Sajeeb Wazed Joy, information and communication technology adviser to the Prime Minister, has been conferred upon “ICT for Development Award, 2016″ in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the people of Bangladesh through implementation of “Digital Bangladesh” initiative.Joy was given the award for his unmatched leadership and commitment towards ICT and competitiveness as a tool for sustainable development and for his far-reaching initiatives in setting Bangladesh on the path to the digital world.The World Organization of Governance and Competitiveness, the Plan Trifinio, the Global Fashion for Development and the School of Business of the University of New Haven, Connecticut, the USA jointly organised the function titled “High-Level reception in support of the first anniversary of the adoption of the UN sustainable development goals, the importance of ICT competitiveness as a tool for sustainable development” at the Hotel Millennium on Monday night.
Introduced this year on the occasion of the 71st session of the UN General Assembly, the award will be given regularly on an annual basis.Eminent actor Robert Davi handed over the award at a gala function.Dr Sergio Bran, executive national director of Plan Trifinio El-Salvador, received another award from the actor.Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina as well as ministers and high-level political leaders from Bangladesh and other countries, UN senior officials, heads of international organistions, ambassadors, private sector and civil society leaders and celebrities attended the function.Speaking on the occasion, Sheikh Hasina thanked the organisrs for nominating someone from Bangladesh for the award being given this evening.She said Sajeeb Wazed, who happens to be her aviser on ICT, has been instrumental in shaping her government’s vision for a “Digital Bangladesh”. “He (Joy) continues to inspire our youth to think big and act boldly,” she said.Sheikh Hasina said, “As a mother, I am indeed proud to see my son being recognised for his work. He is making his mark in realising ‘Sonar Bangla’, the dream of our Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman,”She said, in Bangladesh, her government has made substantial investment in expanding IT infrastructure and building an IT-educated workforce. “We’ve seen a sea-change in broadband access and IT-enabled public services,” she said.Sheikh Hasina said ICT has thus become a critical enabler for the country’s inclusive growth, sustainable development and good governance.”It drives our aim to build a knowledge-based society for achieving our Vision-2021′ and Vision-2041,” she said.”Indeed, ICT holds for us a key to unlocking the full potentials of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” she added.After receiving the award, Joy said, “I feel deeply honoured to receive this award.”He dedicated this award to all the young people of the country, who are potential agents of transformation and builders of “Digital Bangladesh”.This was the first ever award given by the organisers and henceforth, they would like to give it regularly on an annual basis.International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has in the recent time recognised in various ways Bangladesh’s strides to digitalisation and this award, now coming from other entities as well, could be seen as a wider appreciation and recognition of Bangladesh’s efforts.