Tuesday, 31 May 2016

After a break of 20 years reopens Afghanistan's first cement factory

After a break of 20 years, Afghanistan's first cement factory is once more clanking noisily in the countryside near Kabul as crushed-up limestone rocks rattle along a battered conveyor belt to the newly restored kiln. In an area desperately short of industry and jobs, workers hope the relaunch of the plant, built by Czech engineers in 1957 and shut by the Taliban in 1995, heralds the revival of an industry shattered by decades of war and destruction. "By selling our products and improving the factory's production, we can avoid having our young generation go abroad," said Amir Mohammad. "If there are job possibilities, they can stay with their families and look after their children." But the outdated state-owned plant 75 km (47 miles) outside Kabul also shows how far there is to go before that promise can be achieved and there are serious questions whether the plant has a viable future unless it is thoroughly modernized. Jabal Saraj, which now employs 150 workers, is a small factory with daily capacity of 100 tonnes and equipment that is at least 40 years out of date, the U.S. Geological Survey said in a 2011 report. "We've tried our best and got the factory running using its old machinery," said Abdul Wakil, one of a group of former workers who have returned to help get the plant working again. "As long as we have electricity, it will work." Talks with a private operator to develop a separate, larger plant at Jabal Saraj have run for months, but for now, the government has decided the old plant still serves a purpose, a spokesman for the country's mines and petroleum ministry said. "This old factory is useful and has a profitable production capacity," Mohyaddin Noori added. "It provides job opportunities." Afghanistan's only other major cement manufacturer, the Ghori cement plant, has daily capacity of more than 1,000 tonnes, but domestic industry is dwarfed by the millions of tonnes of imports from neighbors, including Pakistan and Iran. That fierce competition makes it tough to find domestically produced cement in Kabul's main wholesale markets, even despite the fact that domestic cement's bulk and relatively low cost should penalize foreign cement, trucked in hundreds of miles. "We have only Pakistani cement," said trader Ershad Shinwari. "Afghan-made cement is not coming to us." Demand for building materials has fallen sharply since international forces left in 2014 but the market has not collapsed and director Mohammadi hopes for domestic growth. "There is huge demand for cement in Afghanistan," he said. "We've got the factory working, so it will give investors a chance." For the moment, however, Jabal Saraj relies on government subsidy to survive. The economics may be tough, but it is people nearby who are mainly looking for work. "We ask the other countries to help this factory and provide new machinery to replace the old machines," said plant worker Wazir Mohammad. "It will be very useful for our people as long as there is poverty in Afghanistan and everyone suffers insecurity."
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Afghan Higher Education Ministry announces degree program on health

The Minister of Higher Education Dr. Farida Momand announced a new advanced degree program at Kabul Medical University that will develop and support health sector technicians for the country. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), through its University Support and Workforce Development Program (USWDP), supports the establishment and development of the Associate Degree in Biomedical Equipment Technology at Kabul Medical University. USWDP partnered with Community Colleges of Spokane to develop the degree to meet international standards. The first cohort started in April 2016 with 40 students, 12 of whom are women. The new degree will produce biomedical equipment technicians, and prepare them to become leaders in the field. A cadre of skilled biomedical equipment technicians will contribute to the development and improvement of the health sector throughout Afghanistan. Unlike traditional teaching method, students in this new program will acquire knowledge and skills through hands-on experiences by working in hospitals, clinics, or biological laboratories. “The new Biomedical Equipment Technology Program will fill a gap by developing in-country capacities to improve the medical care available to the Afghan people,” said USAID Mission Director Herbert Smith. “Like contemporary diseases and illnesses, today’s medical equipment is sophisticated. This degree will help in professional maintenance and repair of the medical equipment,” said Dr. Momand. “Expensive medical equipment would sit idle and breakdown because we lack of professional technicians. This degree fills that human resources gap,” said Dr. Shirin Aqa Zarif, Chancellor of Kabul Medical University. USAID partners with academic institutions to design new workforce-relevant programs across Afghanistan. A new Master’s degree in Education Leadership and Management at Shaheed Rabbani Education University and a new Master’s degree in Business Administration at Kabul University were launched in the past few months.
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Mullah Mansour's killing: What does it mean for Afghanistan, Taliban and Pakistan

Author: Rohan Joshi
On May 21, 2016, the United States conducted a drone attack along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border that killed the leader of the Taliban, Mullah Akhtar Mansour. The attack represented the first time the U.S. has targeted a Taliban chief since the U.S.-led coalition began pressing for talks between Afghanistan and the Taliban.
U.S. officials confirmed that they informed Pakistan and Afghanistan of the drone strike after it had occurred. In response, Pakistan predictably protested the “violation” of its “sovereignty.” Pakistan’s Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali accused the U.S. of “sabotaging the [Afghanistan-Taliban] dialog process.”
So how much of a forewarning, if any, did Pakistan have of the drone attack that killed Mullah Mansour? There are effectively two schools of thought on the subject: the first believes that the U.S. kept the Pakistanis in the dark, a la the killing of Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad in 2011.
The argument goes that the U.S., exasperated with Pakistan and its inability (or unwillingness) to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table, killed Mullah Mansour to drive home the message that Pakistan’s continued duplicity will not be without costs. The latent reaction from Islamabad coupled with loud protests lends credibility to the argument.
On the other hand, there is the school of thought that believes that the U.S. could not have struck and killed Mullah Mansour without some level of on-the-ground intelligence on his location and movements. A New York Times piece confirms that the U.S. told Pakistan “several weeks ago” that Mullah Mansour was a target and that the Pakistanis provided the U.S. “general information about his location and activities…”
Further, the nature of the attack -- the first of its kind in Pakistan’s restive Balochistan province -- supports this argument. While the U.S. conducts drone attacks predominantly in North Waziristan, there is a tacit agreement between the U.S. and Pakistan against drone strikes in Balochistan. Would it therefore be farfetched believe that the U.S. might have sought Pakistani permission before launching the attack that killed Mullah Mansour?
The truth is possibly closer to this reading of events. Some in Pakistan’s military establishment were likely taken into confidence over the impending strike, but warned not to interfere with the operation. If some reports are to be believed, the Pakistanis had lost positive control over Mullah Mansour, who, since being appointed amir unleashed a bloody campaign of violence against Afghanistan and dissenting Taliban factions alike, while refusing to participate in the ironically-named “Afghan-owned, Afghan-led” (but in actuality Pakistan-owned, Pakistan-led) peace process.
If the Pakistanis came to believe that they miscalculated in placing their faith in Mullah Mansour, it is unlikely that they will lose much sleep over his killing, the public embarrassment of an American attack within Pakistani territory notwithstanding. Pakistan’s loud protests, then, are at best perfunctory.
Since Mullah Mansour’s killing, the Taliban moved quickly to appoint a new leader: Haibatullah Akhunzada. Mullah Haibatullah is considered to be more a cleric or religious scholar than a jihadi fighter. According to a news report published in BBC Urdu, Haibatullah is about 45-50 years old and was not among the 33 founding members of the Taliban movement in Qandahar in 1994. Mullah Haibatullah was also close to and respected by the Taliban’s first amir ul-momineen, Mullah Omar.
The news agency Reuters, quoting a senior Taliban commander at the Quetta Shura – the leadership council of the Taliban – suggests that Mullah Haibatullah was hesitant to take over the reins and only acceded upon the insistence of the majority of the council. The decision to appoint Haibatullah may have been informed by a desire to elect the least divisive figure as leader.
After all, it was only last September that members of the Shura stormed out when it was decided that Mullah Mansour be appointed chief after Mullah Omar. Mansour’s short rein was marked by bitter discord among rival Taliban factions.
Journalist Tahir Khan notes that even with Mullah Haibatullah’s appointment, real power in the Taliban is likely to be wielded by his deputies – Mullah Yakub, son of Omar, and Sirajuddin Haqqani, leader of the Haqqani Network and an asset of Pakistan’s powerful Directorate of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). It is possible therefore that Mullah Haibatullah has been appointed chief in- name-only.
A few observations can be made about what these recent events portend for Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Taliban. The death of Mullah Mansour will not significantly dent Pakistan’s continued desire (with the aid of the Taliban) to turn Afghanistan into a client state and thereby minimize Indian influence in that country. Indeed, if the Taliban’s spring offensive this year has taught us anything, it is that the insurgent group can sustain a brutal campaign within Afghanistan even in the midst of leadership transition and internecine conflict.
Haibatullah’s accession will also not alter the Taliban’s overall philosophy. The decision to continue taking the fight to the Afghan government is not decided upon by any one individual, but by the Shura, of which Haibatullah is part, his reputation of being less warlike than his predecessors notwithstanding.
The insurgency in Afghanistan will continue because the Taliban fundamentally seeks to return to power in Afghanistan, not to enter into a power-sharing agreement with an already strife-torn national unity government in Kabul. It is unlikely therefore that the group will abjure violence and enter into peace negotiations with the Afghan government. In any case, there is not much that the Afghan government can concede to the Taliban (other than sign its own death warrant) that will likely satisfy the insurgent group.

