Saturday, 30 April 2016

Major stumbling blocks to the Afghan peace process

Major stumbling blocks to the Afghan peace process
Sunday, 24 April 2016 | Written by Heart of Asia
Some lawmakers and political analysts believe Pakistan and the United States are still sabotaging Afghan peace process to protect their own interests, and it won’t be successful until the Afghan government assures the US that peace is also in the interest of America.
The lack of proper policy and consensus in the government on peace process, excessive reliance on Pakistan, and the personal interests of some groups in war are some of the key challenges hindering the Afghan reconciliation process.
Gharzai Khwakhogai, a military expert, says both the first round of face-to-face peace talks between Afghan officials and the Taliban in Murree, a hill resort near Pakistan’s capital Islamabad, and the quartet peace initiative known as the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) were derailed by US and Pakistan because they are still pursuing their goals through war.
US officials themselves confess that they are here in Afghanistan to safeguard their own interests, which is the destabilization of Central Asia and Russia by allowing the conflict to spill over into that region, so how we should expect them to help restore peace to our country, Khwakhogai tells The Heart of Asia.
Pakistan plays a double game with both China and America, and also views Afghan peace as a danger to its interests, he believes, adding that Pakistan has economic interests in China, and receives millions of dollars in aid from the US for its cooperation in the so-called war on terror; therefore, Pakistan will lose the assistance if peace is restored to Afghanistan.

Genesis: The real story behind the rise of ISIS

"There are a lot of people in the Afghan government who think will lose their personal interests if peace comes; they see their interest and survival only in the war. If another group joins the government and seizes power, their share will decrease, hence they oppose the peace process,” he told the Heart of Asia.
Shahzada Shahid, a lawmaker and spokesman of the High Peace Council, believes a dearth of unanimity in the government is a major hurdle before peace. “Another problem thereof is that peace is directly dependent on the international community, in particular the US. For instance, if the government reaches an agreement with Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin (HIG), the most important issue will be the removal of members of the group from the UN Blacklist. But if foreigners don’t see Afghan peace as a necessity, they won’t lift the sanctions, thereby making the peace deal impossible with every militant group,” he explained.
However, Faiz Mohammad Zaland, a political analyst, says that a lack of political will on the part of Afghan leaders and the US and absence of a proper policy, over-reliance on Pakistan and some government officials are the main challenges facing the peace process.
Pakistan and the US, who are also now undermining peace talks with the Taliban and HIG, are undoubtedly the key saboteurs of Afghan peace process over the past 13 years, he told The Heart of Asia.
"Unfortunately, Afghan leaders don’t dare talk to the US. If peace process makes any progress, Afghan leaders should first clearly tell the US to define its interests to the Afghan government, and then Afghanistan should give it the assurance that its interests will be protected in the peace process," Zaland uttered, believing that Afghan officials should convince Americans that their interests in the regional could also be safeguarded through peace, and should therefore give up the protraction of war.
>>> read original article
  • The statements, views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Ivo R.Toniut

ИРА нуждается в поддержке РФ для успешной борьбы с терроризмом

Для успешного противодействия террористической угрозе Афганистану необходимо обратиться за поддержкой к России как одной из ведущих стран мира, заявил экс-президент Афганистана Хамид Карзай.
В недавнем интервью отставной глава государства, прибывший в Москву для участия в международной конференции Минобороны РФ по вопросам безопасности, рассказал о терроризме как основной угрозе для безопасности Афганистана. По словам Хамида Карзая, на протяжении первых нескольких лет после свержения режима Талибана обстановка в стране значительно улучшилась, но даже при содействии НАТО закрепить успехи в борьбе с терроризмом не удалось, что дестабилизировало ситуацию в дальнейшем. Экс-президент выразил мнение, что главной ошибкой США и союзников стал неправильный вектор приложения усилий. "Они не атаковали убежища и тренировочные базы террористов в Пакистане, не боролись с их мотивацией, не перекрыли каналы финансирования, хотя знали, откуда идут деньги", пояснил он. Хамид Карзай подчеркнул, что выполнение этих задач по-прежнему остаётся залогом успеха противодействия террористической угрозе, и для достижения цели Афганистан по-прежнему нуждается в поддержке других стран, не только США. "Нужно обратиться за помощью к России, Китаю и Индии, в нашем случае – особенно к России, поскольку она близко к нам, нас связывает долгая история и у неё есть возможность это сделать вместе с остальным миром, – отметил экс-президент. – Я предлагаю США так и поступить и надеюсь, что так и будет". Отставной глава государства возложил ответственность за распространение религиозного экстремизма в регионе на американскую сторону, заявив, что США поддерживали радикалов в целях противодействия советскому присутствию в Афганистане. "За это сегодня расплачиваются и Афганистан, и весь регион", – сообщил Хамид Карзай в интервью с российским каналом RT.

Biography of Alhaj Delbar Nazari, Minister of Women’s Affairs of Afghanistan

H.E. Delbar Nazari, daughter of Abdul Nazar, was born in 1956 in a religious and intellectual family in Samangan, a northern province of Afghanistan.
She passed her childhood in a loving family environment and learned primary knowledge from her parents. When Delbar Nazari turned seven, she was admitted to school for further education and completed her primary, intermediate, and secondary studies at Mahste High School in Kholm District of Samangan Province.
After graduating from school, she participated in the Kankor test, and was admitted to Balkh University and succeeded in the Literature Faculty, Departments of English and Dari, graduating in 1978.

