ICT Division, Robi, Huawei for women’s development

ICT Division of the Ministry of Posts & Telecommunications & Information Technology (MoPT&IT), the country’s second largest telecom operator Robi Axiata Limited and globally leading ICT solution provider Huawei Technologies (Bangladesh) Limited have agreed to join hands to undertake a joint initiative to work for the sustainable development of Bangladeshi Women through ICT.

The participating organizations of the project signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at the ICT Division 2 MoU Signingtoday in this connection. Robi’s Chief Operating Officer Mahtab Uddin Ahmed, Huawei Technologies (Bangladesh) Ltd’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Zhao Haofu and ICT Division’s Joint Secretary Md. Manjur Kadir signed on the MoU on behalf of their respective organizations. Zunaid Ahmed Palak, MP; Hon’ble State Minister for ICT Division was present on the occasion.

This project will be initiated immediately and the buses will be ready to be inaugurated by January 2016. The initial project will have duration of three (3) years. Six (6) buses, fully equipped with modern ICT training facilities, will be deployed to offer ICT training particularly designed for the women who cannot move from their native locality due to various socio-economic constraints. ICT Division, Robi Axiata and Huawei will provide two buses each. These buses will be maintained by Robi and Huawei in collaboration with ICT Division.

Under this 3-year long project, six (6) buses will be used to provide basic ICT training to 240,000 young and talented women across 64 districts of the country. The project is expected to generate massive interest among the women (Especially in the rural area) to pursue entrepreneurship through ICT. Roadshows at rural areas will also be conducted under this project to popularize ICT education not only among women but also among other school and college students.

These special purpose buses will be air-conditioned, soundproof, and will be equipped with 25 workstations in each vehicle. Training facility infrastructure will include one (1) laptop per trainee, large format LED screens, sound system, Wi-Fi data facility, customized training modules, learning software, and stand by generator. Training materials will be provided free of cost and the training modules and trainers will be facilitated and supervised by ICT Division.

Each bus will have individual route plan and a bus will be operational 40 weeks a year. Each location will have one or two days of training depending on local participants’ number and requirements. After completing the ICT training in a locality, the buses will be used to conduct roadshows with a purpose to raise awareness on ICT among the young students of that locality.

This will be first of its kind initiative in Bangladesh to empower rural women through ICT in line with Vision 2021. To facilitate our journey towards a Digital Bangladesh, this project will play a vital role to include young rural women. It is envisaged that once a sizable number of women are included in this journey of ICT development, our rural economy will see a major transformation.

In the long-run, this project will help build a strong network of talented women, who can contribute through ICT as much as their male counterparts could do. These women will in turn inspire many more in their communities to come forward and choose ICT as a tool to build a better future for themselves.

About Robi Axiata Ltd:

Robi Axiata Limited is a joint venture between Axiata Group Berhad, of Malaysia and NTT DoCoMo Inc., of Japan. Robi is the second largest mobile phone operator in Bangladesh in terms of revenue, with 27.4 million subscribers, as of June 2015. Robi network provides nationwide coverage to nearly 99% of the population with 12,679 2.5G BTS and over 2,450 3.5G sites. Robi proudly claims to have the widest international roaming service in the market, connecting 600 operators across more than 200 countries. It is also the first operator to introduce GPRS and 3.5G services in Bangladesh. The Company has introduced many first of its kind digital services in the country and has invested heavily in taking mobile financial services to the underserved communities in the rural and semi-urban areas.