Taliban - a bunch of murderers and smugglers
As a consequence, violence and instability will unfortunately continue to loom large in Afghanistan for the foreseeable future. The Taliban will continue to control swathes of territory in Afghanistan, even as ISIS establishes a significant presence in the country. The Afghan government, for its part, will continue to be largely dependent on U.S. military assistance in battling the Taliban, even as the Afghan National Army and paramilitary forces continue to build capacity and capability despite seemingly insurmountable odds.
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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Ivo Toniut.

Afghan President inaugurated reconstruction of the historic Dar-ul-Aman Palace in Kabul

Dar-ul-Aman palace in Kabul today
The President of Afghanistan Dr Ashraf Ghani inaugurated the historic Dar-ul-Aman palace in Kabul yesterday May 30, 2016. The reconstruction work of the palace will be carried out by the Ministry of Urban Development Affairs of Afghanistan. Ghani gave his approval for restoration of the edifice three months ago. “Shattered Dar-ul-Aman Palace is a reminder of our darkest days. Thus, I’ve approved its restoration work today,” wrote the President on March 9, 2016 on Twitter. President Ghani delivered remarks at the inauguration of the project by participating in the first meeting of High Commission of Urban Development.

Dar-ul-Aman palace in Kabul
before being destroyed
The Darul Aman Palace, literally “The Abode of Peace”, is a western-style palace built by the King Amanullah Khan in the southwest of Kabul. It was intended to serve as a parliament building within his new capital, but opposition to the King’s reform efforts prevented the building from being put to use. A fire broke out in 1969 which left it severely damaged. Although later restored and used by the Ministry of Defense, the building was again engulfed in flames in 1978, only to be reused again throughout the 1980s. Finally, fighting between Mujahideen forces occupying Kabul in the 1990s left the building in almost total ruins with large portions of the ceiling collapsed. Enough of the structure survived that a plan was put forward in 2005 to restore the building to house Afghanistan’s future parliament. However, the plan has yet to be approved and no work had been conducted as of June 2011.

Monday, 30 May 2016

Course in Kabul to help Afghan Young Entrepreneurs to launch Start-Up companies

Afghans thinking about launching their own company had the chance to hear from seasoned entrepreneurs, now running profitable companies and working full time for their own companies, who addressed the topic of transitioning from working for someone else to working for yourself. The event, Making The Leap: From Employee to Entrepreneur, was held on Thursday at Sufi Restaurant in Kabul, by Founders Institute (FI). The speakers included: Suleman Fatimie, Managing Partner, Afghanistan Center of Excellence (ACE); Danish Karokhel, Director & Editor-in-Chief, Pajhwok Afghan News; and Amina Shahabi, a high school student who founded a woodwork company in Kabul after her idea won an entrepreneurship competition. In addition to the presentation, guests also had the chance to ask the presenters questions about their experience, and to learn more about FI’s upcoming program in Kabul, and to network before and after the event. “In contrast to the popular perception, Kabul has a small but vibrant start-up ecosystem, and we are trying to enrich it further and give serious support to promising entrepreneurs to help them navigate that ecosystem and launch great companies,” said Jamshid Hashimi, Co-Director of Founder Institute in Kabul. “Start-ups can be a real engine to our economy, and there is so much potential for Kabul to be a city where start-ups want to be,” he added. “Events like the one on Thursday are a chance to learn from the experience of successful business people in Kabul, and to get motivated to launch more promising companies, and help our economy grow.” The Founder Institute is the world’s premier idea-stage accelerator and start-up launch program, whose graduates have created 2,100 companies launched with a 79% company survival rate, having created over 15,000 jobs (as of June 2016). FI is the most challenging and effective step-by-step Start-up launch program for talented and motivated aspiring entrepreneurs. It provides a structured process, constant feedback and evaluation from expert mentors, and global network of entrepreneurs to support entrepreneurs to start an enduring company. In addition, the Founder Institute is the only program of its kind that focuses on people versus ideas, accepts founders with day jobs, and shares equity with all participants. FI’s structured, 4-month curriculum of weekly training courses and business-building assignments will start in Kabul this summer. FI is now accepting applicants from Kabul and is particularly encouraging female entrepreneurs to apply, offering a limited number of scholarships to support their participation.

