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In Defence Of Sheikh Hasina: The Guiding Hand Behind Bangladesh's Remarkable Progress Sheikh Hasina, the world's longest-serving female head of government and one of the most influential figures in modern political history, has served as Bangladesh's Prime Minister for over two decades.

By Diptivilasa And Aman Bandvi

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Sheikh Hasina

Sheikh Hasina, the world's longest-serving female head of government and one of the most influential figures in modern political history, has served as Bangladesh's Prime Minister for over two decades. This extended period in office has seen Bangladesh undergo unprecedented socioeconomic transformation and growth, primarily due to her leadership and political fortitude.

Hasina has presided over momentous poverty alleviation in her country, fueled by an average annual GDP growth of 7% for much of her tenure. Her leadership is grounded in a vision of a hunger-free, poverty-free developed Bangladesh, a goal she has pursued with relentless determination.

Under her watch, Bangladesh has benefited from policies that include substantial infrastructure investment. These policies have helped maintain the country's economic boom, something a weaker government might not have managed to sustain.

While her leadership style may invite criticism, the remarkable progress and development that Bangladesh has witnessed under her cannot be ignored.

Her tenure is characterised by economic progress and a solid commitment to humanitarian causes. When nearly a million Rohingya fled from genocide in Myanmar, Hasina received international praise for providing refuge and assistance.

Hasina has been a strong voice for the least developed countries (LDCs) globally. During the fifth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries held in Doha, Qatar, in March 2023, she represented not only Bangladesh but also the 1.1 billion people living in the LDCs.

Sheikh Hasina in Washington

The South Asian country's head of state championed sustainable development initiatives, and she also addressed critical global concerns, such as the effects of the Ukraine War and the COVID-19 pandemic on these vulnerable nations.

Hasina has also made significant strides in projecting Bangladesh's achievements to the international community. She highlighted her country's resilience in the face of the COVID-19 crisis, its robust digital economy growth, and its remarkable increase in per capita income3.

She proudly announced that Bangladesh's export volume had exceeded the US$ 60 billion mark and that the nation had received FDI of US$ 2.8 billion in 2022. According to her, Bangladesh is projected to become the 24th largest economy globally by the first half of the 2030s.

In the face of global adversities such as the COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and climate crises, Hasina has emphasised the need for international cooperation. She has advocated for the rights and needs of young people, who she believes should be an integral part of the Future of Work.

Her unwavering dedication to her country's development and robust advocacy for LDCs on the global stage makes her a formidable leader. As Bangladesh moves towards graduation from the list of LDCs in 2026, Hasina has focused on ensuring that the country continues to receive international support measures for an extended period. Her vision of a resilient and prosperous Bangladesh continues to drive the nation's development journey.

Sheikh Hasina's political journey is marked by resilience and dedication. She navigated the country through political turmoil and, despite facing numerous challenges, including a period of detention on extortion charges, she led her party to victory multiple times. The next time Bangladeshi's go to the polls will be in January 2024 and under Sheik Hasina, Bangladesh is heading for a peaceful, democratic and fair elections.

Diptivilasa has served the Indian government as a senior bureaucrat and is currently also an independent director with a large PSU bank. He has held various leadership positions like the Additional Secretary, Home Ministry Government of India and VC of DDA.

Aman has over 25 years of global corporate experience in various leadership and Board Advisory roles. He has a track record of corporate turn arounds and is on the Board of India Stem Alliance, India Blockchain Alliance, Defence India and The Purpose Coalition. He also runs a NGO, Samvedana, which is focussed on the welfare of ex-servicemen.

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