Based on her deep interest in education, Delbar Nazari did not rely on her educational skills and successfully passed the second Kankor test and joined Faiz Mohammad Kateb University Political Science Faculty, International Relations Department and earned her second bachelor’s degree.
H.E. Nazari has worked in different organizations to serve her compatriots, such as Oxfam organization providing humanitarian aid for two years, German Agro Action Organization for three years, UNICEF organization educator in Samangan province for two years, and as a trainer in the first round of presidential election in Balkh and Samangan provinces.
After accomplishing her education degrees and achieving the opportunity, she was elected as Parliament Member by Samangan citizens to serve the country, especially women, from 2005 until 2010. She served as a member of the Cultural & Religious Affairs Committee of Wolesi Jirga. Subsequently, based on H.E Nazari outstanding performance record and loyal service, she was selected as Legal Advisor of First Deputy of Wolesi Jirga from 2012 to 2013.
In addition, Delbar Nazari worked as a gender employee in General Directorate of Electronic ID Cards in 2014. Consequently, the positive achievements of the Minister during her service in the different aspects of social life are significant, but the most prominent is her advocacy and support of women's rights.
Ms. Nazari has participated in management, gender, and women’s rights seminars from the prospective of Islam religion. In the 15th round of Parliament, she served on many official parliamentary trips to Tashkent, Kazakhstan, India, Iran, USA, and Canada and has made great achievements for the country. The current Minister of Women’s Affairs has never hesitated in providing cooperation and sacrifice regarding the development of Afghan women in different social, political, economic, and cultural fields. She has always strived for the day that women should not be victims of violence, and live in a peaceful and safe environment.
In addition to her native Uzbek language, H.E. Nazari is fluent in Pashto, Dari, and English languages. She has an admirable ability in the International Relations field, and is considered a well-known and successful woman of Afghanistan. During her years of service, she has been recognized through different administrations, and has received the Honesty and Loyalty Medals in performing assigned duties and many appreciation certificates throughout her career. In addition, Delbar Nazari has the unique characteristic of assigning competent people to perform government duties and follows the merit principle when hiring employees.

  • Biography published on the official website of The Ministry of Women's Affairs of The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan at

Friday, 29 April 2016

Il Ministro degli Esteri Gentiloni sigla nuovi accordi tra Roma e Kabul in materia di cooperazione allo sviluppo, in particolare nel settore delle infrastrutture di trasporto

Il 19 aprile, dopo una prima tappa ad Herat ove Gentiloni ha salutato il Contingente italiano, a Kabul il Ministro degli Esteri ha incontrato il Presidente della Repubblica Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, il Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah e il Ministro degli Esteri Salahuddin Rabbani.
La missione si colloca nel quadro del grande sostegno assicurato dall’Italia all’Afghanistan, testimoniato in particolare dalla decisione di prorogare la presenza del contingente militare italiano ad Herat per tutto il 2016 e, sul piano civile, dall’azione della nostra cooperazione allo sviluppo. L’Afghanistan si colloca infatti al primo posto tra i beneficiari dell’Aiuto Pubblico allo Sviluppo italiano con interventi per circa 820 milioni di euro approvati dal 2001 ad oggi. A conferma dell’impegno italiano di lungo periodo in Afghanistan, durante la visita Gentiloni ha aperto insieme a Rabbani la prima riunione della Commissione Mista italo-afghana, i cui lavori vertono soprattutto sulla collaborazione nel settore civile. A margine della riunione sono stati firmati accordi in materia di cooperazione allo sviluppo, in particolare nel settore delle infrastrutture di trasporto, e di uno in materia di cooperazione culturale, scientifica, tecnologica.
Proprio durante la visita del Ministro Gentiloni la capitale afgana è stata colpita da un attacco terroristico. “In Afghanistan c’è un’offensiva terroristica da circa una settimana, ma l’attacco di oggi è gravissimo anche perché colpisce le forze di sicurezza afghane”  ha detto il Ministro Gentiloni dopo l’attentato. “Ho sentito una grande determinazione nella lotta al terrorismo da parte del Presidente Ghani, noi continueremo a collaborare ma il protagonismo in questa battaglia è delle forze di sicurezza afghane”  ha aggiunto. Il Ministro Gentiloni ha precisato che sebbene “ci sono ancora sfide e difficoltà e giornate come quella di oggi, le forze di sicurezza e difesa afghane sono in grado di resistere agli attacchi terroristici”

Афганские бизнесмены планируют создать завод по производству соевого молока

Soy milk is a plant milk produced by soaking
dried soybeans and grinding them in water
Международная организация питания и образования (NEI) и афганские бизнесмены планируют создать коммерческий завод по производству соевого молока. Предполагается, что завод сможет производить до 2,5 млн. литров соевого молока в год. Проект профинансирует правительство Южной Кореи. Компания Daesung  создаст необходимое оборудование, которое будет перевезено в Кабул и собрано на месте. Соевое молоко богато белком и питательными веществами и может храниться при комнатной температуре до десяти месяцев, что очень актуально для афганских хозяйств, в которых зачастую нет ни холодильников, ни электроснабжения. В провинции Каписа ранее был построен завод по обработке сои и производству соевого масла.

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Многие афганские месторождения разрабатываются нелегально, причём доходы от контрабанды идут в том числе на поддержку боевиков

Taliban murderers and smugglers
Продажа угля из месторождения Шабашак в провинции Саманган была прекращена после того, как руководителям шахты начали угрожать представители местной мафии. По словам инженера Дад Мохаммада Зазая, возглавляющего угольную отрасль на севере страны, ущерб правительству исчисляется 3 млн. афгани ($50 тыс.) в сутки, причём проблема не ограничивается месторождением Шабашак. Работы не планируется возобновлять до тех пор, пока правительство не арестует и не накажет людей, угрожающих руководству и рабочим, Дад Мохаммада Зазая подчеркнул. Многие афганские месторождения разрабатываются нелегально, причём доходы от контрабанды идут в том числе на поддержку боевиков.

