Fourth issue of WhiteBoard looks at Bangladesh’s innovation journey

Fourth issue of WhiteBoard looks at Bangladesh’s innovation journey

CRI launched the fourth issue of its flagship policy magazine ‘WhiteBoard’ on 17 June 2021. The issue of the second quarter of 2021 focuses on innovation and financial inclusion policy issues in Bangladesh. It also explores the potential next steps for the country’s innovation journey. With the launch of this issue WhiteBoard completes its first year.

In this issue, internationally acclaimed researcher and Harvard faculty Primavera De Filippi along with young Bangladeshi researcher Morshed Mannan wrote an in-depth article which looks at lessons learnt from the Global South in creating a legal framework for blockchain regulation.

Mohammad Raafi Hossain, an entrepreneur and a strategist, wrote about the acceptance and integration of blockchain across Bangladesh as the technology is anticipated to play a prominent role in reinvigorating the economy after covid-19. Another young entrepreneur Fahad Ifaz, founder of agro-startup iFarmers, examined how technology will be an essential tool in attracting a new generation to work in agriculture sector.

Policy advisor Anir Chowdhury, in his article, provided a detailed account of Bangladesh government’s approach to innovation and a blueprint for the further digitization of governance over the coming decades.

The covid-19 pandemic led to an unprecedented turn towards digital payments and Pial Islam charted the trends that have emerged from the data available so far. And finally, Farhana Khan, tech-focused legal researcher, proposed a technological solution to increase lending to Cottage, Micro, Small, Medium Enterprises (CMSMEs).

In his editorial note, CRI trustee and the magazine’s editor Radwan Mujib Siddiq said, it is time to move on from referring to the “Bangladesh Miracle” and start focusing on the “Bangladesh Model”, as the country seeks to consolidate its position as a middle-income country. Bangladesh’s development journey was no fluke. Rigorous planning and smart policymaking, with limited resources, have resulted in the inclusive growth momentum, especially in the last decade.

Pointing to the inclusion and introduction of Digital Bangladesh as an ambitious plan to leverage the country-wide usage of ICT expansion, Radwan Mujib said, “It embodied the very spirit of Vision 2021 — innovation, resilience and resourcefulness. Most significantly, both Vision 2021 and Digital Bangladesh were models of people-centric development. They were developed with an intricate understanding of the needs, capacity and characteristics of the population they were designed to benefit.”

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