State Minister for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Junaid Ahmed Palak has declared BD Apps – Robi's mobile application platform with about 23,000 apps – as the national app store.
The purpose of launching the national app store is to build Bangladesh as a mobile gaming hub, said the state minister at the signing ceremony of an agreement between the ICT Department and Robi at Agargaon in the capital on Thursday.
Any mobile phone operator, app developer or organisations can submit their apps on this platform. The ICT division will work on income tax exemption for developers and abolition of VAT on apps, he informed.
Junaid Ahmed Palak said the main focus of all our initiatives and projects is on youth, ICT and employment creation. Through this agreement, the developers will have training facilities from the ICT department and will be benefited financially by reaching out to the customers with their skills through BDapps (www.bdapps.com).
The ICT department and Robi have already agreed to provide compulsory training for skilled and qualified staff in programming languages. In addition, the ICT department will include Robi in all training programmes to ensure fair revenue sharing opportunities for all apps so that the new generation using the BDapps platform is more motivated to bring their innovations to the customers, he added.
He further said BDapps will be an important medium for the young generation and entrepreneurs across the country in choosing a career as an app developer. Robi has inspired the youth of Bangladesh to illumine. If we can enable our youth for app development, there are possibilities of earning billions of dollars, he added.
The state minister has also said incentives will be arranged for game or app developers.
BDapps currently has over 23,000 apps on its website and more than 12,000 developers of which 20% are female. Robi has planned to add about one lakh developers to the store in the next five years.
A developer in BDapps is earning up to Tk2 lakh and more than 300 developers are earning Tk30,000 per month. Developers have earned Tk55 crore in the last five years
Speaking on the occasion, Mahtab Uddin Ahmed, Managing Director, Robi, said the platform will help the youths develop digital skills. BDapps is coming up with the first wizard-based Android application development solution for developers. The ICT department and Robi will work together to develop new curricula and training programmes.
Robi, the second-largest mobile phone operator in the country, launched BDApps in 2014. The company is constantly bringing new digital services to the people of the country.
Additional Secretary of the ICT Department Dr Bikarna Kumar Ghosh and Robi's Managing Director and CEO Mahtab Uddin Ahmed signed the MoU for the next five years on behalf of their respective organisations. They said the contract would have the opportunity to be extended as needed after five years.
Among others, Hosne Ara Begum, Managing Director, Hi-Tech Park Authority, Shihab Ahmed, CCO, Robi Axiata Limited and Anwarul Islam, Director, Mobile Gaming and App Project, ICT Department, spoke on the occasion.