В Афганистане запущена система платежей посредством карт и мобильных телефонов

Центробанк Афганистана и компания Платёжные системы Афганистана (APS) запускают глобальный проект национальной платёжной системы для банковских карт и мобильных телефонов, что облегчит интеграцию Афганистана в международную экономику. Система будет предоставлять всем жителям страны безопасный и доступный электронно-финансовый сервис. Переход на безналичный расчёт в ряде областей существенно увеличит прозрачность в финансовом секторе, снизит коррупцию и ускорит интеграцию финансовой системы Афганистана в глобальную финансовую сеть. В течение последних пяти лет компания APS готовила инфраструктуру для перехода на электронные платежи. Данный проект позволит не только ускорить, но и существенно удешевить многие транзакции для клиентов.

Afghan coding school for girls, Code to Inspire, among 28 organizations in 16 countries receiving 2016 Google RISE Award!

The first coding school for girls in Afghanistan Code to Inspire has won the 2016 Google RISE Award, announced Fereshteh Forough, founder and CEO at the organization which describes itself as “a nonprofit committed to educating female students in Afghanistan how to code.”

“I am thrilled to announce that Code to Inspire is one of 28 organizations in 16 countries receiving a 2016 Google RISE Award!” , said Forough in a LinkedIn post. “It feels amazing and brings tears of joy to my eyes when I see the name of my country, despite its many conflicts, shining among the countries of the world” , wrote Forough invoking the recent horrific attack in Kabul that killed 68 people and wounded 347.

In a press release issued by Code to Inspire, Forough expressed gratitude to Google for the USD 25,000 prize.“With Google’s support we will be able to continue our efforts teaching these young women how to code and with those skills they can empower themselves and their communities”.

The Google RISE Award is an annual grant given to organizations that informally teach computer science to pre-university students. Code to Inspire, headquartered in New York, has a teaching center in Herat where it has 53 female students studying basic courses like HTML, CSS and more advanced ones like Mobile Application Development. Early last month, the organization held a coding marathon for its students. The girls and the instructors enthusiastically shared the work with the hashtag #CTICodeFest

Nangarhar province of Afghanistan getting power using solar energy

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Capacity Building and Change Management Program II (CBCMP-II) is installing solar power systems for three District Agriculture Offices in Nangarhar that will provide renewable and uninterrupted electricity. Reliable power at the District Agriculture Offices will greatly improve extension officers’ ability to communicate, access information and ultimately provide better agricultural advice and services to more than 7,000 farmers who reside in these areas. Installation of solar systems was finalized in April for the three District Agriculture Offices in Kama, Kuz Kunar and Behsud Districts of Nangarhar Province. In addition, CBCMPII equipped these offices with furniture and computers, and provided training to staff to improve their technical and managerial skills. “USAID’s Capacity Building and Change Management project has been working in Nangarhar to introduce modern technologies for agriculture officers that will improve their knowledge and efficiency. They will be able to provide better services to Nangarhar’s farmers,” said Eng. Shakrullah Shaker, Acting Director of the Directorate of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock in Nangarhar Province. USAID’s CBCMP-II works in 40 districts across 20 provinces to strengthen managerial and institutional capacity in the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock, and the ministry’s provincial and district offices. The program’s overreaching goal is more efficient, better-run government support to Afghanistan’s agricultural sector. A key focus is Afghanistan’s District Agricultural, Irrigation and Livestock offices, which work directly with farmers and herders on a local level.
>>> read original article

Jean-Nicolas Marti: Международного Комитета Красного Креста настроен на расширение своей деятельности в Афганистане

На днях Москву посетила делегация Международного Комитета Красного Креста (МККК), в составе которой присутствовал глава афганской миссии этой организации Jean-Nicolas Marti. В российской столице господин Марти принял участие в целом ряде встреч, в том числе в диалоге с экспертами в рамках мероприятия Российского совета по международным делам, посвящённого анализу ситуации в ИРА. Воспользовавшись предоставленной возможностью, репортер из портала Афганистан.Ру, София Панова, решила задать главе МККК в Афганистане ряд вопросов о деятельности его организации в этой стране и обстановке в Афганистане как таковой.

  • София Панова: Господин Маrti, расскажите о деятельности МККК в Афганистане, чем она отличается для вас от работы в других горячих точках?

Jean-Nicolas Marti: Наша работа в Афганистане включает в себя посещение заключенных для мониторинга условий их содержания и обращения с ними, другую деятельность по предоставлению защиты, восстановление семейных связей, содействие населению, пострадавшему от конфликта. Мы также проводим обучение основам оказания первой медицинской помощи, занимаемся вопросами водоснабжения и гигиены, распространяем знания о международном гуманитарном праве (МГП) среди всех воюющих сторон. Мы тесно взаимодействуем с Афганским обществом Красного Полумесяца, оказываем ему определенную поддержку. Международный Комитет Красного Креста (МККК) работает в Афганистане вот уже почти 30 лет. Во всем мире мы действуем исходя из наших принципов нейтральности, независимости и беспристрастности. Это особенно важно для «горячих точек», где от нашего нейтрального подхода и от того, воспринимают ли нас в качестве организации, не принимающей ничью сторону, зависит, сможем ли мы добраться до труднодоступных районов, будет ли при этом обеспечена наша безопасность и насколько позитивно наши партнеры и получатели помощи, с которыми мы работаем, будут воспринимать нашу деятельность. В Афганистане этого добиться особенно трудно, поскольку во многих случаях нам приходится управлять нашей работой на местах дистанционно.

  • София Панова: Некоторые СМИ сообщают о сокращении деятельности МККК в Афганистане после 2014 г. Это так?

