Today is the 50th birthday of Sajeeb Wazed Joy, the brain behind ‘Digital Bangladesh’. The eldest grandson of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Joy was born during the Bangladesh Liberation War on July 27 in 1971 to eminent nuclear scientist Dr MA Wazed Miah and Sheikh Hasina. He is the only son of the Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina.
His birth coincided with the birth of the country during the 1971 Liberation War of Bangladesh, and so his grandfather named him ‘Joy’ as a symbol of the nation’s victory.
Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader, also the general secretary of Awami League, on Sunday, ahead of his birthday, unveiled the third edition of the book “Sajeeb Wazed Joy: Samriddho Agamir Protichchhabi (A reflection of a prosperous future)”.
Quader credited him for materialising the dreams of Bangabandhu and his daughter and said Joy is making his “all-out strides from behind the scene to build a Digital Bangladesh”. The architect of Digital Bangladesh is now performing as the ICT affairs adviser to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
State Minister for ICT Division Zunaid Ahmed Palak is the publisher of the book while Prime Minister’s Deputy Press Secretary Ashraful Alam Khokan is the editor and photographer Yasin Kabir Joy is the planner of the book. Former vice-chancellor of the Dhaka University Prof AAMS Arefin Siddiqui has written the foreword of the book published by Jayita Prakashan.
“Due to the interest of the youth, the third edition of the book has been published on the 50th birthday of Sajeeb Wazed Joy, grandson of Bangabandhu,” the editor, Khokan, wrote in his official facebook page.
The book was first published in 2015 and the second edition in 2016 where there were only 16 articles in the 200-page book.
“In this third edition, 100 more pages have been added,” Khokan said. “This includes the work of Sajeeb Wazed Joy from 2015 to 2020, bringing the total number of articles to 67.”
“The third edition contains a total of more than 300 pictures, including a new 100. Sajeeb Wazed Joy’s childhood has also been included in the book with several photographs, which is rare,” he said.
Joy’s school education was completed in India – starting from St. Joseph’s College Nainital to Tamil Nadu’s Kodaikanal International School in Palani Hills. His mother, the prime minister, was in exile that time after the gruesome killing of her father, Bangabandhu, and other family members. Only her younger sister Sheikh Rehana survived along with her as both of them were abroad then.
A versatile scholar, Joy earned his Bachelor of Science degree in computer science, physics and mathematics from Bangalore University.
With his tremendous desire to learn more, he completed another Bachelor of Science degree in computer engineering at the University of Texas, Arlington in the United States.
Finally, he enrolled in the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University where he pursued and successfully completed the Masters in Public Administration. The policies taken by him as the Prime Minister’s ICT Advisor opened a new horizon of ICT usage in Bangladesh.
The country continues to improve rapidly in all indicators of technological advancement including mobile phone users, internet users, accessing public services digitally, mobile banking, and earnings from ICT exports.
The pandemic showed the relevance of his policies with hundreds of thousands of people being able to take health services over the phone or using the internet. Many people who lost their jobs could start a new venture using e-platforms.
His policies have also contributed to Bangladesh receiving investment from Silicon Valley. It is a paradigm shift for Bangladesh to reach such a height in ICT from what it had been even less than a decade ago.
He was the first Bangladeshi to be selected as a Young Global Leader for the year 2007 as an Information Technology (IT) specialist by the World Economic Forum.
In the ICT sector, he won several international awards including from the World Organization of Governance & Competitiveness, a tri-nation treaty body ‘Plan Trifinio’, an international NGO ‘Global Fashion for Development’ and School of Business of University of New Haven, Connecticut in support of the First Anniversary of the Adoption of the UNSDGs and the Importance of ICT and Competitiveness as a Tool for Sustainable Development.
Due to him, Obaidul Quader said, “Bangladesh has witnessed an unprecedented success and capability enhancement in the ICT sector”.
“He is a hardworking, meritorious and clean-image personality working from behind the scene to build a Digital Bangladesh and to translate the dreams of Bangabandhu and his daughter into reality,” he said, at the book unveiling event.
“Joy is the architect of silent revolution in the ICT sector.”
“Business and commerce, official and educational activities and social communication are being kept continued using the internet during the coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis, which reflects the instance of development,” he said.
Quader said thousands of youths are now earning money using the internet, staying at home and competing with the world while the dream was instilled into the mindset of the young generation by Sajeeb Wazed Joy.
Writing the forewords, the former Vice-Chancellor Prof Siddiqui said the ICT sector has come a long way in Bangladesh due to Sajeeb Wazed Joy.
“In this book, attempts have been made to evaluate his personality and the person in many ways,” he said.
The book is also available for online reading at https://agamirproticchobi.net/.