UNDP, Grameenphone and BIDA to create economic opportunities for all

Future Nation is created to accelerate the Nation's future economic growth by enhancing the skills and potential of youth

August 7, 2022

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP),  Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) and Grameenphone, jointly launched Graduate Employment in Private Sector Programme under an alliance called "FutureNation" today (07 August) at a hotel in Dhaka, to create economic opportunities for all by 2041.

Future Nation, an alliance of the private, public and development sectors, is created to accelerate the Nation's future economic growth by enhancing the skills and potential of youth by identifying opportunities for development, employment, entrepreneurship, and investment in the post-pandemic situation.

Salman F Rahman, Private Industry and Investment Adviser to the Honorable Prime Minister; Zunaid Ahmed Palak, State Minister for ICT; Md Sirazul Islam, Executive Chairman, BIDA; Radwan Mujib Siddiq, Strategic Advisor, UNDP;  Mohsina Yasmin, Executive Member, International Investment Promotion, BIDA Sudipto Mukerjee, Resident Representative, UNDP; and Yasir Azman, CEO, Grameenphone; graced the “FutureNation: Graduate Employment in Private Sector Program” launch.

Sudipto Mukerjee, Resident Representative, UNDP, in his opening remarks said, “Global job market is consistently evolving. We must ensure our youth is prepared for the new reality presented by the fast-paced economic and technological evolutions. The blessings of a demographic dividend do not last forever. The private, public and development sectors have to work hand in hand and accelerate efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.”

Salman F Rahman, Private Industry and Investment Adviser to the Honorable Prime Minister addressing the event as the chief guest said, “After realizing a ‘Digital Bangladesh’, the government is now working to establish a ‘Smart Bangladesh’ to be successfully involved in the 4IR, engaging to create youth employment through various ICT initiatives, a pre-condition for sustaining Bangladesh’s prosperity. I wholeheartedly applaud this initiative, ‘FutureNation by Grameenphone, UNDP and BIDA.”

Zunaid Ahmed Palak, State Minister for ICT in his speech said, “Bangladesh is uniquely positioned to potentially benefi­t from a demographic dividend. But to reap the benefits of a demographic dividend stable employment opportunities and equipping the youth with digital competencies is pivotal. We must collaborate to reduce the disparity between the urban and rural areas by transforming the country into a digitally connected society. FutureNation is an of this co-creation.”

Radwan Mujib Siddiq, Strategic Advisor, UNDP, in a video message shared his vision about FutureNation. He said, “FutureNation, with its advanced grooming method and more realistic assessment procedure, will help endow the youth with employable skills. I am delighted to see this coalition support the very critical area of building skills through their technology and innovation. Such an initiative will be impactful to upskill the youth and prepare them for real work."

Jørgen C. Arentz Rostrup, EVP, Head of Asia, Telenor, in his video message shared, “Creating opportunities for youth is fundamental for any nation and it is crucial for Bangladesh, more so due to its great national ambitions and is one of the fastest growing economies. Grameenphone has been creating employment opportunities for the last 25 years. At Telenor, we believe strong partnerships create a stronger impact and this alliance is exemplary of that. Time is now to create new opportunities for the youth of Bangladesh.”

Yasir Azman, CEO, Grameenphone, said, “At Grameenphone, we always take a youth-first approach through our tech, innovation and social impact projects. Today I am delighted to be a part of this collective effort- a step towards realigning the existing talent with emerging technologies, making them more cyber smart, and ultimately enabling better job opportunities and futureproofing the youth of Bangladesh for the digital world."

A panel discussion was held after the launching of the platform on “Graduate Employment Challenges in Bangladesh”, where Mohsina Yasmin, Executive Member-3, International Investment Promotion, BIDA; Bikarna Kumar Ghosh, Managing Director, Bangladesh High-tech Park Authority; Russell T  Ahmed, President, BASIS; Zaved Akhtar, Managing Director, Unilever Bangladesh; Anir Chowdhury, Policy Advisor, UNDP; Hakon Bruaset Kjol, SVP, Head of External Relations Asia, Telenor and Rashedur Rahman, Executive Director, ICE Center, University of Dhaka shared their valuable opinions. The program was wrapped after the Vote of Thanks from Van Nguyen, Deputy Resident Representative, UNDP Bangladesh.

The primary objective of FutureNation is to create sustainable economic opportunities for young graduates through decent employment and facilitate a skilled workforce that can cope with the transforming industry trends. It also aims at reducing the unemployment ratio of graduate youth groups through basic training in digital and financial literacy, communication, business appreciation, and much more. By converting own set of capabilities gained from the program into higher-paid jobs in both the local and global sphere, the youth would aspire to yield a better stream of income and lift Bangladesh’s economy to higher levels.

FutureNation has developed a home-grown aptitude assessment tool, which can assist the corporates and the private sector in finding the appropriate human resources with the necessary skills needed for their organization. Walton, Akij, Pran-RFL, Abul Khair Group, Nasir Group, Nagad, ACI, and many other reputed organizers have been listed as the potential employers for this program, while Dhaka University, North South University, BRAC University, and a few more names are listed among the potential academia for FutureNation.