Jean-Nicolas Marti: Когда Вы говорите о событиях2014 г., то, как я понимаю, Вы имеете в виду вывод Международных сил содействия безопасности (МССБ) и подготовка операции «Решительная поддержка», которая осуществляется под эгидой НАТО с начала2015 г. в целях обучения, консультирования, оказания помощи и борьбы с терроризмом. Так вот, напротив, масштабы нашей деятельности расширились! Не в последнюю очередь в связи с тем, что в стране остается все меньше гуманитарных организаций, а потребности уязвимых слоев населения в помощи продолжают расти. Бюджет наших программ в Афганистане вырос почти на 20% по сравнению с2015 г. и сейчас составляет около 100 млн. долларов, так что Афганистан остается одной из самых крупных операций МККК. Мы будем развивать и корректировать нашу деятельность в зависимости от потребностей. Один из примеров наших планов на будущее - запланированный на июль приезд бригады хирургов МККК, которые отправятся в больницы, чтобы оказывать помощь местным врачам, в том числе и в плане обучения. Мы сейчас наблюдаем активизацию боевых действий в городах и, соответственно, будем сообразовывать с этим наши программы оказания помощи, например, обращая особое внимание на ремонт систем водоснабжения. Больше внимания также будет уделяться работе по восстановлению семейных связей из-за увеличения миграционного потока в Европу, где афганцы представляют собой вторую по численности группу мигрантов. Это мы делаем совместно с Афганским Красным Полумесяцем.

  • София Панова: В последние годы число потерь среди гражданского населения Афганистана постоянно растет. Работает ли МККК над тем, чтобы воспрепятствовать этому? Возможно, у вас есть конкретные предложения по данной проблеме?

Jean-Nicolas Marti: Вы правы, в докладе Миссии ООН по содействию Афганистану говорится, что в 2015 году был достигнут беспрецедентно высокий показатель числа жертв среди гражданских лиц по статистике, начинающейся с2009 г., когда Миссия начала собирать такие данные. Было отмечено, что такой рост связан с повышением интенсивности наземных боевых действий, атаками смертников и прочими факторами. По информации, которая попадает к нам, мы можем говорить о 50-процентном увеличении числа жертв среди гражданского населения по сравнению с2014 г.. Мы надеемся оказать хотя бы косвенное влияние на эти показатели, прилагая усилия для их снижения посредством обучения представителей вооруженных сил и оппозиционных групп нормам международного гуманитарного права. Эти нормы требуют щадить мирное население и гражданские объекты, в том числе медучреждения и медицинский персонал.

  • София Панова: Как МККК в Афганистане обеспечивает безопасность своих сотрудников и учреждений? Ведет ли она в этой связи переговоры с антиправительственными группировками?

Jean-Nicolas Marti: Как Вы, возможно, знаете, МККК не использует вооруженную охрану, отказывается от охраны своих зданий и территории, а также от вооруженного сопровождения при проведении своих гуманитарных операций на местах, чтобы не подвергать сомнению свою нейтральность. МККК ведет постоянный диалог со всеми воюющими сторонами и другими вооруженными структурами, объясняя им защитные функции эмблем Красного Креста и Красного Полумесяца и напоминая всем сторонам об исключительно гуманитарном, беспристрастном и независимом характере деятельности МККК.

  • София Панова: Связана ли афганская миссия МККК с Россией и каким образом?

Jean-Nicolas Marti: МККК поддерживает связь с дипломатическими миссиями в Афганистане, включая посольство Российской Федерации, регулярно обсуждает с ними гуманитарную обстановку в стране и рассказывает о том, какую помощь оказывает МККК в ответ на возникающие потребности. Подобные контакты также являются одним из аспектов работы МККК с имеющимися и потенциальными донорами.

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

During the recent Italian Foreign Minister’s trip to Afghanistan, were signed three cooperation agreements between Kabul and Rome

KABUL, April 26, 2016 - Afghan Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani had a farewell meeting with the Ambassador of the Republic of Italy H.E. Luciano Pezzotti whose tenure as an Ambassador to Kabul has come to an end.
Foreign Minister expressed his appreciation for the cooperation of the Republic of Italy in various areas and for the sacrifices of Italian troops in the way of ensuring security and stability in Afghanistan. Foreign Minister called the Republic of Italy a good friend that has stood beside the people of Afghanistan in difficult days.
Afterwards, the Italian Ambassador called his tenure as an ambassador to Kabul worthy and considered good and friendly relations with the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan very valuable for his country. He added that Italy would continue its cooperation with Afghanistan in different areas. He called the recent Italian Foreign Minister’s trip to Kabul, during which three cooperation agreements were signed between the two countries, as a clear sign of Italy’s commitment for continuous friendship and cooperation with Afghanistan.


Afghanistan Cricket Team to start tour of Ireland, Scotland and Netherlands in July

The Afghanistan National Cricket Team will start tour of Scotland, Ireland and Netherlands in coming July, the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) said Tuesday. According to a statement by ACB, the Afghan team will play in a series of 2 One Day International (ODI) matches, on 4th and 6th July.
The statement further added that the second series will played against Ireland, consisting of 5 One Day International (ODI) matches, starting on 10th July. The other matches will be played on 12th, 14th, 17th and 19th July, ACB said, adding that the third series will start against Netherlands on 28th July. The 4-Day match against Netherlands will be played on 29th, 30th and 31st of July which is part of the I-Cup match, ACB added. This comes as the Afghanistan national cricket team former head coach Inzamam-ul-Haq earlier said the Afghan team needs to play against big countries in a bid to help the minnows prosper as an international team in the future. Inzamam was speaking following a historic win by the Afghan team against the powerful team of West Indies which the Afghan team defeated by 6 runs in their last match of Super 10 of ICC World Twenty20 in March. The Afghan team was expecting to participate in a series of bilateral cricket matches with Pakistan but the tour was postponed following a deadly attack in Lahore city of Pakistan last month. The Pakistani cricket board officials earlier said negotiations regarding the series of 3 One Day Internationals (ODIs) had concluded and they were waiting for security clearance for the matches.

