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The AEDSB Washington Seminar Series


Using Information Technology and Solar Power for Development in Bangladesh

Speaker: Saifur Rahman, Joseph Loring Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Virginia Tech

When: Tuesday, May 12, 2009; 12.30 pm. to 2.00 pm  

Where: Room MC 08-N300, The World Bank, 1818 H Street, N.W. Washington D.C. 20433

If you need a pass to attend the seminar, please contact one of the following:
SAhmed20@worldbank.org (202-473-6454), AAhsan@worldbank.org (202-473-1672), SHye@worldbank.org (202-473-1638) or BSen@worldbank.org (202-473-9397).


This lecture will focus on information and communication technology (ICT) applications in Bangladesh, and what is possible with adequate policy support and availability of electricity. Given that almost 60% of the households in Bangladesh do not have access to grid power, this poses a serious challenge to any meaningful penetration of ICT for the majority of the population there. Fortunately, grid power is not necessary for ICT penetration and there are active programs there to promote solar home lighting systems. The value of solar electricity beyond lighting, and to support ICT applications in Bangladesh will be explored. At the same time ICT needs to be looked upon not as an end in itself, but as an enabler for education, health care, job creation, business development, etc. A recent World Bank study has found that having access to electricity has a cumulative impact on increasing the household income by 20% in Bangladesh, and children’s study time goes up by 33% for those whose homes have electricity. The synergy between ICT development and availability of distributed electricity (eg, solar power) will be examined as a comprehensive package.

Poverty in Bangladesh (ppt)

About the Presenters

Dr. Saifur Rahman (Fellow of IEEE) is the director of the Advanced Research Institute at Virginia Tech where he is the Joseph Loring Professor of electrical and computer engineering. He also directs the Center for Energy and the Global Environment at the university. Professor Rahman has served as a program director in engineering at the US National Science Foundation between 1996 and 1999. In 2006 he served as the vice president of the IEEE Publications Board, and a member of the IEEE Board of Governors. In 2008-09 he is serving as a vice president for the IEEE Power & Energy Society and a member of its governing Board. He is also a distinguished lecturer of IEEE and in that capacity he has spoken on alternate energy, environment, power system and infrastructure related issues in over 20 countries in Asia, Europe, Africa, Australia and North America.