Sheikh Hasina: A Leadership Propelling Bangladesh Toward Sustainable Economic Advancement

The hallmark of Sheikh Hasina's stewardship lies in the phenomenal economic renaissance Bangladesh has undergone under her aegis.

In the annals of global statesmanship, Sheikh Hasina (a proud daughter of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman—father of the nation, Bengali), the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, emerges as an illustrious luminary whose unprecedented sagacious leadership has catapulted the nation into a paradigm of unparalleled progress. Her determination to orchestrate the socio-economic metamorphosis of the country has not only garnered plaudits domestically, but has also earned her accolades on the international platform. As Bangladesh continues its ascendancy in various spheres, Sheikh Hasina’s perspicacious governance remains the linchpin propelling the nation’s holistic success.

The hallmark of Sheikh Hasina’s stewardship lies in the phenomenal economic renaissance Bangladesh has undergone under her aegis. Through prudent policies and strategic initiatives, she has transmuted a predominantly agricultural economy into a burgeoning industrial juggernaut—a remarkable endeavor. The nation’s GDP growth has consistently outstripped global averages, and Bangladesh now stands as the epitome of one of the most rapidly advancing economies worldwide.

Sheikh Hasina’s importance on infrastructural avant-garde has been a seminal catalyst for economic progress—nothing short of phenomenal. Substantial investments in transportation, energy, and technology have enhanced intra-country connectivity and positioned Bangladesh as a regional link for international trade and commerce. The understanding of visionary projects such as the Padma Bridge and the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant highlights her unwavering commitment to sustainable, long-term development. It may act as a catalyst in balancing international power practices.

Under Sheikh Hasina’s direct guidance and emphasis on the agricultural sector, a notable success story has unfolded, contributing significantly to the surge in grain production rates from the late ’90s to the early 21st century. The government’s strategic focus on fertilizer production and the integration of advanced technologies in agriculture has not only rendered the country self-sufficient in food production but has also secured impressive global rankings. Bangladesh now stands third in both rice and fish production, second in jute, fourth in vegetables, and eighth in mango production worldwide.

An insightful commitment to social welfare and egalitarian policies features Sheikh Hasina’s leadership. Recognizing the priority of human development, she has implemented a panoply of programs aimed at eradicating—at least mitigating— poverty, ensuring ubiquitous access to education, and enhancing healthcare amenities and services. The Prime Minister’s vision encompasses the creation of a society where every human being has the opportunity to flourish.

The Sheikh Hasina-led government has significantly shaped the advancement of social safety across diverse sectors. Within the framework of the social safety net, the government has undertaken multifaceted programs catering to marginalized communities, the destitute, elderly individuals, widows, divorcees, individuals with disabilities, those affected by Autism, as well as providing assistance to destitute freedom fighters. Noteworthy initiatives include the shelter scheme and the one home one farm scheme. Over the past decade, a commendable outcome has been witnessed, with 25 million impoverished individuals transcending the poverty threshold. Consequently, Bangladesh has emerged as an exemplary model for poverty alleviation on the global stage.

Her government’s unwavering commitment to gender parity is particularly commendable. Bangladesh has already witnessed a conspicuous surge in the participation of women across diverse sectors—almost all sectors, including politics, business, and education, courtesy of policies that promote women’s empowerment. The Digital Bangladesh initiative, another Sheikh Hasina’s brainchild, has amplified access to information and technology and empowered marginalized communities, preventing the digital divide.

In 2009, Sheikh Hasina articulated the visionary “Vision 2021,” aiming to forge a “Digital Bangladesh” enriched with ICT proficiency by the year 2021. Presently, under her continued leadership, Bangladesh is in the process of transforming into a “Smart Bangladesh.” Notably, nine out of the planned 39 Hi-Tech parks have already been established, attracting the operational presence of 18 domestic and international companies. The government’s commitment to digitalization extends to the integration of online Information and Communication Technology in both public and private institutions.

A pivotal stride in this trajectory is marked by the launch of the “Bangabandhu-I” satellite, a significant catalyst for extending internet services and broadcasting television channels seamlessly across the nation. This strategic evolution underscores Bangladesh’s commitment to advancing technological infrastructure and embracing a smart, interconnected future.

In the face of increasing global challenges, exemplified by climate change, Sheikh Hasina has positioned Bangladesh as a forerunner in environmental custodianship. The Prime Minister’s commitment to sustainable development manifests in her diligent efforts to solve climate change and its repercussions. Bangladesh’s participation in international forums advocating for environmental protection is emblematical of Sheikh Hasina’s unwavering dedication to securing a healthy and sustainable future for the planet.

Under Sheikh Hasina’s congruous leadership, Bangladesh has fortified its standing in the global arena. The Prime Minister’s diplomatic efforts have engendered robust ties with neighboring nations like India and Myanmar, elevating Bangladesh’s standing on the world stage. Her instrumental role in facilitating longstanding issues with India, including the Land Boundary Agreement and water-sharing, has not only burnished bilateral relations but has also set a precedent for the amicable resolution of protracted disputes. Sheikh Hasina- led government’s initiatives have explored our blue economy with the conquest of the sea about 1,31, 096 square kilometers of maritime boundary of Bangladesh. She also resolved a land boundary with India of 16,751 acres with 111 enclaves.

Sheikh Hasina did not let the army be involved in a war against Myanmar, though this country violated international laws by pushing more than a million Rohingya Refugees. Even Sheikh Hasina’s approach to humanitarian causes, exemplified by the assistance of Rohingya refugees, has showcased Bangladesh’s generosity and commitment to global solidarity. Her adept navigation of intricate geopolitical landscapes with diplomacy and delicacy has garnered her admiration and respect on the international stage.

In the intricate tapestry of global leadership, Sheikh Hasina’s tenure as the Prime Minister of Bangladesh radiates great brilliance. Her visionary approach to economic development, unwavering commitment to social welfare, environmental custodianship, and adept diplomacy have metamorphosed Bangladesh and cherished her among the world’s most illustrious leaders. As the nation traverses the trajectory of progress and affluence, Sheikh Hasina remains a badge of optimism, grit, and visionary leadership for Bangladesh and the broader international community.

M A Hossain
M A Hossain
M A Hossain, political and defence analyst based in Bangladesh.