The Realization of a Digital Dream

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SAJEEB WAZED JOY, is a young, globally recognized politician and the son of the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina and her late spouse Dr. M A Wazed Miah (Shuda Miah). Joy, who gets his name for the Bengali word for victory, was born on the 27th of July in 1971, during the Liberation War of Bangladesh. He took political asylum with his mother in India after the tragic assassination of his grandfather, the Father of the Nation, Bangabandu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman along with other members of his family on the 15th of August, 1975. Later on, he enrolled in the St. Joesph’s College in India after which he went on to study Computer Science at the University of Bangalore. He then was transferred to the University of Texas at Arlington where he received B. Sc Degree in Computer Engineering after which he completed his Masters in Public Administration from Harvard University. In 2002, he was wed to Kristinee Wazed and the couple was later blessed with a daughter, Sophia Rehana Wazed.
Joy is a computer scientist and ICT consultant by occupation and considered one of the young global leaders. As the ICT Advisor for the Prime Minister his major contributions lie in the development of the ICT sector in Bangladesh and the formation of a Digital Bangladesh. After joining Awami League, Joy formulated the vision 2021 manifesto and took part in the development of the country’s ICT sector, dramatically changing the virtual arena of the country. He advised the Bangladeshi government to withdraw taxes on computer imports to boost the progress and growth of the ICT sector. Having been the main driving force behind this, one can acknowledg him as the main proponent for Bangladesh having recently won the ITU award for using ICT to raise people’s living standards.

I would like to appeal to everyone to come out of this old mindset. It is important that we help build the IT sector which will require more IT educated people in the next generation.

A vision is the main driving force for achieving any goal. My vision is to work to make Bangladesh a developed country and I have set the necessary targets to achieve it. It is a great honor for me to bring the Vision 2021 to light having already made great progress in transforming the country. If we look back six years ago, we hardly had anything digital. Our internet penetration was only 3%, whereas now it is 30%. We have laid out six submarine cables as backups so that our internet connectivity stays intact. The eleven thousand or so young men and women who are working in over four thousand digital centers at union levels are earning about fifty to sixty thousand taka through them. This was only made possible through the Access to Information project. This has also proved that we have not been lagging behind the rest of the world in terms of the talent available in our country’s disposal.
We can also look forward to Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) which is now a $100 million industry and will turn into a $5 billion industry in the next five years. It has reached employment levels of 25,000 which will also grow exponentially over the years. From my own experience in Bangalore, I have seen that 25 years ago it used to be a quiet city which has now turned into the number one IT outsourcing destination in the world. During my time there as a student there was no IT outsourcing in Bangalore but now it is a burgeoning global IT hub. This inculcated the dream in me and now I am working to make a Digital Bangladesh a reality. If all goes well we may even see the next great global IT hub here in Bangladesh.
After the election of 2008. I was involved in the preparation of the manifesto of the Vision 2021. It was an honor to promote the idea of a Digital Bangladesh. We have faced adversities on this road to prosperity but we will achieve great things. We are number 2 in the global garments arena, we already have 3G with 4G on its way. There will be more value added from the BPO industry as well. A huge portion of our population within the age brackets of 18-35 years and I would like to encourage them to grasp the opportunities they have in front of them now. I would like to push parents to give their children the freedom to make their own fortunes. I do this because when we were going to school or college it was a trend to follow in the medical, engineering or law line of education. When I started my college education computer science was a new discipline. I would like to appeal to everyone to come out of this old mindset. It is important that we help build the IT sector which will require more IT educated people in the next generation.
I hope young people will hone their talents and embrace IT as a way of life. Through this, I believe they will be able to ensure the well being of their own futures and help the country move forward as well.

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