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Afghan-Pakistan highway may be included in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)

A politician from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region of Pakistan calls for Islamabad to include the Afghanistan-Pakistan Highway in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project. Addressing a public rally in Charsadda district, Qaumi Watan Party (QWP) Chairperson, Mr Ahmad Khan Sherpao, argued such a move would boost the economies of both neighbours. He said that “Only strong communication networks can boost the country’s weak economy. The highway should be included in the USD 46 billion project. Linking the Pak-Afghan Highway to CPEC will provide traders easy access to Central Asian markets.”  Also a former minister of interior, Ahmad Khan Sherpao asked the Federal Government to begin work on the western route of CPEC on a priority basis.
"Industrial zones should be established. Other projects should also be initiated in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa as per the agreement.”

The President of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani issues new Decree on the implementation of TUTAP power transmission project

The Afghan President Dr Ashraf Ghani has issued a new decree regarding the implementation of the TUTAP power transmission project after receiving new findings from the Review Commission. According to the decree, the 220kV (double circuit) power transmission line having a capacity of 300MW will pass through Doshi to central provinces of Afghanistan. Work on the 220kV transmission line will kick off in June and must be concluded by solar year 1398. The decree adds that substation will be installed in central Bamiyan province start of June and must be concluded during the solar year 1398. A power distribution network, supplying electricity to at least 20,000 families in Bamiyan, must be constructed. Work on the distribution network begins in June of this year and must be completed by 1398. As per the decree, Afghan Finance Ministry is responsible to include the budget for the project in its mid-year budget for the year 1395 review and present to the parliament. Relevant institutions are instructed to present a plan for the construction of electricity supply network in other central provinces of Afghanistan and submit the plan to the cabinet for approval within the next six months. The decree further adds that a thermal power factory should also be built in Eshpeshta area of Bamiyan Province, and a 500kV transmission line should be built from Eshpeshta to Arghandi. Work on the 500kV transmission line from North to South will resume after completion of the project’s technical and procurement procedure in the next 30 months and on the basis of findings of the commission.

>>> read previous posts on TUTAP project:

TAPI, CASA-1000 and CHABAHAR SEAPORT projects crucial for the economy of Afghanistan

TAPI, CASA-1000 and CHABAHAR SEAPORT
boosting the economy of I.R. Afghanistan
High level Officials of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Afghanistan have stated that TAPI, CASA-1000 and Iranian CHABAHAR SEAPORT projects will boost the economy of Afghan Nation and they could be counted as the achievement of the National Unity Government. 
They have also expressed their deep concerns over the security of the following projects inside Afghanistan, but high Officials at the Government have promised that there will be no issues once these projects are being implemented within Afghan soil.
  • The Spokesman of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Afghanistan, Mr Saim Persarlai, said that ”The Government should ensure good security for the following projects which will boost the economy of Afghanistan.”
  • “The following projects will save Afghanistan from economy crisis, we want the government to ensure safety and security for the projects”  said a wellknown Afghan businessman.
  • The Minister of Economy of Afghanistan, H.E. Abdul Sattar Murad, said: ”I do understand the situation, but Afghan security forces are committed to ensure security for the following projects which guarantee economy growth in Afghanistan.”

Afghanistan to launch anti-corruption campaign

The Attorney General of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Mr. Farid Hamidi, announced that a serious and speedy campaign against corruption will be launched in the near future.
The Attorney General was speaking during a press conference in Kabul where he promised that the government will accelerate fight against graft in the country. Afghanistan will witness an anti-corruption machine launch to start a major fight against the growing corruption in the country, he said at the press conference. These remarks by the Attorney General come a day after has been announced that 40 attorney generals were replaced or newly appointed in over 15 provinces of Afghanistan.
>>> read original article

It should be noted that corruption in Afghanistan has begun to take shape as a national plague since US advisers, inspectors and economic strategists began to work within almost all Afghanistan's state institutions. This also explains why the majority of international tenders relating to projects in Afghanistan funded by USAID or other International Organizations, are almost always been won by American private companies or by unskilled companies-from other countries-whose managers and representatives in Afghanistan have close ties with such advisers, inspectors or economic strategists.

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Main infrastructure services in Kabul New City (KNC) project

The development and maintenance of the essential public infrastructure is an important ingredient for sustained economic growth and poverty reduction in a developing country such as Afghanistan.
Infrastructure investment can lift economic growth and support social objectives. Health, education, and efficient water and sanitation services help lay the groundwork for a more productive, healthy population capable of contributing to sustained economic growth.
Policy Framework
The Afghan Government support for the infrastructure development focuses on:
  • Improving poor people's access to essential infrastructure services such as water supply, Sanitation, transportation, and energy. The creation of more than half a million jobs in the New City.
  • Assisting the creation of enabling environments for both private and public financing and management of infrastructure.
  • Supporting human resources development, institutional strengthening and capacity building in the infrastructure sector.

Planning, Design, & implementation of infrastructure services in Kabul New City (KNC)
For the Development and Implementation of the Kabul New City (Dehsabz & Barikab), one of the main responsibilities of the DCDA to plan, design, construct, implement, and carry out operation and maintenance of the Primary and Secondary infrastructure Services. These Services includes Water Resources, Water Supply Network, Drainage Systems, Sewerage Network, Solid Waste Management Services, Energy and Power Supply, Roads Network, and Telecommunication Services for the entire (KNC) including the Barikab Agricultural Economic Zone (BAEZ). Besides the development of the above mentioned services, DCDA has the responsibilities of checking, reviewing, and monitoring the development of the Tertiary Infrastructure Services to be developed by the private sector/developers in the entire KNC area.

