Abu Saeed Khan, Senior Policy Fellow, who has been with LIRNEasia from the very beginning, has been appointed as the first Secretary General of AMTOB, the mobile operators association of Bangladesh. We congratulate Abu and wish him the very best in contributing to the advance of Bangladesh through productive private-public partnerships.
Knowing Abu, we are confident that he will use this prestigious position to steer Bangladesh away from unproductive confrontations of the type we have seen over the past years, to one where the mobile operators who have done the heavy lifting in getting the people of Bangladesh connected electronically will also be allowed to play their due role in the government’s plans to reach middle-income status by 2021 (the fiftieth anniversary of the republic) through actions such as the implementation of Digital Bangladesh.
AMTOB is an industry body and he will have to represent the industry. But we are confident that one can represent an industry and also serve the public interest, especially in the context of a rapidly expanding pie. Abu has repeatedly demonstrated his public spiritedness, including through his unsung contributions to getting his country connected to an undersea cable. He will continue, we are sure.
LIRNEasia has been both blessed and cursed with regard to the people who work with it. Blessed because their skills and abilities are recognized and rewarded and cursed because then we get less of their time and attention. Harsha Vardhana Singh who started working with us on a research project on backbones, got recruited as the Deputy Director General of the WTO. Divakar Goswami got headhunted by Deloittes; Lorraine Salazar by McKinsey; the list goes on.
Now Abu Saeed.
But we have been told he’s not abandoning us altogether. Like Harsha de Silva, he will try to work with us as time and conditions permit. As with Harsha, we will navigate the shoals, maintaining the relationship but also ensuring that conflicts of interest are avoided through open communication.
We wish our friend Abu Saeed Khan and AMTOB well. We will support you in your efforts to advance your country and serve the people at the bottom of the pyramid.