AKA Dhaka welcomes esteemed economist Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya | Aga Khan Academies

AKA Dhaka welcomes esteemed economist Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya

10 September 2023

On Thursday, 7 September 2023, an esteemed macroeconomist and public policy analyst, Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya and his team from the Center for Policy Dialogue (CPD) in Dhaka, Bangladesh were welcomed at the Aga Khan Academy Dhaka. Dr Debapriya is a current member of the United Nations (UN) Committee for Development Policy (CDP) and has served in various roles locally and globally, including as an ambassador and permanent representative of Bangladesh to the World Trade Organization and UN offices. During the visit, Dr Debapriya was accompanied by the Aga Khan Development Network Resident Diplomatic Representative for Bangladesh His Excellency Munir M Merali and Head of Academy Suvina Shunglu.

Dr Debapriya and his team received a tour of the award-winning, 17-acre campus and its state-of-the-art facilities. At the same time, they engaged with students, faculty and staff of the Academy. The visitors were captivated by the Academy's vibrant learning environment, lively classrooms, expansive outdoor sports facilities and the inquisitiveness of its students.

“Students here do not have to sit in classrooms only,” Dr Debapriya said. “They get to do many things outside as well, which seems fun!”

After the tour, the Senior School students, along with staff who teach economics at the Academy joined Dr Debapriya for a session on the “Development Journey of Bangladesh: Achievements and Challenges”. Through an engaging presentation infused with humor and insight, students reflected on the major achievements, challenges and the role of youth in Bangladesh’s development. While highlighting the different aspects of decision-making as an economist, Dr Debapriya asked some thought-provoking questions related to ‘allocated priorities’ to the students which pushed them to think beyond the box. During the open discussion, students voiced their opinions and conveyed their eagerness to play a role in the nation's future development.

“Dr Debapriya’s approach to first discussing the economic development of Bangladesh in the past 50 years and then guiding us through the role of youth in the years ahead really inspired us to realign our priorities,” said Grade 12 student Fardin Ahmed Nashin. “He had us picture a future where we are the leaders of Bangladesh and emphasised placing importance on ubiquitous education, appreciation of the labour force and equity of welfare throughout our country. His gracious presence and captivating charisma really left an impact on the minds of all of us present.”

Beyond economic metrics, Dr Debapriya highlighted the importance of enhancing human resources through education and healthcare to ensure social justice. He highlighted the issues of a society that can be caused by the disengagement of youth and reiterated that as future leaders, the students held a great responsibility toward their local communities.

Post-session, Ms Suvina expressed her gratitude to Dr Debapriya for enlightening the students and staff with his wisdom and resourceful presentation.

“Dr Debapriya's insights and engaging presentation have truly enriched our students and staff,” Ms Suvina said. “We are deeply grateful for his contribution to our learning journey.”