(a) Water Resources Development
Water Resource for KNC is planned to be developed in two different phases such as short term resources and permanent resources. For the short term / temporary resources, Pol-e-Charkhi selected as temporary water for the initial development of KNC up to the permanent water comes from Sayaad Fan Aquifer on May 2016. The permanent solution of water supply for the entire KNC, the development of the Sayaad Fan Aquifer and Gulbahar (Panjshir) / Salang dam are considered to provide the needed water of 105MCM/year. From the Sayaad Fan Aquifer which is having a great potential to provide water for KNC, the development of water will be carried out in two phases namely; in the first phase the development of 22.3 MCM/year water from the Sayaad Fan Aquifer until 2016. In its second phase development, another 30.5 MCM/year of water will be extracted from the same Sayaad Fan Aquifer. For the remaining 52.5 MCM/ needed water, it is planned that, either Gulbahar dam or Salang dam will be developed to provide water for the whole KNC by 2023.
(b) Water Supply System
As a desirable unit water use for piped water supply systems, an average of 150LPCD for consumption is recommended for the target year of 2025. This amount of 150 LPCD will also include water for green areas, domestic uses and other public and commercial facilities. The total water requirement for the entire KNC is 82.1MCM/year in 2025 for domestic purposes. In accordance with the economic development plan, industrial water demand for the entire KNC is projected as 14MCM/year therefore an additional 8.2 MCM/yr is assigned for District 17 of current Kabul City, therefore in total KNC will need 105 MCM/year by the year 2025.
The water supply system will be provided with all the treatment facilities required before being supplied and DCDA is trying to reduce the cost of tariff for the water supplied as much as possible.
(c) Roads Network Development
The development of the Primary and Secondary Infrastructure for Road Network in KNC is another important responsibility of the DCDA. Similarly, DCDA has to review, oversee, and check the design and construction of Tertiary Roads which is going to be completed by the Developers in KNC. Over all, the Roads Infrastructure includes the planning, design, construction and implementation of the Roads, Bridges, Flyovers, and other Roads related structures within the KNC. In phase-1, 146.9Km primary and secondary roads are planned and rest of KNC roads will be planned after its structure plans of Phases 2&3 is finalized.
(d) Energy and Power Supply Development
The domestic power demand for KNC by the year 2015 is predicated to be 80 MW, by 2020 it will be 217 MW and by the year 2025 it will needs 400MW. The Power Supply to the KNC is going to be provided from nearest exist Substation of Chimtala and planned substations of Tarakhil DPP, Charikar Substation, and Baghdara Hydropower Station ,by erection of High Voltage Transmission Line , installation of Dehsabz South Substation , Barikab Substation and Paymonar Substation and extension of Power Distribution 20/0.4kV Network.
(e) Telecommunication Systems Development
As per planning of DCDA in coordination with Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (MoC&IT), the Telecommunication system of the KNC will be developed using Fiber Optic Network. This technology will be used in residential (housing units) network, commercial network, and all governmental institutions.
DCDA is planning to build a reliable and robust Telecommunications network infrastructure to meet the growing demands of telecommunications and information technology in all residential neighborhoods, commercial centers, industrial areas and public facilities. DCDA intends to build a fiber optic network backbone for KNC connecting all Switching centers/collocation facilities, local exchanges and neighborhood exchanges and distribution points. We intend to provide fiber connection close to all neighborhoods (primary and secondary transmission media is fiber), the option for running copper from distribution points to customer premises is given to the private developers.
(f) Sewerage System, Solid Waste, and Drainage Development Services
It has been planned that by the year 2015, there will be sewage of 15,000 m3 / day and by the year 2025 it will reach about 163,000 m3 / day on average bases in KNC. The Sewerage management Service for KNC is planned separately for Dehsabz and Barikab. DCDA has given high importance to the health and sanitary condition of the city, therefore, we have planned to build our treatment plants outside the city, and this will effectively minimize health and sanitary hazards. The treated sewage will be recycled and used as a source of irrigation for agricultural lands in KNC; meanwhile, the treated sludge of the sewage will be used as compost for agriculture.
Regarding the drainage of the rain water etc in KNC, major existing rivers/gullies could be utilized as main drains. In order to minimize the scale of sewerage facilities we intend to build the sewage network separate from rainwater drains, rainwater will be drained by road side ditches
The solid waste management system for the new city will be established by introducing best practices based on available technologies such as material recycling and utilization of renewable energy. The Solid waste recycling and disposal will be done according to the Environmental Standards.
For more info
 >>> please visit the official website of the Kabul New City Development Authority

The mega-project 'Kabul New City' shall introduce change in the socio-economic and cultural lives of Afghans

Kabul New City
Real Estate’s next BIG THING
Afghanistan’s Reconstruction efforts in the past years have been temporary and lacking future providences. Afghanistan is mountainous country with a pleasant climate for living and agriculture. The country’s mountains are home for majority of poor where muddy huts are built despite precious resources inside those mountains. So far, the urban development projects in Afghanistan have not been sustainable. The vision behind those projects has been majorly concentrated towards provision of shelter and quick revenues in the short term. No proper consideration has been given towards development of standard infrastructure and public facilities. These projects in principal have failed to create a change in the economic, social and cultural environment of the country. But now the time has reached to divert the efforts towards planning and implementation of sustainable projects. Implementation of Kabul New City in the next 30 years will not only resolve the housing crisis in Kabul but this historic approach is counted a start for introducing a major and fundamental change in the Afghan society and economy.
In a broader vision, the Kabul New City shall introduce change in the socio-economic and cultural lives of the Afghans. As a standard city, the Kabul New City shall provide the utmost living conditions, education, employment, production, trade and recreational services to its residents. The Kabul New City features development of a sustainable city in the history of Afghanistan which shall be managed towards realistic business and economic approaches while generating lucrative revenues for the city, residents, private developers and government. The Kabul New City would utilize the experiences from other major urban development projects of the world. The City shall implement modern methodologies for operations and maintaining the city which would manage the city from tiring out. Development of quality Infrastructure specifically water and energy sources are two of the major vital issues which shall be addressed while development of the New City. So far, the DCDA has been able to identify water sources for the city which shall provide around 650 MCM water for the Kabul Metropolitan Area (Kabul New City and Existing Kabul City). In addition to the existing sources of energy, the New City shall utilize renewable sources of energy generation and design the housing units with less energy requirements. Unlike other major cities of the world like Dubai, Islamabad, New Delhi, Astana… etc, the Kabul New City is envisaged at creating a socio-economic change in Afghanistan as a result of change in the environment and lifestyle of the residents. As the saying goes “Rome was not built in a day,” the process of Planning and Implementing of a standard and functional City requires time and efforts in all social, economic and technical sectors. Realistic approaches towards planning and development of a city requires accurate researches and studies. Likewise Planning and Development of the Kabul New City acquires great efforts and endurance through all involved stakeholders. The Kabul New City shall be built with the endurance of Afghan people, government, private sector and International Community. Implementation of this mega project requires utilization of all internal and international resources in order to realize the creation of a visibly successful and sustainable model of Afghan development.
>>> learn more

Afghanistan has become one of the fastest-growing emerging markets in Asia

Afghanistan, a fast growing emerging market of strategic importance, is located at the crossroads of the famous east-west trading corridor of the Silk Road and the modern north-south corridor of great economic opportunities. These corridors link some of the largest and fastest-growing economies of the world, including China, India, Pakistan and Turkey, Russia, Iran and UAE. They involve massive energy resources of Central Asia, Afghan mineral riches worth trillions of dollars, busy South-Asian markets and major sea ports of international trading in Indian Ocean and the Persian Gulf. The Afghan capital Kabul, symbolizing the spirits of all Afghans and international cooperation, sets at the heart of this highly resourceful region, with great potential to turn into a business hub for all.

