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Grameenphone Advocates Corporate Power Purchase Agreements for Climate Goals

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In a strategic move to bridge policy gaps and champion Corporate Power Purchase Agreement (CPPA) policies, Grameenphone orchestrated a pivotal panel discussion titled “Greening the Grid” at its corporate headquarters in Dhaka. The discourse aimed at propelling policy reforms vital for supporting Grameenphone’s ambitious target of slashing CO2 emissions by 50% before 2030, benchmarked against the year 2019.

During the discussion, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer Hans Martin Hoegh Henrichsen reaffirmed Grameenphone’s dedication to carbon emission reduction. He underscored the pivotal role of CPPAs in realizing this commitment, addressing the challenges faced by private sector entities while emphasizing the advantageous outcomes of supportive policies. Henrichsen highlighted how embracing Corporate Power Purchase Agreements not only aligns with sustainability goals but also attracts Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and aids in meeting governmental renewable energy targets, in addition to bolstering Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) objectives aligned with the Paris Agreement.

Erik Solheim, Former Minister of Environment and International Development, Norway, brought international insights to the discussion, drawing from Norway’s successful grid greening experience. He explored best practices applicable to Bangladesh’s transition toward renewable energy sources.

Ambassador Espen Rikter-Svendsen highlighted the significance of international partnerships in fortifying Bangladesh’s green grid efforts, expressing Norway’s readiness to support this transition. ED Elrahal, Chief of Party at Tetra Tech, emphasized the role of development partners like USAID and Tetra Tech in providing capacity building and technical assistance to Bangladesh for CPPA implementation.

Engr. Mohammad Hossain, Director General of Power Cell Bangladesh, delved into the technical aspects of integrating renewable energy into the national grid, shedding light on challenges and opportunities. Nahim Razzaq MP, Convenor of Climate Parliament Bangladesh, concluded the discussion by emphasizing the existing legislative framework and advocating essential policy changes for streamlined CPPA adoption, showcasing the active involvement of parliamentary committees in propelling policy reform in this domain.

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BASIC Bank to Merge with City Bank says Cenbank

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Following the merger of EXIM and Padma, BASIC Bank is now set to merge with City Bank. The decision was reached during a meeting held today (8 April) at the Bangladesh Bank. Sources within the central bank revealed that the merger will be voluntary. This significant decision emerged from a meeting between Bangladesh Bank Governor Abdur Rauf Talukdar and City Bank’s Chairman Aziz Al Qaiser and Managing Director (MD) Mashrur Arefin.

Previously, on 19 March, the board of City Bank received a recommendation to merge with Basic Bank. Subsequently, discussions ensued between the boards of both City Bank and Basic Bank. Officials from both banks engaged in internal discussions regarding this matter. Despite the merger, sources indicate that the two banks will continue to report separate financials for the next three years.

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IHF Hosts 7th Annual Iftar Event, Fostering Stakeholder-Child Interaction

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It’s Humanity Foundation (IHF) recently held its 7th Annual Iftar event at Aloki, located on the Gulshan – Tejgaon Link Road in Dhaka. This yearly gathering, known as the Annual Iftar event, serves as a significant platform for stakeholders to engage with children, gain insights into their experiences, and deepen their understanding of the challenges faced by marginalized communities. The event brought together students from IHF School, sponsor parents, internal and external stakeholders, and well-wishers, all coming together to celebrate the spirit of Ramadan.

The event was inaugurated by Md. Adnan Hossain, Founder and Executive Director of IHF, who expressed heartfelt gratitude to the organizations that have supported IHF throughout its journey. Representatives from various organizations also attended, along with notable personalities from the local community. Hossain emphasized the importance of dedication and support in inspiring hope for a better world, stating, “Your actions are changing lives, and together, we can make education a reality for every child.”

Among the esteemed guests were Clinton Pobke & his Spouse, Deputy High Commissioner of the Australian High Commission Bangladesh; Md Moinul Huq, Citi Country Officer (CCO) at Citibank NA, Bangladesh; Sabrina Islam, Chairman of SSLCommerz; Dr. David Dowland, Registrar of BRAC University; Shammi Islam Nila, Miss World Bangladesh, and many others. They praised the efforts of IHF and encouraged continued support for the cause.

Ahmed Atifur Rahman, Associate Director at Standard Chartered Bank and Advisor of It’s Humanity Foundation, shared his deep connection with the organization’s cause, stating, “Witnessing the progress and impact IHF has made over the years fills me with immense pride. We strive to make a meaningful difference in the lives of marginalized communities, and I am honored to be a part of this journey towards positive change.”

The success of the event was made possible through the generous support of various partners, including Aastha Trust, Green Delta Insurance, Uttara Finance and Investments Limited, Beximco Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Techno Drugs Ltd, RUN Leather, Perfetti Van Melle, Finis, Bengal Express, HER NET, Nestle, Savoy, Limerence Photographs, Holago, and Protibha Flavours.

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Yaana Technologies LLC, Penta Global Forge Strategic Alliance to Create Bangladesh’s First AI Hub

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Yaana Technologies LLC, headquartered in California, USA, and Penta Global Limited of Bangladesh have formed a strategic partnership to establish Bangladesh’s inaugural Artificial Intelligence (AI) Center of Excellence. This significant collaboration positions Bangladesh as a prominent contender in the global AI arena, fostering pioneering research and development aimed at Silicon Valley, the epicenter of the tech industry.

The partnership appears tailored to crafting AI solutions targeted specifically at Silicon Valley enterprises, indicating a focus on advanced AI applications. Yaana is poised to bring its AI prowess to the table, presumably leveraging its expertise in two innovative concepts that Penta intends to explore. These technological advancements might encompass specialized algorithms, software frameworks, or inventive approaches to AI problem-solving.

Penta, on the other hand, will contribute its expertise and manpower in Large Language Models (LLMs) and Machine Learning (ML), a fundamental AI subfield focused on model training through extensive text and data management techniques, utilizing high-performance computing resources essential for intricate AI models. Collaborating with Yaana, Penta will embark on research endeavors, potentially delving into advancements achieved with Yaana’s innovative concepts and their application to Silicon Valley clientele.

Crucially, Penta will play a pivotal role in refining Yaana’s concepts through the preparation of research papers, model training, and crafting Proof of Concepts for the AI models.

In summary, this partnership has the potential to revolutionize Bangladesh’s AI landscape, ushering in a new era of technological progress and garnering global attention, ultimately fostering a flourishing AI ecosystem.

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