Since our independence, Bangladesh has come a long way as a sovereign nation — that much is incontrovertible. However, equally indisputable is the fact that our development has been far less holistic than how it should be, which has led to a nation that is all too reliant on a handful of megacities to advance our economy.
As a developing nation, it is incredibly important that Bangladesh shift away from its current state of centralization and emphasize on achieving more blanket development, something which can only be achieved through improving our connectivity and physical infrastructure.
To that end, the recent additional loan of $190 million from the Asian Development Bank can prove instrumental for the ongoing Rural Connectivity Improvement Project, a project that seeks to upgrade the roads and highway infrastructure of our nation’s more rural areas. Such projects are a good indication that the government is adapting to ensure the rural population too reaps the benefits as Bangladesh continues onwards on the path towards middle-income status.
In Bangladesh, more than 60% of the population lives in villages, which easily classify anyone living there as marginalized people, a vast swathe who are completely excluded from our development net. As such, they are often deprived from critical services such as health care and even social services due to the lack of workable connectivity.
Needless to say, our centralized economy is not only limiting itself but is also having real, adverse impacts on the vast majority of our country.
Bangladesh’s development trajectory has been unprecedented given our humble and impoverished beginnings. But it is high time we set aside the achievements of the past and focus on improving the present and pave the way to a future where every Bangladeshi, regardless of where they are on the map, is not left wanting for opportunities or life-saving services.
Source: Dhaka Tribune.