Saturday, 28 May 2016

Afghan female filmaker got success at Cannes

Shahrbanoo Sadat was named the youngest filmmaker at ‪‎Cannes‬ Festival this year. 
Sadat’s film, “Wolf and Sheep”, which was inspired by her own life experiences living in a remote village in central ‪‎Afghanistan‬, won Art Cinema Award at Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight section.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei calls for resolving water issue with Afghanistan

Disagreements over distribution of the waters 
of the Helmand River erupted as southeastern 
regions of Iran and southwestern regions of 
Afghanistan have been affected by severe 
drought over the past several years.
Iranian Supreme Leader has called for resolving an issue over sharing the waters of the Helmand River between Iran and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. At a meeting with the President of Afghanistan Dr. Ashraf Ghani in Tehran, Ayatollah Khamenei pointed to common cultural areas that the both countries share, and said that such issues should not led to dispute between the countries. In turn, the President of Afghanistan said that over the next few weeks an expert-level meeting will discuss the issues about sharing waters along border areas between Afghanistan and Iran. President Ghani further expressed hope that the questions would be properly solved. Earlier the Ambassador of Afghanistan to Iran said that Kabul is committed to an agreement sharing the waters of the Helmand River between the two countries.

Over 160 bidding opportunities!

 Please Click Here

In the webpage of the of the National Procurement Authority of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan you can find the information about the Bidding Opportunities in procuring entities of Afghanistan Government. 

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Construction of Khwajah Rawash residential project in Kabul to be completed in 90 days

The Ministry of Urban Development Affairs of Afghanistan (MUDA) said Thursday that the construction work of Phase-I of Khwajah Rawash residential project will be completed in 90 days. According to MUDA, an agreement was signed on Thursday between the Ministry of Urban Development Affairs, Afghanistan Urban Water Supply Corporation, Da Breshna Sherkat, and the heads of contractor of Khwajah Rawash. A statement by MUDA said the agreement was signed in the presence of representatives of owners of the apartments. The statement further added that the Phase-I construction work of the project will conclude in 90 days with the Breshna Sherkat to provide electricity and the Afghanistan Urban Water Supply Corporation to work on the water supply of the project. The remaining works of the project will be carried out by the other contractors, including clearance of the apartments and creation of landscapes for the project, MUDA said. MUDA earlier said the Phase-I of the housing project in Khwajah Rawash was supposed to be completed in the month of May 2013 but the project works was delayed due to administrative issues and increase of blocks from 30 to 77, consisting of 1,944 apartments. The majority of the contractors failed to complete the construction work, mainly due to lack of financial capability but the Ministry of Urban Development Affairs accepted all demands of the contractors including advance payments in a bid to accelerate the construction work, a statement by MUDA said earlier in July last year. According to MUDA, the construction work of 20 building blocks concluded earlier and were inaugurated and at least 45 more building blocks will inaugurated once the work is over in 90 days.
>>> read original article

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Россия выразила готовность восстановить завод по производству удобрений в ИРА

Завод по производству удобрений в
северной афганской провинции Балх 
Россия готова оказать помощь Афганистану в восстановлении завода по производству удобрений в северной провинции Балх. Недавно в Балхе состоялась встреча между местными властями и генеральным консулом РФ в Мазари Шарифе Д.Кабаевым, в ходе которой стороны обсудили возможную помощь России в восстановлении предприятия. На встрече глава провинциального совета Афзаль Хадид подчеркнул, что жители Балха хотели бы, чтобы ремонтом предприятия занялась российская сторона. Он также добавил, что восстановление завода позволит создать новые рабочие места. В свою очередь, Кабаев отметил готовность России оказать помощь Афганистану. "Россия готова поделиться опытом и произвести ремонт и модернизацию завода, но мы должны получить предложение от афганского правительства", заявил российский дипломат. Предприятие было построено при помощи СССР около 50 лет назад. Завод производил более 100 тысяч тонн удобрений в год, а его строительство позволило обеспечить рабочими местами более 3 тысяч человек. Однако в настоящее время численность рабочих сократилась в 2 раза, а производство упало до 30 тысяч тонн удобрений в год.

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Afghanistan to move from opium to world's most expensive spice


AFGHAN ENTREPRENEUR OF THE MONTH FERESHTEH FOROUGH

Fereshteh Forough is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Code to Inspire. Fereshteh is from Herat, Afghanistan. She received her bachelor’s degree in computer science from Herat University and a Master’s degree from Technical University of Berlin in Germany. She taught as a professor in the Computer Science Faculty of Herat University for three years. Fereshteh was a 2013 TED Talks speaker on digital literacy and communication without borders. Her goal with Code To Inspire is to spread the message of peace and empower women everywhere. She is an advocate of using Bitcoin and the first to formally promote its use in Afghanistan. Afghanistan’s first female-only code school in Herat, Code to Inspire, became one of the 28 organizations from 16 countries to receive the Google RISE award in 2016. Code to Inspire is a non-profit that is committed to educating female students in Afghanistan and improving their technical literacy by teaching them how to code so they can find future employment as freelancer and become entrepreneurs driving innovation. The program is free of charge to students . Besides providing technical and professional development, CTI teaches students how to become strong, confident leaders and advocates for change. Forough is also a founding member of Women’s Annex Foundation. Her passion is to empower young women from Afghanistan by improving their technical literacy.

Expanded trade ties top agenda as Ghani meets Emir and Prime Minister of Qatar

The Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani met with the Emir and Prime Minister of Qatar during his official visit to Doha.
President Ghani met with the Emir of Qatar Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and the two sides discussed boosting bilateral ties and cooperation between the two nations, specifically expanding trading ties. The two sides also emphasized on expediting efforts to attract more investments besides expanding cooperation among the governmens of the two nations. Meanwhile, the leaders of Qatar emphasized on the importance of peace and its impact on the region and beyond the region, reaffirming the country’s support for a peaceful and developed Afghanistan. President Ghani arrived to Doha at the official invitation of Emir of Qatar on Saturday to meet with the country’s officials during his two-day state visit. The National Security Adviser Mohammad Hanif Atmar, Minister of Urban Development Affairs Syed Sadat Mansoor Naderi, Minister of Agriculture Asadullah Zamir, Senior Presidential Adviser Dr. Humayun Qayumi and Abdul Salam Rahimi, head of the administrative office of the President are accompanying President Ghani during the visit.
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На севере Афганистана проложат оптический интернет-кабель

В провинции Бамиан начались работы по прокладке на север Афганистана оптического интернет-кабеля. Стоимость работ составит 1,46 млн. долларов США. По территории провинции будет проложено более 180 километров кабеля. В течение полугода кабель будет протянут из Бамиана в Саманган. Проект финансируется Всемирным Банком. В обозримом будущем планируется также завершить исследование по проекту подключения к скоростному интернету провинций Гор и Дайкунди, заявил глава департамента связи провинции Бамиан. Благодаря оптическому кабелю население сможет получить доступ к высокоскоростному интернету, телевидению и радиовещанию по низким ценам. Напомним, что интернет является одной из наиболее динамично развивающихся в Афганистане сфер жизни, однако до сих пор доступ к нему в большинстве провинций осуществлялся в основном посредством устройств мобильной связи.

