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Data protection and management becomes talking point at Infocom Dhaka

All the initiatives of the government are by-and-large technology driven. So, any threat to technology can become a big issue for the government: Mohammad Ali Arafat

Our Special Correspondent Dhaka Published 25.05.24, 06:41 AM
Mohammad Ali Arafat, Bangladesh’s minister of state, informationand broadcasting, in Dhaka on Friday.

Mohammad Ali Arafat, Bangladesh’s minister of state, informationand broadcasting, in Dhaka on Friday. Sourced by the Telegraph

The issue of data protection and management for the sake of national sovereignty became the talking point at the inaugural session of the seventh edition of Infocom in the Bangladesh capital on Friday after Mohammad Ali Arafat, minister of state, information and broadcasting in the Sheikh Hasina government, linked data protection with sovereignty.

“All the initiatives of the government are by-and-large technology driven … So, any threat to technology can become a big issue for the government,” said Arafat, while flagging off Infocom Dhaka, organised by the ABP Group, the publishers of The Telegraph, and the SAARC Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SAARC CCI).


The two-day event — planned around the theme of ‘Sustainable Disruption’ — is aimed at promoting the convergence of business, technology and leadership for higher growth of Bangladesh, one of the fastest growing economies in the region.

After experts spoke about how rapid changes in technology are creating disruption and posing challenges to sustainability for corporate entities during the inaugural session, Arafat — a professor of management sciences — took the discourse to a different trajectory.

“If you don’t protect data, you don’t have sovereignty… We need to rethink data protection and management,” said the minister at the session.

Dhruba Mukherjee, CEO, ABP Group, delivered the inaugural address at Infocom Dhaka and set the theme by explaining how stress on sustainability is important to ensure positive results for society at large at a time rapid changes in technology have become the order of the day.

The other speakers at the inaugural session were Imran Kadir, national president, JCI Bangladesh, Shafquat Haider, chairman, Council for Communication and IT, SAARC CCI, MD Jashim Uddin, president, SAARC CCI, Rudradeep Basu, partner, EY, and Huzefa Motiwala, director, Palo ALTO India and SAARC.

During the two-day summit, a number of issues related to sustainability and disruption — such as achieving sustainable development goals using technology, importance of digital trust to the roadmap of smart Bangladesh, women in technology, digital banking infrastructure and factors in cyber security — will be taken up by 50-odd speakers from industry, academia, government and thought leaders from India and Bangladesh.

“This is a great initiative… The fact that experts are coming and industry members are taking part in the discourse, it will foster learning. I think it is for the mutual benefit of both the countries,” said Arafat in his address.

While delving on the issue of sustainability, he also spoke about the achievements of the Sheikh Hasina government in Bangladesh in ensuring high growth in a sustainable manner.

“No development can be beneficial for society unless it is sustainable… And that’s the model followed by the Sheikh Hasina government. Today, Bangladesh is ahead of several other countries in terms of its performance on achieving the sustainable development goals (set by the United Nations),” said Arafat, commending his government.

Bangladesh, as soon as it signed the global agenda in 2015, aligned the country’s planning process to deliver the SDGs and the performance has been appreciated by several international agencies.

Arafat also spoke about how the Hasina-led government — which returned to power for the fourth consecutive term earlier this year — is pursuing the vision of ‘Smart Bangladesh’ to create an innovative, intelligent and knowledge-based society.

Infocom, an initiative of the ABP Group, began its journey in 2002 and has positioned itself as an event that sets the agenda for development in the information and communications technology space in the country and beyond.

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