ICC Bangladesh Executive Board and its members are deeply shocked and saddened at the sad demise of ICC Bangladesh Vice President Rokia Afzal Rahman. She died at the Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital in Singapore at 2.00 a.m. on 5 April. Mrs. Rahman has been in the ICC Bangladesh Executive Board as Vice President since 2012. During her tenure as Vice President she extended her guidance and support in carrying out various activities, including organizing a number of international conferences in Dhaka. She also attended various seminars/ workshops of ICC Bangladesh both at home and abroad.
Mrs. Rahman was a member of the Business Advisory Council at the United Nations Economic and Social Commission Asia and Pacific, and South Asia Women’s Network. She was a noted entrepreneur and former adviser to the caretaker govt. She was also the founder President of the first Women Entrepreneurs Association in Bangladesh (formed in 1994), Bangladesh Federation of Women Entrepreneurs’ (BFWE) – formed in 2006. In 1996 she formed Women in Small Enterprises for development of small enterprises. She also served as President of Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dhaka & Board Member of Bangladesh’s Central Bank and the President of the Bangladesh Employers’ Federation.
After graduating from college in 1962, Mrs. Rokia began working in commercial banking and became a branch manager within two years. After spending a number of years in the banking sector, Rokia Afzal Rahman ventured into business in 1980. Actively involved in several associations, she conducted surveys to identify constraints faced by women entrepreneurs and to explore potential areas of investment, subsequently launching various innovative programmes to develop the entrepreneurial spirit in women. One of her most noteworthy accomplishments is the establishment of a ‘mini mart’ in 1996. It was a chain of shops owned and managed by a group of women entrepreneurs.
In 1991, she was recognized as one of the Leading Women Entrepreneurs of the World in Monte Carlo; in 2003, she was presented the Businessperson of the Year award by the American Chamber; she also received the Priyadarshani Award in India.
Mrs. Rahman left behind two daughters, one son and a number of grandsons/ daughters.
ICC Bangladesh prays for the eternal salvation of the departed soul and offers condolences to the grieving family.