Monday, 23 May 2016

Исламский Банк Развития примет участие в спонсировании проекта газопровода ТАПИ

В офисе государственного холдинга Туркменгаз в Ашхабаде-Туркменистан прошли переговоры представителей ИБР и Саудовского фонда развития с руководящим комитетом по проекту ТАПИ (Туркменистан-Афганистан-Пакистан-Индия). Согласно пресс-релизу, Исламский Банк Развития (ИБР) и Саудовский фонд развития примут участие в обеспечении проекта необходимым оборудованием и трубами, а также предоставят инвестиционные кредиты, в том числе с перспективой освоения большого газового месторождения Туркменистана Галкыныш.

Afghanistan National Procurement Authority REQUEST FOR EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST


MoPW of Afghanistan: Selection of Consulting Services for Feasibility Study

Selection of Consulting Services for Feasibility study and preparation of DPR Khak E Jabar to Azra district of Logar Province of Afghanistan - Total Length 52KM.
Project : Asphalt of 52 km Road from Khaki Jabar to Azra district of Logar province.
Procurement Title: Feasibility Studies of survey and design from Khak Jabar to Azra district of Logar Province.
Type of procurement: Quality and cost based selection (QCBS)
Cont. Ref No: MPW/001/GOV/QCBS
Address: Consultancy Services Office, Procurement Department
Ministry of Public Works of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.
  • All qualified national and international Engineering and Consultancy Companies can get REOI and more details from Consultancy Services Office of the Procurement Department of MoPW.
  • All qualified national and international companies should submit their EOI till June 8, 2016, 10:00 AM (Kabul local time) to the Ministry of Public Works, Procurement Department, Kabul Afghanistan. 
  • Interested companies should submit their hard copy of EOI. The EOI should be stamped and signed for the mentioned project. The Ministry of Publics Works will not accept any electronic EOI.
For more details you can contact the Procurement Department - Consultancy Services Office of the Ministry of Public Works of 
the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan:

Chabahar seaport agreement to be inked today

The agreement to develop Phase-I of Chabahar port, will be inked during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's two-day visit to Tehran. The development of Chabahar port, located just over 70 km from Gwadar, will allow India to circumvent Pakistan and open up an alternative land-sea route for its trade with Afghanistan. India has already spent $100 million in building the 220-km Zaranj-Delaram highway in Afghanistan, also known as Route 606, which connects to Chabahar. The trilateral agreement on Monday between Iran, India and Afghanistan will be inked in the presence of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani who would attend a ceremony to break the ground to develop Chabahar port infrastructure. Chabahar is the closest port to Afghanistan. It is connected to the city of Zaranj in Afghanistan's south-western province of Nimruz. An agreement for Exim Bank to provide $50 million line of credit for the development of Chabahar port is also to be inked during Modi's visit. The Indian investment in the Phase-I of the port project would be more than $200 million. The commercial agreement on development and operation by India of Phase-I of Chabahar will be signed between Indian Ports Global Pvt Ltd, a joint venture between Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust and Kandla Port Trust, with Arya Bandar Company of Iran. The Indian company will undertake the development of two jetties in Chabahar port for a period of 10 years and will transfer all cargo consignments except for oil products. The development of the Chabahar port is also expected to give a fillip to the International North South Transport Corridor, another geo-strategic initiative being pushed by India to connect with Central Asia and Russia. Once Chabahar port is developed, its link with the Zaranj-Delaram highway will boost further connectivity to Afghanistan via the over 2,000 km-Afghanistan Ring Road, which connects 16 Afghan provinces, from Herat, Mazar-i-Sharif, Kabul, Ghazni, and Kandahar to Tajikistan. Giving further impetus is Japan evincing interest in joining the Chabahar port project, which offers prime access to shipping lanes in the Indian Ocean. According to Japanese media reports, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is hoping to ink a deal when he visits Tehran later this year that would see Japan teaming up with India on the development of a port, logistics and industrial complex in the Chabahar free trade zone located on the Gulf of Oman. The Japan International Cooperation Agency is expected to draw up plans for investments by the end of the year. India is also reportedly to finance another road network inside Afghanistan to enable Iran to access as far as Tajikistan through a shorter route. The Chabahar port project has been over a decade in the works. India and Iran first decided to develop the port in 2003. However, matters did not move due to the US sanctions on Iran over Tehran's nuclear programme, which were lifted earlier this year.

Pakistan has also been eyeing the Chabahar port.
[Note: Pakistan is the biggest enemy of Afghan economic growth and main developer and supporter of terrorist and smuggler networks in Afghanistan]  
In March this year, Pakistan and Iran discussed the possibility of better connectivity between Gwadar and Chabahar during talks between Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Iranian President Rouhani in Islamabad.

The contract for Chabahar will be the highlight of Modi's Iran visit during which he will meet with Supreme Leader of Iran Ali Khamenei. Modi's visit to Iran follows after he visited Saudi Arabia in early April. He will also visit a gurdwara in Tehran and inaugurate an international conference on "India-Iran: Prospects and Retrospects". He is to release a rare manuscript in Persian brought out by the Indian Council of Cultural Relations at the conference.

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Sunday, 22 May 2016

Afghanistan, Iran and India ready to sign Chabahar seaport agreement on May 23, 2016

Afghanistan, Iran and India ready to sign the Chabahar seaport agreement to establish an international transport and transit corridor. The agreement is expected to be signed on May 23, 2016 by the leaders of the three countries as the Indian Prime Minister and President of Afghanistan are due to visit Tehran. “Afghanistan, India & Iran will sign the Chabahar Agreement on Establishment of the International Transport & Transit Corridor tomorrow,” the President of Afghanistan twitted. Meanwhile, a Twitter post by the Indian Prime Narendra Modi, stated “I am looking forward to my visit to Iran today & tomorrow, at the invitation of President Rouhani.” Modi further added “My meetings with President Rouhani and Honorable Supreme Leader of Iran will provide an opportunity to advance our strategic partnership. I also look forward to the conclusion of the Chahbahar Agreement during my visit.” The draft agreement for Chabahar port was finalized during a meeting organized in Ministry of External Affairs of India in mid-April this year. Access to Afghanistan’s Garland Highway can be made from Chahbahar port using the existing Iranian road network and the Zaranj-Delaram road, constructed by India in 2009. This would establish a direct road access to four of the major cities of Afghanistan – Herat, Kandahar, Kabul, and Mazar-e-Sharif. The port will be also used to ship crude oil and urea, saving India transportation costs. It will also cut transport costs and freight time for India to Central Asia and the Gulf by about a third.

