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FERB: From the Beginning

After discussions among the journalists covering energy sector for a long time, the formal journey of Forum for Energy Reporters Bangladesh (FERB) began on November 27, 2000. On this day, the journalists sat in a meeting at National Press Club and decided to launch the organization. The main thirst of launching the FERB was to improve skills of journalists in the sector, disseminating information among them, strengthening their internal and external relationship and highlighting major issues. A nine-member committee was formed. The committee members were:


Chairman Kashem Humayun Dainik Sangbad
Vice Chairman Saiful Amin Asia Week
Executive Director Mollah Amzad Hossain Banglabazar Patrika
Director (Research and Training) Arun Karmakar Prothom Alo
Director (Finance and Development) Masumur Rahman Khalili Inquilab
Director (Data Bank) Ruhul Amin Rushd Bhorer Kagoj
Director (Entertainment and Welfare) Sagar Sarwar Jugantar
Executive Members Akram Hossain Ittefaq
  Badiul Alam Financial Express

The committee formulated a constitution for the organization. However, no major activity could be carried out. The FERB held its first annual general meeting (AGM) and election on February 10, 2002. The committee elected was:


Chairman Badiul Alam Financial Express
Vice Chairman Akram Hossain Khan Ittefaq
Executive Director Mollah Amzad Hossain Matribhumi
Director (Research and Training) Sagar Sarwar Ittefaq
Director (Finance and Development) Sirajul Islam Kadir Manabzamin
Director (Data Bank) Zahid Newaz Jewel UNB
Director (Entertainment and Welfare) Shahnaj Begum Independent
Executive Members Kashem Humayun Sangbad
  Masumur Rahman Khalili Inquilab

The new committee from the very beginning was sincere and active in arranging various programs. In past one year, the FERB organized five seminars and views exchange meetings. However, no training program, a major thirst of the members, could be arranged despite our sincere efforts. The executive committee is optimistic to hold training programs for FERB members shortly. Also, some of our major plans faced setback due to fund constraints. The FERB has a plan to develop a data bank which will be very useful for its members as well as other concerned. Steps are also underway to launch a website.


The major programs organized by the FERB in the past one year were exchange of views with State Minister for Energy AKM Mosharraf Hossain (February 19, 2002) and State Minister for Power Iqbal Hasan Mahmud (May 24, 2002). On October 7, 2002, the FERB arranged a seminar on "Bangladesh's Gas and Economic Development: Perspective Reports of the Two National Committees". It was the first major such program on the two national committees' reports where experts, policy planners and politicians from all quarters concerned took part. The Energy Division in its summary report on the matter prepared for Prime Minister mentioned about the brainstorming outcome of the seminar.


Besides, the FERB and BP, Middle East jointly arranged several programs. More such meetings will be organized.

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