Foreign Secretary (Senior Secretary) Masud Bin Momen and Senior Secretary ICT Division, N M Zeaul Alam, co-chaired a meeting of the Foreign Ministry and its 78 missions abroad on Digital archiving and Digital Service Design Lab scopes of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The meeting commenced with the Foreign Secretary paying rich tribute to the architect of independent Bangladesh, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and all the members of Bangabandhu family who were assassinated on 15 August 1975. He also noted the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for turning the dream of Digital Bangladesh into reality and Prime Minister's Adviser on ICT Sajeeb Wazed, for leading from the front as the driving force behind the design of today's Digital Bangladesh.
Foreign Secretary mentioned that, in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, there is no alternative to becoming self-sufficient in information technology. He highlighted recalibrating and redesigning the existing institutional structure to extend the services to the doorsteps of the people. Artificial intelligence, Blockchain and other modern technologies need to be gradually introduced for the greater welfare of the people and reaping the benefits of Digital Bangladesh, the Foreign Secretary added. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs provides an average of more than seven lakhs consular services annually. If these services are moved to digital platforms, common people will benefit greatly as they will be able to receive services from any corner of the world in the shortest possible time. The criteria of TCV, i.e., Time, Cost and Visit would be greatly optimised if simple yet profound technologies are deployed.
Congratulating the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for using the home-grown "Boithok" app as the first Government office Project Director, a2i Dr Md Abdul Mannan, has assured full support and individual care for the Ministry's initiatives. The DSDL team presented on the scopes of Digital Service Design Lab (DSDL) in the context of MoFA and shared the experiences with other Government offices and the probable areas of cooperation. Bangladesh envoys joining the meeting exchanged their views on the topic. They emphasised getting the services to the doorsteps of the people.
Senior Secretary of the ICT Division N M Zeaul Alam expressed his satisfaction and noted that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has already gained the necessary momentum for digitization over the last couple of months and that now is the right time to implement the shifts. He praised the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for volunteering to implement the Government's Digital Agenda, saying that the Foreign Office was the first to show interest in using the home-grown "Boithok" app. Secretary (West and ICT) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed his gratitude to the participants and noted that Bangladesh is currently in the way of transformation from manual or analogue to fully digital system and that Foreign Ministry and its missions will not also remain behind.
Senior officials from both Ministries and Heads of Missions and Mission officials joined the meeting virtually.