Saturday, 21 May 2016

The Afghan President Dr. Ashraf Ghani called on families to allow their daughters to participate in different social affairs and urged the private sector to assist and further employ women

President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani expressed optimism regarding efforts to empower the Afghan women, emphasizing that the women are moving forward in making progress equally and should to shoulder with the men. Ghani further added that the women in the country are now capable to independently represent themselves. The Afghan women suffered the most during the past several decades and were deprived of their key rights including the right to have access to education and other social affairs. President Ghani was speaking during the Third International Symposium on Empowerment and role of Women in Afghanistan. Reiterating the government of national unity’s support to take further steps in empowerment of Afghan women, President Ghani said the government is mainly focused on changing the wrong culture, insisting that the extremist notions should not return to the country. He called on the Afghan families to allow their daughters to participate in different social affairs and urged the private sector to assist and further employ women. President Ghani also added that the leaders of the unity government feel proud as more than 240 female judges are serving with the judiciary institutions of the country. He hailed the role of the Afghan women in the ranks of the Afghan National Security and Defense Forces, saying there should be no doubt that the Afghan women can not defend from the Afghan constitution. In other parts of his speech, President Ghani said the current solar year will be a year of economic mobility. President Ghani insisted on more practical steps to be taken to improve the situation of the country and said there should be less paper, more action and more international cooperation.
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Kabul UNI launching MBA

Recently has been arrested a lecturer
at Kabul University having ties to the
criminal-terrorist group ISIS (Daesh)
Kabul University, one of the renowned universities in Afghanistan, is launching its Master of Business Administration (MBA) program in collaboration with the USAID’s Support and Workforce Development Program. The MBA of Kabul University MBA has been designed to target the essential managerial, strategic and analytical needs of public and private sector entities in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.The program’s primary objective is to prepare students to acquire knowledge, skills, and abilities to maximize their effectiveness as managers and leaders in a globally competitive business environment. The new MBA program will provide a rigorous and demanding academic experience in graduate management education, and will involve two years of evening study.

Friday, 20 May 2016

After years of negotiations Chabahar seaport is a done deal - a great deal for Afghanistan

Afghanistan is hopeful that Chabahar seaport would soon become a done deal after finalizing last issues with India and Iran by the next few weeks.
"After years of negotiations, we can definitely say it’s a done deal. This is a project not just for the development and prosperity of Afghanistan, but the whole region,”  said the Afghan Ambassador to India. Last month in New Delhi, representatives of India, Afghanistan and Iran finalized the text of the agreement to set up a transit-transport corridor with Chabahar seaport and also agreed to set up a sub-committee to frame transit, port, customs and consular protocols within six month. The Afghan government authorities highlighted that lifting of sanctions against Iran has enabled more companies to invest in Chabahar seaport development without a fear of being blacklisted again. There still are concerns over the security of the Zaranj-Delaram highway, a crucial road built with Indian assistance to serve as a link to Chabahar seaport. Some sources claim that criminal organizations (such lke the Taliban and Daesh) backed by Pakistani Intelligence agency ISI, which is standing against Indian presence in Afghanistan, could carry out criminal attacks on the highway. Meanwhile, Afghan Officials assured that Afghan security forces are prepared to secure the 220 km highway that runs from Delaram in Farah province of Afghanistan to Zaranj in Nimruz province at the border with Iran. Situated in southeastern Iran, Chabahar port is about 1000 km closer to Afghanistan than Karachi seaport, through which most of Afghanistan’s exports and imports take place. Chabahar seaport serves as the best alternative to the Pakistan’s Karachi seaport, where export activities are constantly disturbed by political restrictions, high storage costs and threats by various racket organizations supported by Pakistani intelligence. Chabahar seaport would help Afghanistan to come back to its role as the regional hub connecting South Asia and the Central Asia.

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Ms Mogherini reaffirms € 200,000,000 annual EU aid to Afghanistan

EU taxpayers continue to hope that
their money is being used
to help the people of Afghanistan
The European Union reaffirmed €200 million in annual to Afghanistan until 2020 as Finance Minister Eklil Hakimi signed a new agreement worth €125 million in the framework of mutual accountability.
The reaffirmed commitment and announcement of fresh aid were announced during Hakimi’s visit to Brussels on 12th May, the Ministry of Finance said. “ H.E. Eklil Hakimi during his trip to Brussels met EU HRVP Ms. Federica Mogherini and the ministers of Foreign Affairs and Development of the 28 EU Member States during the EU Foreign Affairs Committee’s session on May 12th 2016,”  MoF said in a statement. The statement further added Mr. Hakimi briefed the session on the upcoming Brussels Conference on Afghanistan (4-5 October), presented the new Afghan National Development Framework and talked about the recent economic achievements of the National Unity Government. “At the end of the session HRVP Mogherini underlined the EU’s continued engagement with Afghanistan, both politically and financially with a high level of development assistance (EUR 200 million per year until 2020),”  the statement said. Ms. Mogherini stressed that “helping Afghanistan not only helps the Afghan people, but it is also an investment into our security and stability in Europe”.  “During his visit to the EU Council, he briefed the media about the Afghan Government’s expectations out of the forthcoming Brussels Conference on Afghanistan,”  the statement said, adding that Mr. Hakimi also attended a meeting with the Civil Society Organizations and talked about the role of the CSOs in Afghanistan’s development and future. “And at the end of the day H.E. Hakimi signed an incentive program agreement in the framework of mutual accountability, amounting EUR 125 million in assistance from the EU to the Afghan Government, with the EU Development Coordination Asia, Central Asia, Middle East/Gulf and Pacific Director Mr. Pierre Amilhat,”  the statement said.

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learn more >>> Ms Mogherini met Salahuddin Rabbani, Foreign Minister of Afghanistan, 19 May 2016

Международный Валютный Фонд предоставит Афганистану кредит на $323 млн.

В свете последних банковских и финансовых реформ в Афганистане Международный Валютный Фонд (МВФ) принял решение предоставить стране кредит на сумму 323,000,000 долларов США. За последний год правительство ИРА достигло всех поставленных перед собой целей в макроэкономике: контроль инфляции, повышение ВВП, сохранение золотовалютных резервов страны.

Иран, Индия и Афганистан подпишут соглашение об использовании иранского торгового порта Чабахар

Tрёхстороннее соглашение об использовании иранского торгового порта Чабахар планируется подписать в мае-июне текущего года.
С 2003 года страны пытаются договориться о совместном использовании данного торгового порта, однако ранее реализация проекта откладывалась из-за наложенных на Иран санкций. Этот проект крайне важен не только для развития и процветания Афганистана, но и для экономики всего региона в целом.

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Massive Kabul demonstration for TUTAP power project could turn violent, Jihadi leaders warn

Prominent Mujahideen leaders have warned of a possible violence as a mass demonstration is due for Kabul on Monday. The High Council of Jihaid parties gathered in Kabul today to discuss the latest upheavals in the country as well as a mass demonstration due for Kabul against the TUTAP power project. The Jihadi leaders expressed concerns regarding the protest and called on the organizers of the demonstration to prevent from the rally. They also called on the government not to take any step towards the implementation of the project until the issue is resolved.

