Today we mark the 50th birth anniversary of a young visionary leader present among us, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s only son and the eldest grandson of The Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
0Sajeeb Wazed Joy was born during the country’s Liberation War on July 27 in 1971 to nuclear scientist Dr MA Wazed Miah and Sheikh Hasina. He is nicknamed Joy (victory) as he was born during the war and subsequent victory of the Bengalis.
Coming out of an illustrious family the name Joy may well appear to bring joy in our lives and the visionary leader has actually done so by bringing joy in our digital world. In fact, the country’s ICT sector and Sajeeb Wazed Joy are two names on the opposite sides of the same coin.
As the Adviser of Prime Minister on ICT affairs Joy is well-known as the architect of Digital Bangladesh who turned Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s vision of digitisation into reality. He also coined the slogan Digital Bangladesh before the national elections of 2008 in which Awami League secured state power by getting two-third majority. He has often been credited instrumental to the graduation of Bangladesh from the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) category to a developing country. However, as far as the Digital Bangladesh concept is concerned, it needs to be understood that the concept is not merely restricted within the process of digitisation of converting information into digital format.
The vision goes far beyond, the philosophy of “Digital Bangladesh” comprises ensuring people’s democracy and human rights, transparency, accountability, establishing justice and ensuring delivery of government services to the citizens of Bangladesh through maximum use of technology – with the ultimate goal being the overall improvement of the daily lifestyle of general people. This includes all classes of people and does not discriminate people in terms of technology.
Under Sajeeb Wazed Joy’s smart leadership the ICT sector has been playing a crucial role in realising the Digital Bangladesh dream. The ICT industry today is an important growth industry of the country; the sector has recorded and maintained an impressive 57.21 percent export growth on an average.
Bangladesh has identified ICT as a “thrust sector” as it beams with potentials for successful reforms, job creation, and industry growth and high spill-over effects to other sectors as well as improving governance and facilitating inclusion. The current World Bank’s Country Assistance Strategy for Bangladesh also recognizes the key role of ICT in supporting Bangladesh’s growth, competitiveness and governance agenda. The Information Technology (IT) Services, and IT-Enabled Services industry presents an attractive segment worth USD 475 billion that countries are competing for.
In the fiscal year (FY) 2016-17, Bangladesh ICT sector registered export earnings worth US$0.8 billion from the global market and US$1.54 billion from the domestic market span – thereby making around one percent contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP). The sector has created over 300, 000 jobs in the past decade.
However, it was Joy’s farsighted and visionary plan to have taken the country’s ICT sector forward. A dream revealed a little over a decade ago is now paying back the nation with manifold dividends. He has taken Bangladesh to have a coveted position by successfully launching the Bangabandhu Satellite, a dream which our Father of the Nation visioned 46 years back.
Given his commitment and patriotism, we believe the visionary leader Joy can guide the country in the right path in the years ahead. His grandfather, our Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman founded sovereign and independent Bangladesh, his mother is taking the country to a peak of development and success while Joy has now emerged as the sentinel of the country’s young generation. Bangabandhu made history, his mother is enlarging the history by her Vision 2021 and 2041 when Joy is now shaping the future of the Digital Bangladesh.
A visionary leader is a person who has a clear idea of how the future should look. They set out concrete steps to bring a vision to life, and then they lead a team of people in that direction. This is exactly what Sajeeb Wazed Joy has been doing outright from the beginning. In the end, not only in the ICT sector we believe the promising and far-sighted leader must gradually apply his gifted capability in the country’s other sectors as well.
Observer, 27 July, 2020 ink