>>> read original article

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Inequality in global education is at the forefront of global wealth inequality

Today the world is doing a lackluster job of finding sustainable solutions to global inequality. This crisis is evident in cities like Lima, Peru where a “wall of shame” separates the wealthy neighborhoods from the poor shantytowns. It is disconcerting that the United Nations estimates today that 1.2 billion people live on less than $1 a day, while Forbes reports that the world’s 1,810 billionaires hold a net worth of $6.48 trillion. The world’s failure to effectively fight poverty can be significantly attributed to corruption, as most heads of state are more concerned with pleasing their wealthy financiers and retaining power. In addition, global thought leaders use inequality as a quest for global fame and padding their bank accounts. Sadly, the majority of influential global leaders lack sincere passion for the poor and compete for awards or reelection, instead of working together to find legitimate solutions, such as enhancing global education.

Solutions, Not Problems
Today many economists highlight growing middle classes in China and India as hope for the global poor and decreasing inequality. However, this is a false hope as the UN and OECD defines a middle class citizen as someone spending or earning at least $10 per day, which in reality is not a large sum. Plus, as OECD’s Director Mario Pezzini highlights, many middle class citizens work in the unstable informal sector, lack a good education and knowledge to sustainable accumulate wealth. In order to make strides in decreasing global inequality, we need to focus on bridging the disparity in education between the rich and the poor, as nearly 1 billion people today are illiterate. One could argue that inequality in global education is at the forefront of global wealth inequality. The rich have access to an elite education and use the skills that they acquire through learning to grow their income; while the poor lack access to quality education and remain marginalized without the proper tools needed to thrive but instead barely survive. At the most basic level, enhancing the education level of the poor can help them find quality jobs to provide for their family. Equally important, education creates more brainpower that can work on formulating innovative ideas to solve pressing global problems. Think of the amount of untapped brilliant minds among the billions of the uneducated who can actually find the solutions to global problems, instead of being the problem that some people wrongly think they are. Plus, today, if someone lacks basic literacy or numeracy skills then they cannot truly access the educational or social benefits of the Internet. In addition, a country with an educated population is extremely valuable to its economic development, as studies show that a country needs at least 40% adult literacy in order to achieve sustainable economic growth. Not to mention the proven effects of education in the growth of democracy, enhancing health and increasing farming production.

Common Mistakes
However, when implementing new education programs, we must avoid a common mistake made in past poverty solutions, which is painting all the poor with the same brush. We must learn that not all solutions can be fully applied in all places, because each region has a unique cultural fabric, geography, history and religion. This means that just because a solution worked in Ghana 15 years ago, it does not mean it will work in Bolivia today. Thus, education programs must have different elements to their curriculum in each unique place in the world and include direct input from local leaders. The first step to improving education for the poor will be urgently addressing the infectious corruption in the Global South that prevents foreign aid from reaching its intended targets. UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon even admits on record that a ghastly amount of 30% of total development assistance each year is lost to corruption. This means billions of dollars are stolen by the rich and not invested in the needs of the poor, such as education. Looking into the future, the Global City Institute in Canada has calculated that by year 2100, as a result of rising birth rates cities such as Lagos, Kinshasa, Dar es Salaam and Mumbai will each have over 65 million people. Hence, as the global phenomenon of urban migration continues, it appears the inequality gap will widen, unless we find solutions fast. With a rapidly growing developing world population, it is time to put words into action and give the poor a greater education that they can use to defeat poverty and inequality. The new United Nations global education goal can guide the way, but it needs to be complemented by legitimate grass roots initiatives, as we cannot count on global leaders. Plain and simple, we need to decrease the global inequality gap through enhancing quality education for the poor, so we can increase global peace.

  • This article original was published in the Fair Observer


Afghan sportswomen to participate in an international tournament in Europe

Afghan sportswomen to participate in an intl tournament in Europe
Six Afghan female cyclists are invited to participate in an international tournament in France. 
The tournament is scheduled to be held in two weeks. This comes after some members of Italian Parliament proposed the Afghan female cycling team’s nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize. A group of 20 female cyclists from Kabul, Bamyan, Parwan, Balkh and Panjshir provinces participated in national cycling matches at a length of 60 Km from Kabul to Gol Ghundi hills in Parwan province. These sportswomen are defying cultural taboos that make riding bikes for women immoral and even illegal. Women are often harassed and insulted for riding bikes. Some of the cyclists have been hit by passing drivers while training on the highways. Yet, these women have not let social stigmas hold them back, and they are using bicycle as a means to emancipate women.

Туркменистан и Афганистан обсудили строительство ТАПИ в Герате

На территории западной афганской провинции Герат состоялась встреча заместителей министров иностранных дел Туркменистана и Афганистана, в ходе которой стороны обсудили взаимодействие в рамках строительства газопровода ТАПИ (Туркменистан-Афганистан-Пакистан-Индия). На совещании также присутствовал губернатор Герата Асиф Рахими. Глава провинции подчеркнул важную роль проекта в развитии региональной экономики и пообещал, что местные власти сделают все необходимое для его реализации. Участок газопровода будет проходить по территории провинции Герат. Строительство газопровода ТАПИ позволит создать не менее 60 тысяч рабочих мест. После завершения проекта Афганистан сможет получать за транзит газа через свою территорию не менее 400,000,000 долларов США в год.

Monday, 25 April 2016

USD 1.17 billion Central Asia South Asia Electricity Transmission and Trade Project (CASA-1000) to be inaugurated on 12 May 2016

The USD 1.17 billion CASA-1000 power project will be inaugurated next month by government representatives of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) of Afghanistan said the Afghan Ministers of Power and Energy of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan finalized agreements on the implementation of the project. A statement by the MoFA of Afghanistan said the project will be inaugurated on 12th May as per the request of Tajikistan officials. The statement further added that the inauguration ceremony will be attended by high level government officials of the four nations as well as representative of the donor countries and financial supporters of the project. The Afghanistan Chief Executive Officer Dr. Abdullah Abdullah will attend the ceremony for the inauguration of the project. According to Afghan MoFA, the CASA-1000 project will pave the way for the transmission of electricity from Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan to Afghanistan and Pakistan through nearly 1,300 kilometers of high voltage transmission line. Two converter stations have been considered for the project including a 1300 megawatt AC-DC Convertor Station at Sangtuda Tajikistan. Another high voltage transformer will be built in Pul-e-Khumri city of Baghlan province of Afghanistan to ensure supply of 300 mega watt of electricity to Afghanistan. Afghan MoFA said that World Bank, US, UK, Islamic Development Bank and European Investment Bank have committed to support the project.

