The eASiA initiative was introduced to facilitate a common space for all the stakeholders allowing them to share their experience through face to face consultation, online consultations, discussions and communications. This forum provided an opportunity to reach out to the appropriate community with adequate knowledge resource materials. It became an effective forum for a quick knowledge exchange which would be instrumental in preserving and adding on to the knowledge as well as resources while keeping it dynamic in order to meet the changing needs.
Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have transformed the very concept of development and growth, bringing disparate communities together in virtual interactive communities of shared experiences and understanding. This revolution has shaped social changes that necessitate a rethinking of what it means to be part of a community since lack of access to the knowledge society invariably means exclusion from the social, economic and political decision-making process.
The 5th eASiA 2011 provided for a knowledge platform to gather thought leadersips, scholars, practitioners, policy makers and government functionaries, academia from across Asian countries and beyond to exchange, collaborate and become engaged in a continuing dialogue ultimately leading to appropriate, innovative and ground-breaking policy solutions. It provided for a platform for strategic knowledge building community aiming at developing, identifying, and sharing emerging practices on the integration of ICTs in various facets of growth and development in governance, education and health.
The 5th eASiA 2011 was organsied at Dhaka, Bangladesh to commemorate the 40th birth anniversary of Bangladesh and celebrating Digital Bangladesh agenda of the government from December 1-3, 2011 at Bangabandhu International Convention Centre (BICC). Bringing more than 200 international leaders as speakers from across the globe, the event kicked off successfully with the inauguration by Honourable Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina, Government of People’s Republic of Bangladesh. The Prime Minster, in her inaugural speech, emphasised that the government wants to build the new generation as technology-friendly human resources by providing skills in ICT in different sectors of development such as governance, education, healthcare, agriculture, outsourcing, among others.
Architect Yeafesh Osman, Honorable State Minister, Ministry of Science and Information and Communication Technology, Government of Bangladesh (left) felicitating Chief Guest HE MD Zillur Rahman, Honorable President, People’s Republic of Bangladesh
Releasing a postage stamp on eASiA 2011 to mark the 40th year of independence, the Prime Minister also highlighted the need for a global cooperation to build an eco system around the drive for ICT for Development.
In line with the four key strategic pillars of Digital
Bangladesh vision, eASiA 2011 comprised of unique thematically inter-related conferences: Building Capacity,Connecting People, Serving Citizens and Driving Economy. The conference spanning over three days with more than 35 sessions, witnessed a footfall of more than 25,000 visitors and participants.
Co-creation: Citizens in the role of service providers An appropriate Telecommunications Regulatory framework to maximize citizen’s benefits Telecentres Sustainability to bridge digital divide Cost effective Healthcare services using ICTs ICT enabled Future Classrooms to increase learning outcomes
Redefining pedagogy: Teachers as mentors and guides ICT enabled Agricultural Services to be accessible, available and cost effective Application development for mobile platform Best practices in safeguarding digital content
The exhibitions provided a great platform for knowledge sharing, showcasing projects, programmes and initiatives of government and private sector agencies and corporations, as well as for demonstrating innovative ICT products, solutions and applications for various domains, which were covered under the scope of the event. There were also pavilions of the countries like Thailand, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, China and Japan along with two special pavilions from Nordic countries.
eASiA 2011 Awards night was witnessed by the distinguished guests including the Honorable Minister for Planning and Honorable Minister for Science and Information and Communication Technology. The eASiA Awards were instituted with the primary aim of felicitating and acknowledging unique and innovative initiativesin the use ICT4D. The award categories were chosen in alignment with the five themes of the conference: Building Capacity,Connecting People, Serving Citizens, Driving Economy and Breaking Barriers. Among 38 finalists, 17 awards were given in the gala event held on the second day of the conference.
The valedictory session was presided by the HE Md Zillur Rahman, Honorable President, People’s Republic of Bangladesh