Bangladesh plans big for mobile apps

DHAKA (The Daily Star/ANN) - Mobile game and app development academies will be established at eight divisional headquarters, while mobile game and app labs, app testing labs and training points will be set up at local educational institutions in 30 districts.

The government has taken up a 2.82 billion taka (US$40 million) project to develop mobile applications for both local and international markets.

The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council yesterday approved the project, which will be implemented with domestic resources within 2018.

Mobile game and app development academies will be established at eight divisional headquarters, while mobile game and app labs, app testing labs and training points will be set up at local educational institutions in 30 districts.

Under the project, the government will take up awareness and publicity programmes about games and apps along with online quality assurance examination and evaluation of the apps.

A planning ministry official said a new foreign currency earning industry will emerge if the project becomes successful.

During 2011-2016, the number of customers of mobile games and apps increased 7.3 per cent on average each year in the global market, according to a report of the ministry.

The planning ministry official said the number of customers will be 8.5 billion worldwide in 2016.

If youths of Bangladesh can be trained properly, they will contribute to the global apps market, the official said.

Ecnec yesterday approved six other projects worth 30.44 billion taka; all the projects will be implemented with the government funds.

The government set aside 5.04 billion taka for land acquisition and land development for a 350-megawatt coal-fired power plant in Gazaria upazila of Munshiganj.

Besides, a 10.26 billion taka project has been taken to carry out repairs on different affected roads, drains and footpaths under Dhaka North City Corporation.

The government also revised the Buriganga river restoration project extending its deadline and raising allocation.

The cost of the project was set at 9.44 billion taka in 2010 and it was scheduled to be completed by 2013.

But now the project cost has been revised up to 11.25 billion taka with the project completion deadline in 2020. The aim of the project is to increase navigability of four major rivers around Dhaka city to pave the way for movement of vessels throughout the year.

After the meeting, Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said waters of the four rivers around Dhaka are getting polluted due to domestic and industrial waste.

Kamal said the prime minister has directed different ministries to prepare a master plan to increase navigability of the rivers and prevent pollution. 

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