Realizing Digital Nation- eASiA 2011, Dhaka, Bangladesh, December 1-3, 2011

Realizing Digital Nation

eASiA 2011, Dhaka, Bangladesh, December 1-3, 2011

eAsia 2011, with the slogan Realizing Digital Nation, is the annual international Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) for development event with the objective of reinforcing technology and knowledge-centric growth and needs of Asia vis-à-vis Bangladesh, through capitalisation of market economy and boosting human development. This event commemorates the 40th birth anniversary of Bangladesh and celebrates the progress of Digital Bangladesh agenda of the government. Digital Bangladesh by 2021 vision is a 21st-century globalized-world form of a vision of equitable prosperity portrayed by the founding father of the nation 40 years ago. Since then, Bangladesh has made significant progress in human development index and ranks third in the world.

Digital Bangladesh vision proposes to mainstream ICTs as a pro-poor tool to eradicate poverty, establish good governance, ensure social equity through quality education, healthcare and law enforcement for all, and prepare the citizens for climate change. This is the first time in the history of Bangladesh that the vision of poverty reduction and human development by utilizing ICTs was backed by strong political will from the very top and enthusiastic support from common citizens at the bottom.

The conference will provide a unique opportunity for all stakeholders for nation building to come closer and share a level-playing ground through active conferencing and networking. Spanning over three days, the event will comprise unique thematically inter-related conferences in line with the four key themes of Digital Bangladesh vision: Building Capacity, Connecting People, Serving Citizens and Driving Economy. Indeed, these are the four key ingredients to building a Digital Nation.

The 5th annual eAsia 2011 conference and exhibition will take place in Dhaka, Bangladesh on December 1-3, 2011. The event will be inaugurated by Sheikh Hasina, Hon’ble Prime Minister of the Government of the Peoples’ Republic of Bangladesh, and co-organized by Centre for Science, Development and Media Studies (CSDMS), India and Bangladesh Computer Council, ICT Division, Ministry of Science and ICT, Bangladesh and supported by the Access to Information (A2I) Programme, Prime Minister’s Office, Bangladesh, Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS), Bangladesh Computer Samity (BCS), Internet Service Providers Association of Bangladesh (ISPAB), Association of Mobile Telecommunication Operators of Bangladesh (AMTOB) and Bangladesh Association of Call Centre Operators (BACCO).

The conference will consist of a number of plenary and technical sessions, focused workshops, seminars, discussion round tables, debates and a full-fledged exhibition, providing excellent opportunity for showcasing projects, programmes and initiatives of government and private sector agencies/corporations, as also for demonstrating innovative ICT products, solutions and applications for various domains covered under the scope of the event. The speakers and attendees will include policy-makers, senior government officials, industry leaders, international development agencies, civil society, academia, and investors. eASIA 2011 will thus be a unique networking and learning opportunity for one and all.
The five themes of the eAsia 2011 conference are:

Building capacity
Connecting people
Serving citizens
Driving economy
Breaking barriers
Building capacity is about developing the nation’s capacity to build a Digital Nation with a particular focus on the education system of the country.

Connecting people is about ensuring that all citizens of the country have access to information and services at their doorsteps through some ICT channel or nearby common access outlet.

Serving citizens is about proliferation of e-services from all service providers with due attention to making sure the services reduce time, cost and hassle for citizens and increase efficiency, responsiveness and transparency of the government.

Driving economy is about utilizing the power of ICTs to boost the private sector, particularly the micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) which are the engine for growth in a developing nation, and a special focus on establishing the software and ITES industry for the global economy.

Breaking barriers is about utilizing ICTs to transcend the barriers of time, space, hierarchy, language and compartmentalization to enable a nation to leapfrog.

Connecting People
The objective of this theme is to find sustainable connectivity channels to ensure the benefits of a Digital Nation reach the marginalized and the disadvantaged. Innovative shared access outlets like telecentres, awareness and capacity development of local communities to access public e-services, and establishing two-way channels to promote participation of grassroots in policy discourse are key focus areas. The so-called ‘old ICTs’ such as TV and radio are being utilized the world over for capacity building of different stakeholders and disseminating vital livelihood information at the right time at the right place. The new ICTs such as community radio, mobile phone and internet are allowing more personal communication channels to deliver information as well as services.
This theme will gather policy makers and practitioners, private sector and government organizations, civil society and academicians to share best practices in telecentre movement in different countries, technologies and regulations for ensuring last mile broadband access to the otherwise left-out citizens, strategies for including the marginalized in the decision making process. Case studies and lessons learnt from different parts of Asia will provide insight for participants to take action for their own nations. The exhibition will showcase emerging technologies and techniques to connect people and communities.
Key conference topics:

Telecom infrastructure
National Broadband Network to connect all citizens
Affordable Technology trends for rural connectivity
TV and Radio
Not forgetting the old ICT: Use of TV & Radio in delivering information and services
Community Radio prospects in empowering rural communities

Value-added Service (VAS) on mobile
Transforming rural lives
Transforming urban lives

Telecentres/Community Access Points
Financial and social sustainability
Policy support for community access points
Capacity building for telecentre operators and managers
PPP for telencentres
Comparison of LGIs, NGOs, schools and post offices as telecentre hosts

Appropriate telecommunications regulation for developing nations
USO funds
Beauty contest versus auctioning
PPP for government fibre