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Bangladesh’s ‘ekShop’ Honored with UN SDG Digital GameChangers Award

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ekShop

The ‘ekShop,’ an innovative initiative by Aspire to Innovate (a2i), has been honored with the United Nations ‘SDG Digital GameChangers Award’ for its remarkable contribution to bridging the gap between rural and urban areas in Bangladesh through e-commerce services.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) jointly presented the award to ‘ekShop’ in the ‘Game Changer for Prosperity’ category. The accolade was received by a2i representatives at the UN Headquarters in New York during the dedicated SDG Action Weekend.

The SDG Digital GameChangers Award recognizes individuals and organizations that leverage digital solutions to accelerate progress towards global goals, spanning categories such as People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace, and Pioneer.

The ‘ekShop’ initiative, Bangladesh’s pioneering rural-assisted e-commerce platform, empowers small and medium-sized businesses, refugees, and individuals facing digital disparities, particularly in less-developed regions. It serves as a digital public good, significantly contributing to bridging the digital divide.

This achievement not only showcases Bangladesh’s success but also serves as an inspiration for the development of sustainable economic systems aligned with the SDGs worldwide.

The ‘ekShop’ connects over 12,000 rural artisans with customers, facilitating the delivery of essential products to doorsteps. To date, it has successfully delivered more than 8 million products across the country via cash on delivery.

Sellers interested in using the platform can easily join ‘ekShop’ and display their products for sale on associated e-commerce sites. Additionally, the platform offers a delivery management system, which has become especially vital during the COVID-19 pandemic, enabling e-commerce organizations and entrepreneurs to efficiently deliver products to customers.

The ‘ekShop’ initiative aims to reduce digital disparities not only within Bangladesh but also in underdeveloped countries. Its model is being replicated in South Sudan, Yemen, Turkey, Somalia, and the Philippines, with the support of the United Nations.

‘a2i,’ a government program implemented by the ICT Division and Cabinet Division with the support of UNDP Bangladesh, plays a pivotal role in promoting citizen-friendly public service innovations and advancing the government’s efforts to integrate new approaches to achieve the SDGs.

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Quota Reform Leaders Reject Govt Talks, Vow to Continue Protests

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Quota Reform Leaders Reject Govt Talks, Vow to Continue Protests

Leaders of the quota reform movement have resolutely refused to negotiate with the government, insisting that their movement will persist until their demands are met.

In a Facebook post, Hasnat Abdullah, a coordinator of the movement, declared, “No discussion through stepping onto blood.”

Asif Mahmud, another prominent leader, echoed this sentiment, stating, “There can be no dialogue with bullets. I would prefer death over this betrayal.”

He further elaborated, “On one side, there are bullets. On the other, there is a call for dialogue. We can’t sit for dialogue while stepping onto the blood of our brothers.”

Earlier, leaders of the quota reform movement accused the government of escalating the law and order situation towards violence, asserting that their movement was peaceful until the government’s intervention.

Vowing to continue their struggle, Asif Mahmud stated, “We will continue our protests till we achieve our demands for reformation of the quota system, reopening of the halls and campuses, making university campuses terror-free, withdrawing political forces from the campuses, and punishing the killers and attackers.”

He added, “The people of the country have encircled those who tried to corner us. No conspiracy will be able to derail our movement.”

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PM Sheikh Hasina Calls for Investment in Marine Resource Extraction

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Sheikh Hasina

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today urged both local and international investors to invest in the extraction of marine resources from Bangladesh’s extensive sea areas.

“In order to fortify the blue economy through the diverse utilization of our marine resources, I call upon local and foreign investors to seize the opportunity to invest in Bangladesh. This will enable us to harness more of our marine resources,” she announced.

The Prime Minister made these remarks during the inauguration of the Bangladesh International Aquaculture and Seafood Show-2024 at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) in Dhaka.

She emphasized the importance of adhering to proper standards in the collection, distribution, and processing of fish to boost exports, aiming to make fish the country’s second-largest source of foreign currency.

Sheikh Hasina pointed out that her government has made limited progress in harvesting fish and other sea resources from the deep sea due to a lack of interest from local investors.

“Therefore, we need foreign investment to advance in this area. This is the reality we must face,” she noted.

She also suggested that both local and foreign investors can collaborate in joint ventures or invest separately in this sector to achieve better results.

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Met Forecasts Rain and Thundershowers Nationwide

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The Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD) has forecasted light to moderate and moderately heavy rainfall or thundershowers, accompanied by temporary gusty winds, across all eight divisions of the country over the next 24 hours, starting from 9 am today.

In its weather bulletin issued this morning, the BMD stated, “Light to moderate rain or thundershowers with temporary gusty wind is expected in a few places over Rangpur, Mymensingh, Chattogram, and Sylhet divisions. Additionally, one or two places in Rajshahi, Dhaka, Khulna, and Barisal divisions may experience similar conditions, with moderately heavy falls anticipated at several locations in Rangpur, Mymensingh, Chattogram, and Sylhet divisions.”

The bulletin also highlighted that the current mild heat wave sweeping across the Rangpur division and the districts of Tangail, Chuadanga, Rajshahi, Pabna, Bogra, and Netrokona may persist.

Daytime temperatures are expected to rise slightly, while nighttime temperatures are likely to remain nearly unchanged throughout the country.

On Wednesday, the highest recorded temperature was 36.7 degrees Celsius, observed in Rajshahi, Rangpur, and Rajarhat. The lowest temperature recorded today was 26.0 degrees Celsius, noted in Bandarban and Teknaf.

Over the last 24 hours, rainfall amounted to 16 mm in Bandarban.

For the capital, the sun will set at 6:48 pm today and rise at 5:21 am tomorrow.

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