>>> read original article

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Taliban, a bunch of murderers and smugglers

Taliban are murderers and smugglers who act under control of Pakistani Intelligence and International Organized Crime. All suicide bombers are illiterate and mentally unstable who have been brainwashed by Pakistani Intelligence with tacit consent of their colleagues from America.

And the time has come for the International Community and the People of Afghanistan to realize that the US has never lifted a finger against the Taliban or any other criminal-terrorist groups operating on the territory of Afghanistan and Pakistan, as illicit drugs production in Afghanistan increased almost 50 times, and Afghan heroin has killed more than 1,2 million people worldwide since the US occupied Afghanistan and began its ambiguous ‘War on Terror’ in 2001.
  • On the contrary, the US has made them [terrorists and criminals] grow.
The Taliban and other criminal-terrorist groups such like al Qaeda (To be noted that in 2012, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton very publicly admitted to the engineering and funding of Al-Qaeda by the US government as a tactical weapon of war in Afghanistan) have now control over almost all the production and trade of Afghan narcotics, and have tremendously strengthened their power due to revenues from international drug trafficking.

Moreover, in Afghanistan is dramatically growing up the number of bastards and criminals loyal to Daesh (ISIS), whose one of the main targets is to get total control over the natural resources of Afghanistan and all the quarries and mines currently controlled by Taliban murderers and their smuggler-Patrons from Pakistani Military Intelligence and government.

To learn more about why Daesh (ISIS) wants to strengthen its presence in Afghanistan, read what exhaustively explained in this article.

Thursday, 21 April 2016

New Media Operations Center at Herat University

The Herat University Faculty of Journalism has opened a new Media Operations Center (MOC). The MOC contains classrooms for journalism classes as well as radio, television, and print studios. These facilities allow the faculty to offer courses and hands-on training in the modern techniques of print, radio and TV production. The Italian government contributed to construction of the MOC and various foreign governments donated studios' equipment.

Thursday, 14 April 2016

The President of Afghanistan Dr. Ashraf Ghani said that funds have been arranged to start construction of 29 dams this year

The President of Afghanistan Dr. Ashraf Ghani said that government is ready to launch several infrastructure projects in the country this year.
In a meeting with representatives of Paktia, Ghazni, Logar, Paktika and Khost provinces, and nomads at the Presidential Palace in Kabul, President Ghani said that funds have been arranged to start the construction of 29 dams this year. He added that 2015 was the year of Afghanistan’s survival, but this 2016 would be the year of stimulation. “Last year there was shortage of funds, the international community was also leaving the country but ultimately they have been convinced to continue their assistance with Afghanistan in different sectors,”  Dr. Ghani said.

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Афганские крестьяне получат микрокредиты на обработку и упаковку продукции

Афганское правительство подписало соглашение о передаче институтам микрокредитования 6,000,000 долларов США для финансирования ссуд афганским крестьянам и малым производителям сельхозпродукции. 
Средства для предоставления населению ссуд получат 'Первый банк микрокредитования Афганистана' и 'Афганская сельская финансовая компания'. Соответствующее соглашение было подписано министром сельского хозяйства Афганистана и представителями этих финансовых организаций.Кредиты будут выдаваться на производство, обработку и упаковку продукции, соответствующей международным стандартам.

С 2010 года более 35000 крестьян и производителей сельхозпродукции из 33 афганских провинций смогли воспользоваться микрокредитами Фонда развития сельского хозяйства (ADF) на общую сумму 4,45 млрд. афгани (более 64 млн. долларов США).

Economic growth rate of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan gradually accelerating

According to World Bank’s South Asia Economic Focus, Afghanistan’s economic growth rate is expected to increase from 1.9% in 2016 to 2.95% in 2017. 
The report has cited political and security uncertainty as the main factors that have hindered business activities and overall domestic demand. Overall, Afghanistan and other Southern Asian countries have remained strong in the face of turbulent international markets and the region is the fastest-growing in the world. The economic growth rate of South Asia is forecasted to gradually accelerate from 7.1% in 2016 to 7.3% in 2017. “South Asia has been resilient to global turbulence due to its limited exposure to slowdowns in other major economies coupled with the tailwinds of favorable oil prices, capital flows, and remittances,”  said World Bank South Asia Vicepresident. “However, fiscal and financial vulnerabilities remain and countries should strive to address them through generating revenue and creating more fiscal space.”  The report’s analysis of fiscal policy across the region suggests that governments need to find a balanced path towards fiscal consolidation. “Fiscal policy has a wide range of impacts for development. The fiscal deficit affect macroeconomic stability, capital expenditures are needed for growth, and taxes and social spending matter for equity,”  said World Bank South Asia Chief Economist. “With the currently low oil prices, this is also an opportune time for South Asian policy makers to introduce or expand explicit carbon taxes. This would improve environmental and fiscal sustainability at the same time.”

