It is a great privilege for me to write a short piece on the birthday of Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad (hence forth QKA), who has just passed an important chronological milestone on his 80th birthday this year on 12 June, 2021. This publication dedicated to Dr QKA was initiated by Professor Dr Muhammad Mahboob Ali and the Entrepreneurial Economics Club of the Dhaka School of Economics, a component organisation of Dhaka University. Dr QKA is a reputable intellectual, a well-known researcher, a prominent economist, a great social thinker, and a social activist, who is actively involved in leadership capacity to promote the poverty reduction and socio-economic welfare of the people of Bangladesh. Dr QKA is a graduate of the Dhaka University completing his BA (Hons) and MA degrees in Economics and later completed his M Phil and PhD degrees in economics from the reputable London School of Economics (LSE).
During the liberation war of Bangladesh, Dr QKA has actively participated in the liberation struggle of the country and served in an important advisory role in the then newly formed Bangladesh Government-in-exile. Dr QKA has served in many leadership roles in Bangladesh at different times in different capacities serving different institutions. Prominent among them would be serving twenty-three years as in research career with a number of these years serving in the leadership role as the Research Director of the BIDS (Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies), a prominent research institution in Bangladesh. In those capacities, Dr QKA has conducted many research activities leading to some scholarly books and many articles published in reputable peer-reviewed academic journals. He has proven to be prolific writer and accomplished researcher in the field of economics.
His contributions and accomplishments did not end with his research and scholarship alone. After his time in BIDS, he devoted his valuable time in thinking about and to provide active leadership in promoting poverty-reduction and socio-economic development of the people of the country. He was involved in founding and then leading the BUP (Bangladesh Unnayan Parishad) and later his leadership role in serving as the Chairman of the Governing Body PKSF (Palli Karma Shahayak Foundation), which is involved in rural development, employment generation and skills development agency in Bangladesh. These services and leadership roles vividly testify his commitment and dedication to promote the socio-economic welfare of the people of the country.
In the past, he served as the President of the BEA (Bangladesh Economic Association) for three consecutive years, which is an apex body representing the prominent economists of the country. He is currently the founder Chairman of the Dhaka School of Economics, a constituent organization of the Dhaka University. This new institution is making great strides in promoting education and learning in Bangladesh under his active engagement and leadership.
Dr QKA has received many national and international accolades and prestigious awards in recognition to his accomplishments and achievements. Notable among these include being selected to serve in the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize winning UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Team, the BEA Gold Medal award (2012) and very recently, Management Teachers Consortium-Global, an India-based voluntary non-profit group and known across the world as a top level global think tank in higher education has conferred upon Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad MTC Global Rooshikumar Panday Life-Time Achievement Award (2017). In addition, Dr QKA received and several prestigious national recognition awards such as the Ekushey Padak (2009) and the national Independence Award (2019), both presented by the Government of Bangladesh. These are very prestigious Bangladesh awards.
Given the above and given that this is an auspicious day in Dr QKA’s life, I wish him a very long, happy, and healthy life so that he can continue his works and efforts for the benefits of students, academics and for the welfare of the general people of Bangladesh.
- Anisul M. Islam is a Professor of Economics at University of Houston-Downtown, Houston, Texas, USA. He can be reached by email: IslamA@uhd.edu