better prepared for reducing the risks of damages caused by natural disasters and climate change.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $167 million loan for Bangladesh to improve gas production efficiency. The fund will be used to install wellhead gas compressors to increase pumping pressure and ensure steady extraction at the Titas gas field. Once implemented, the project will also boost gas transmission by building 181 kilometers of transmission pipeline from Chittagong to Bakhrabad southeast of Dhaka, increasing the energy sector’s contribution to sustainable economic growth in Bangladesh.
A total of three projects worth $2.5 billion have been approved by the government for improving power distribution system in the country as part of its plans to take electricity to all houses by 2021. One of the projects involves strengthening the power grid network, which will be implemented on a government-to-government arrangement with China. Under the two other projects, the power distribution system will be improved in eight divisions, bringing in about 950,000 new subscribers under national grid network.
A Memorandum of Understanding has been forged between Bangladesh Economic Zone Authority and Omera Petroleum Limited aiming to develop Mirsarai Economic Zone near Chittagong. Under the MoU, Omera will lease 200 acres of land to set up a LPG Import Terminal and Reforming Process Unit, employing around 1 million people. The deal has been signed as part of the government’s initiative to build industries in Mirsarai in a planned way involving both local and foreign companies.
Country's pharmaceutical sector has witnessed phenomenal growth in recent years in terms of capacity building, local consumption and feeding the international market. With an annual growth rate at over 10%, the size of the locally-manufactured pharmaceutical drugs market is now estimated at over $2 billion, up from an estimated total of $375.4 million some 12 years ago. While the country's pharmaceutical industry is now heading towards self-sufficiency in prescription drug items, Bangladesh's export market now comprises well above hundred countries including markets of USA, EU and Australia.
The government is set to open passport and visa wings at the country's foreign missions in six countries aiming to provide Bangladeshi expatriates with machine readable passports (MRPs) smoothly. The passport and visa wings will be opened at Warsaw in Poland, Copenhagen in Denmark, Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, Algiers in Algeria, Mumbai in India and Abuja in Nigeria.
India is planning to sign new defense cooperation pact to bolster its military supplies and technology transfer to Bangladesh during defense Minister Manohar Parrikar's visit to Dhaka later this month. Also the plans to upgrade military training, joint exercises as well as closer cooperation in counter-terrorism will be discussed under the defense cooperation framework during the Defense Minister's visit. In a related development, Bangladesh Navy has been delivered with two diesel-electric submarines by China, which will help the country better protect its marine territories.
Digital Bangladesh
Bangabandhu-1, Bangladesh’s first satellite project, has been conferred an "Award of Excellence" by the International Telecommunication Union. State Minister for Telecoms Tarana Halim received the award from ITU Secretary General Houlin Zhao last Thursday at ITU Telecom World Awards 2016 held in Bangkok. Expected to be launched by 2017, 40% of the work for geostationary communications satellite project has been completed by France’s Thales Alenia Space.
Bangladesh has ranked 124th in the United Nations E-Government Survey-2016 among the 193 countries advancing by 24 notches from last year. The E-Government Development Index (EGDI) is a weighted average of normalized scores on the three most important dimensions of e-government -- scope and quality of online service, status of the development of telecommunication infrastructure, and inherent human capita. Over the last seven years, the size of the ICT market has been increased by 23 times, with the number of freelancers and high tech establishments increasing equally.
Bangladesh Awami League Bangladesh Insight Archives