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UNDP, Grameenphone and BIDA to create economic opportunities for all

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The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) and Grameenphone, jointly launched Graduate Employment in Private Sector Programme under an alliance called “FutureNation” today (07 August) at a hotel in Dhaka, to create economic opportunities for all and accelerate the journey towards a smart Bangladesh by 2041.

Future Nation, an alliance of the private, public and development sectors, is created to accelerate the Nation’s future economic growth by enhancing the skills and potential of youth by identifying opportunities for development, employment, entrepreneurship, and investment in the post-pandemic situation.

Salman F Rahman, Private Industry and Investment Adviser to the Honorable Prime Minister; Zunaid Ahmed Palak, State Minister for ICT; Md Sirazul Islam, Executive Chairman, BIDA; Radwan Mujib Siddiq, Strategic Advisor, UNDP; Ms. Mohsina Yasmin, Executive Member, International Investment Promotion, BIDA, Sudipto Mukerjee, Resident Representative, UNDP; and Yasir Azman, CEO, Grameenphone graced the “FutureNation: Graduate Employment in Private Sector Program” launch.

Sudipto Mukerjee, Resident Representative, UNDP, in his opening remarks said, “Global job market is consistently evolving. We must ensure our youth is prepared for the new reality presented by the fast-paced economic and technological evolutions.”

Salman F Rahman, Private Industry and Investment Adviser to the Honorable Prime Minister addressing the event as the chief guest said, “After realizing a ‘Digital Bangladesh’, the government is now working to establish a ‘Smart Bangladesh’ to be successfully involved in the 4IR, engaging in creating youth employment through various ICT initiatives, a pre-condition for sustaining Bangladesh’s prosperity. I wholeheartedly applaud this initiative, ‘FutureNation by Grameenphone, UNDP and BIDA.”

Zunaid Ahmed Palak, State Minister for ICT in his speech said, “Bangladesh is uniquely positioned to potentially benefit from a demographic dividend. But to reap the benefits of a demographic dividend, stable employment opportunities and equipping the youth with digital competencies is pivotal. We must collaborate to reduce the disparity between the urban and rural areas by transforming the country into a digitally connected society. FutureNation is an of this co-creation.”

Radwan Mujib Siddiq, Strategic Advisor, UNDP, in a video message shared his vision about FutureNation. He said, “FutureNation, with its advanced grooming method and more realistic assessment procedure, will help endow the youth with employable skills. I am delighted to see this coalition support the very critical area of building skills through their technology and innovation. Such an initiative will be impactful to upskill the youth and prepare them for real work.”

Jørgen C. Arentz Rostrup, EVP, Head of Asia, Telenor, in his video message shared, “Creating opportunities for youth is fundamental for any nation, and it is crucial for Bangladesh. Grameenphone has been creating employment opportunities for the last 25 years. At Telenor, we believe strong partnerships create a stronger impact.”

Yasir Azman, the CEO, of Grameenphone, said, “I see the great possibility to work with the young people of Bangladesh to prepare them for the future industry. The time is now! Our youth will be the biggest contributors to taking the journey of Bangladesh to become a developed nation by 2041. Grameenphone is glad to have the opportunity to lead from the private sector and contribute to the development of youth workforce through FutureNation coalition with UNDP and BIDA.”

A panel discussion was held after the launching of the platform on “Graduate Employment Challenges in Bangladesh”, where Mohsina Yasmin, Executive Member-3, International Investment Promotion, BIDA; Bikarna Kumar Ghosh, Managing Director, Bangladesh High-tech Park Authority; Russell T Ahmed, President, BASIS; Zaved Akhtar, Managing Director, Unilever Bangladesh; Anir Chowdhury, Policy Advisor, UNDP; Hakon Bruaset Kjol, SVP, Head of External Relations Asia, Telenor and Rashedur Rahman, Executive Director, ICE Center, University of Dhaka shared their valuable opinions. The program was wrapped after the Vote of Thanks from Van Nguyen, Deputy Resident Representative, UNDP Bangladesh.

FutureNation has developed a home-grown aptitude assessment tool, which can assist the corporates and the private sector in finding the appropriate human resources with the necessary skills needed for their organization. Walton, Akij, Pran-RFL, Abul Khair Group, Nasir Group, Nagad, ACI, and many other reputed organizers have been listed as the potential employers for this program, while Dhaka University, North South University, BRAC University, and a few more names are listed among the potential academia for FutureNation.

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