Monday, 11 April 2016

В Кандагаре планируется модернизировать сталелитейный завод

Агентство международного развития (АМР) США профинансирует три четверти модернизации сталелитейного завода 'Махмуд Star' в афганской провинции Кандагар. В рамках Программы поддержки строительства в Афганистане, США оплатит закупку современного оборудования, печь повторного нагрева, подъёмный кран, замену электропроводки и железопрокатный стан.
25% затрат на модернизацию оплатит 'Махмуд Star'. Модернизация снизит себестоимость производства, а также позволит создать не менее 200 новых рабочих мест. Завод 'Махмуд Star' является одним из ведущих местных производителей брусьев, уголков и арматуры и планирует в ближайшем будущем наладить производство железнодорожных шпал.

Japan grants $22mn for Economic & Social Development Program in Afghanistan

Japan has pledged to provide US$ 22,000,000 for the Economic and Social Development Program in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. An agreement to that effect was signed between Japan’s Ambassador and Afghan Foreign Minister in Kabul on April 10, 2016. “We hope the Afghan government will use the program properly to solve its financial problems and to implement development projects for the benefit of the people,”  said the Ambassador of Japan to Afghanistan. The grant covers the cost for purchasing materials necessary for economic and social development of the Afghan government, including items such as gas and fuels.

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Акционеры проекта газопровода ТАПИ (Туркменистан - Афганистан - Пакистан - Индия) подписали инвестиционное соглашение на US$ 200,000,000

На подписании соглашения присутствовали представители нефтегазовой промышленности четырех стран, а также представители Азиатского банка развития. Первоначальный бюджет инвестиционного соглашения составляет 200 млн. долларов, которые пойдут на инженерные изыскания для строительства, исследования экологической ситуации, а также ряд других работ. Предполагается, что строительство газопровода займет до 3 лет. Выступая на церемонии подписания соглашения, замминистра шахт и горной промышленности ИРА Джавед Садат отметил, что газопровод ТАПИ станет надежным источником энергии для Афганистана, а его строительство позволит обеспечить граждан страны новыми рабочими местами.

Afghanistan trying to bring more people online

With over USD 2 billion investment over the past ten yeras, Afghan telecom industry employs around 200 thousands and generates annual revenue of USD 15-200mn. About 80% of the country’s population are cellular service subscribers. However, this bright spot of the economy is looking shaky now amid increased taxes. The Afghan government is facing pressure from the international donors to find new sources of revenue to plug the shortfall in aid money. Being the successful sector, the telecom industry is facing a high tax load from the government. The tax on telecom companies has reached to more than 25% over the past years. In September 2015, a new 10% fee was imposed by the Presidential Palace on telecom and internet services, including all types of prepaid and postpaid accounts payable to the Treasury by all telecom companies and Internet Service Providers. The industry’s sales dropped 10-25 percent since 2012. The Taliban have been a constant threat to the growth of the industry. In January 2016, the Taliban issued an edict whereby a hefty sum of “protection tax” was demanded from Afghan telecom companies. Blowing up or burning down cellphone towers across the country has been an easy way for the Taliban to fight the government. “You build a tower 10 times in the same location,” said Sales Manager at Etisalat Afghanistan, a cell company based in Abu Dhabi and the country’s largest mobile operator. “That’s business in Afghanistan.” The industry is trying to expand their services and bring more Afghans online. However, the high rate of illiteracy in the country and little online content in local languages is another major challenge facing the growth of the industry. While the cost of internet has plunged considerably over the years, most Afghans still cannot afford internet access. Cellular companies are also scuffling the government to share the fiber optic network, which is presently monopolized by the central government. The private companies have criticized the government for its “poor management, capricious rate-setting and poor quality”. The Afghan president is expected to sign the agreement that would allow private companies to share the network and lay down their own cables by summer. The fiber optic network holds great promises for the industry to expand its services and generate revenue.

Friday, 8 April 2016

Italy committed to continue long-term partnership with Afghanistan

"In 2016 [we] will also continue to work side-by-side with the United States and the international coalition, hand-in-hand with our Afghan brothers, in order to fight terrorism. […] The Italians make a difference in Afghanistan. Herat is one of the safer areas."  Italian Prime Minister 

1. Italy pledged its support and endorsement for NATO’s Resolute Support mission, including approval of at least 500 Italian troops who will continue to be stationed at the airport in Herat; a decision that will advance the goal of making Herat airport an international hub and new economic zone.

2. Italy will provide finance up to EUR65M for a 75-kilometer railway to connect Herat with Iran’s rail network, a project whose pre-feasibility phase had been completed and needed funding to begin work. Italy will also provide an additional EUR29M to complete construction project of Herat International Airport.

3. Italy will provide finance up to EUR92M for investment in Herat City-Chast e Sharif corridor/road and infrastructures.

4. Italy pledged to facilitate investment by Italian businesses in Afghanistan, particularly in energy sector.

5. Italy and Afghanistan signed a cooperation agreement in the field of culture, science and technology.

On January 2012, in Rome, Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Italian Prime Minister signed a long-term bilateral Cooperation and Partnership accord that deals with a broad range of areas including political, security and economic. 

Herat Province of Afghanistan to host the first international conference on TAPI gas pipeline

Herat Province of Afghanistan to host the first international conference on the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline next month. The announcement was made at a meeting attended by the deputy foreign minister of Turkmenistan, the Governor of Herat Province, officials from the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum of Afghanistan and tribal leaders from Herat and Farah provinces. The Governor of Herat underlined that TAPI project is vital for Afghanistan’s economic development, it is an important 'keystone' in the realization of the New Silk Road in the arena of energy where Afghanistan will again play a central role in connecting energy-rich Central Asia countries to energy-deficient South Asia countries. The project aims to export up to 33 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year through a 1,800-kilomter pipeline from the Dauletabad gas field in Turkmenistan along the highway through Herat, Helmand and Kandahar provinces of Afghanistan, to Quetta and Multan in Pakistan, and on to Fazilka in India. The pipeline could become a recipe for long-term stability in Afghanistan by generating revenue for the Afghan government and creating over 60 thousand jobs for Afghan people.

