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The importance of building human capital

  • Published at 05:58 pm October 11th, 2018

Bangladesh must pay more attention to taking advantage of the demographic dividend

The World Bank Group’s Human Capital Index (HCI), a new system to rank countries based on their success in developing human capital -- one which attempts to put pressure on nations to invest more effectively in education and health care -- is an index to keep an eye on.

Bangladesh has its own bit of good news -- it has ranked higher than India on the aforementioned index.

Given that Bangladesh seems to consistently be in the shadow of its larger neighbour on many things development related, this news should invigorate our leaders, and encourage them to continue the upward trend the country has been enjoying. 

Although World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim acknowledged that the rankings may not be definitive, it was stressed that there was such a dire need for effective investment in people that they “couldn’t shy away from making leaders uncomfortable.”

And there is hope that our leaders will not be comfortable, because there is still so much to be done.

Bangladesh must pay more attention to taking advantage of the demographic dividend, having more people of working age than non-working. We must take lessons from other highly successful Asian nations such as South Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand, who have successfully capitalized on their own demographic dividend, and significantly improved their economy.

Also, there is warning from WB itself that automation and artificial intelligence will eliminate numerous jobs in the coming years, and education and proper health of the working force will be vital when competing for work.

It is time to really invest in our greatest asset -- our people.