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Торгово-промышленная палата Афганистана требует установить ограничения на импорт иностранных товаров в Афганистан

Торгово-промышленная палата Афганистана (ТППА) требует у правительства установить ограничения на импорт для того, чтобы поддержать афганскую экономику. В 2015 году по сравнению с 2012 экспорт вырос на 30% (584 млн. долларов по сравнению с 450), а импорт снизился на 12% (7,9 млрд. долларов по сравнению с 9,6), однако импорт по-прежнему превышает экспорт в 14 раз. Вице-глава ТППА Хан Джан Алокозай заявил, что эти цифры свидетельствуют о том, что национальная экономика пребывает в бессознательном состоянии. Глава Афганского агентства поддержки инестиций Курбан Хакджо, впрочем, упомянул, что в этой статистике никак не учитываются контрабандные товары, которые могут составлять такую же существенную долю импорта и экспорта, как привезённые легально. По его мнению, афганские экспортёры в основном не могут составить серьёзной конкуренции более качественным аналогичным товарам на международных рынках. При этом за сложности с качеством афганской продукции частично ответственно афганское правительство, которое не инвестирует в соответствующие сферы промышленности и сельского хозяйства, подчеркнул он. Oн также отметил, что недавно пакистанское правительство повысило таможенные пошлины на ввоз афганских фруктов в три раза, назвав это жестоким ударом по афганским бизнесменам. Высокопоставленный чиновник призвал правительство уделить внимание качеству афганской продукции, в частности, сельскохозяйственной, учредить лаборатории для оценки качества экспортной продукции и её упаковки и ввести ограничения на импорт товаров, имеющих аналоги у местных производителей, из других стран. Это особенно важно в условиях снижения международной помощи Афганистану, заключил высокопоставленный чиновник. Министр торговли и промышленности Абдул Бари Рахман заявил, что недавно министерство разработало четырёхлетний план по решению торгово-транзитных проблем экспортёров и намеренно придерживаться его.

Monday, 4 April 2016

Глава МИД Германии призывает начать мирные переговоры между афганским правительством и Талибаном

Германия призывает начать переговоры между правительством Афганистана и движением Талибан, заявил глава МИД ФРГ Ф.В. Штайнмайер. "Сейчас мы наблюдаем прогресс в Афганистане, и он значителен, поэтому мы поддерживаем переговоры между правительством страны и Талибаном, так как от их результатов зависит ситуация в регионе", сказал Штайнмайера. Немецкий дипломат также подчеркнул, что недавние террористические атаки показали, насколько важно сотрудничество между странами в борьбе с терроризмом.

Sunday, 3 April 2016

ADB funds construction of Gereshk-Lashkargah road in the Helmand province of Afghanistan

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is funding construction of the Gereshk-Lashkargah road in southern Helmand province. Construction works on the over USD 33,000,000 project will begin by the end of this month of April 2016. The project will connect about 300 villages with Gereshk and Nad Ali districts and also the provincial capital, Lashkargah City. Construction works will be carried out by an Afghan-Chinese joint venture. “The road will resolve the problems faced by the people, and the Public Works Ministry will closely monitor the project,” said the Deputy Minister of Public Works of Afghanistan. The local Police Chief pledged to ensure security of the road as the Taliban and criminal organizations have a strong presence in areas close to the construction site.

Saturday, 2 April 2016

Казахстан укрепляет связи с Афганистаном в сфере торговли

На этой неделе Кабул посетила делегация предпринимателей из Казахстана. В рамках этого визита в афганской столице состоялась конференция, направленная на развитие и укрепление торгово-экономических связей между странами. В конференции приняли участие представители Торгово-промышленной палаты Афганистана и Внешнеторговой палаты Казахстана. Стороны подписали соглашение о сотрудничестве. Выступая на мероприятии, вице-глава Торгово-промышленной палаты Афганистана Хан Джан Алокозай отметил важность расширения торговых связей со странами Центральной Азии. Он подчеркнул, что Казахстан предоставляет много возможностей для афганских бизнесменов. В ходе визита казахстанской делегации в Кабуле был также открыт торговый дом Казахстана. Посол Казахстана в Афганистане, Омиртай Битимов, заявил что открытие торгового дома будет способствовать развитию торговых отношений между странами.
"Мы хотим расширить торговлю с Афганистаном через различные торговые точки. Открытие торгового дома подготовит почву предпринимателям обеих стран, для развития тесных связей в сфере торговли и надеемся, что правительство Афганистана сможет добиться большого экономического роста путем развития торговых отношений с Республикой Казахстан"  - отметил димломат.
По результатам прошлых лет, экспорт Казахстана в Афганистане составил 325 млн. USD - в основном это мука и нефтепродукты.

Afghanistan will import electricity from Turkmenistan

MHPS will supply three
M701 DA Gas Turbine/Generator sets
to Turkmen Zerger Plant
Afghanistan will import electricity from a 400 MW gas-fired plant which is currently being built. Turkmenistan will export electricity from the Zerger Plant once it is completed. Turkmen government will export electricity to Afghanistan for ten years based on a power purchase agreement with the Afghan government. The deal is part of a project to assist in the reconstruction of Afghanistan. A contract for installing the power generation system at the plant has been awarded to the Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS), which will supply three sets of M701 DA gas turbine & generator.

India helping Afghan children suffering from Congenital Heart Disease

India to provide annual financial assistance of USD 1,000,000 over a period of 5 years starting from 2015-2016 to the Afghan Red Crescent Society (ARCS) for the treatment of children suffering from Congenital Heart Disease (CHD).
The first instalment of USD 1,000,000 was disbursed to ARCS in August 2015. With the assistance, during the first two quarters from 15 September 2015 to 15 March 2016, over 200 Afghan children, age from 4 months to 18 years, have been treated at various hospitals in India. In addition, India provides financial, technical and training support to Indira Gandhi Institute of Child Health in Kabul.