LEARN MORE: ENERGY SITUATION IN AFGHANISTAN; TUTAP & CASA-1000 PROJECTS

A number of the prominent former Jihadi leaders and religious leaders were among the participants of the meeting which included Sebghatullah Mojadedi, Pir Syed Ahmad Gilani, Mohammad Karim Khalili, Syed Mansoor Naderi, Syed Hussain Anwari, Mawlavi Abdul Hakim Munib, Wahidulah Sabawoon, Qutbuddin Helal, Gen. Din Mohammad Jurat, Zemarialai Ahadi, Haji Din Mohammad and Sarwar Danish. Earlier, thousands of people organized demonstrations in Bamyan and Kabul provinces to protest against the change of the route of TUTAP, besides several politicians have called on the government to reconsider its decision and ensure justice in implementation of development projects. However, President Ghani said a commission will be given the task to review the power project, emphasizing that there are different views regarding the route through which the project should be implemented.

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Ms Adela Raz appointed as new Afghan deputy foreign minister for economic affairs

The newly appointed deputy foreign minister for economic affairs, Ms Adela Raz, officially assumed office after she was introduced to the staff on yesterday Saturday 14 May.  The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) said Saturday that Ms Raz was introduced during a ceremony attended by Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani, Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Hekmat Khalil Karzai, Deputy Administrative and Finance Dr. Nasir Ahmad Andisha, Deput director for Administrative Office of the Preside y Ms Kamila Sediqi, and other directors and officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Ms Sediqi initially read the presidential decree regarding the appointment of Ms Raz as Deputy Foreign Minister for Economic Affairs, MoFA said. In his turn, Foreign Minister Rabbani congratulated Ms Raz for assuming charge as Deputy Foreign Minister for Economic Affairs and said the Ministry of Affairs plays a key role being a diplomatic platform of the country, insisting that Foreign Affairs Ministry’s key objectives are to defend from national interests of the country while pursuing the foreign policy and attracting foreign investments in the country is one of the key objectives of the Ministry. Rabbani further added that diplomacy is not limited only to expansion of ties in bilateral and multi lateral ways among the nations but economic diplomacy also has became prominent with the development of international trade organizations. Ms Raz also thanked the government leadership and Minister of Foreign Affairs for their support trust, saying her main objective would be to serve for the development of the nation.

Афганские предприниматели заключили контракт с PepsiCo

Афганская компания Afghanistan Beverage Industries Ltd, специализирующаяся на производстве минеральной воды и безалкогольных напитков, заключила контракт на производство и продажу в Афганистане напитков из ассортимента PepsiCo.  На торжественной церемонии подписании контракта в Дубае присутствовали афганские бизнесмены и представители консульства Афганистана. "Этот контракт важен не только для нашей компании, но и для Афганистана… Мы решили заключить контракт с ведущим афганским производителем, поскольку хотим расширять сотрудничество на международном уровне",  сказал топ-менеджер PepsiCo  в азиатско-африканском регионе. Новый проект не только укрепит экономику страны и обеспечит население разнообразными и доступными безалкогольными напитками, но и создаст до 2000 новых рабочих мест.

Афганские ковры занимают первые места на международных выставках и конкурсах

В столице Афганистана открылся новый, современный центр ковроткачества. На новом производстве ковры будут создаваться с использованием современного оборудования и максимальным сохранением традиционных рисунков и цветовой гаммы. Кроме того, центр будет заниматься продажами изделий и станет площадкой для общения мастеров, промоутеров и дизайнеров. В планах предприятия создать вокруг фабрики комплекс зданий: лабораторию контроля качества сырья, галерею работ, общежитие, развлекательный комплекс и гостиницу.

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Project TUTAP and the controversies surrounding it

The TUTAP - acronym for Turkmenistan-Uzbekistan-Tajikistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-is a big regional project that will connect these countries through a high voltage transmission system.
The project serves to import electricity from the energy rich Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan to Afghanistan and Pakistan, where energy deficit is high and electricity must be imported to meet domestic demands. Funded by the Asian Development Bank, the TUTAP is a vital infrastructure project to promote trade in electricity between the aforementioned countries and to bring close the supply and demand markets for energy. Turkmenistan, being the fourth largest gas reserves in the world, is the largest contribution in terms of supply in this project. The project is of high importance to Afghanistan as it intends to meet the energy demands of Afghanistan in a first phase and then transmit sufficient energy to Pakistan. Afghanistan will also generate revenue from the transmission revenue. TUTAP will also help in unifying Afghanistan’s power grid. Currently, the power system in the country operates in nine islands fed from different supply sources. The TUTAP would help create an integrated transmission network. The project is facing controversies within Afghanistan due to its transmission route. Based on an initial survey by a German company in 2013, it was concluded to pass the transmission line through central provinces of the country, including Samangan and Bamyan province, as they offered a cheaper route. Later, the government announced to shift the path to Salang Pass. This sparked a major debate among the people of Afghanistan, and people from the central provinces slammed the government for its indifference towards their provinces. Last week, a large number of people in Afghanistan launched protests urging the government to implement the 500 kV TUTAP project through Bamiyan province. The protestors accused the government of ignoring the needs of central provinces, where they claim people are deprived of most recent developments. Second Vice President Sarwar Danish also wrote a letter to Afghan Ministry of Energy and Water and Da Afghanistan Breshan Sherkat (DABS) and urged them to consider the needs of the residents and ensure social justice while executing such projects. The topic has also divided the Afghan parliament. A number of parliamentarians argue that the project should be implemented through Bamiyan, while some support the Salang pass as the best route for the transmission line to pass through. The TUTAP, with all its economic benefits, has become a political matter among the Afghans and is fueling differences in the country.

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Friday, 6 May 2016

В афганской провинции Хост возобновили строительство аэропорта

После двухлетней паузы в провинции Хост возобновлено строительство аэропорта. В первую очередь планируется завершить взлётно-посадочную полосу, а затем достраивать остальную инфраструктуру, заявил губернатор Хукум Хан Хабиби. Министерство транспорта и гражданской авиации выделило для этих целей 8,5 млн. долларов. Строительство планируется завершить в течение ближайших 14 месяцев. Кроме того, уже подготовлен и представлен в министерство план строительства таможенно-пропускного терминала и других необходимых зданий. Соответствующий международным стандартам аэропорт мог бы существенно поспособствовать развитию экономики провинции, особенно в условиях затруднённого плохими дорогами наземного сообщения на большей части территории Афганистана.

Afghan refugee’s handicrafts exhibition

UNHCR and AikHunarAik Nagar (AHAN) organised the day-long exhibition as part of youth empowerment interventions under the Refugee Affected and Hosting Areas (RAHA) programme.
The UN refugee agency through Aik Hunar Aik Nagar (AHAN) launched a Skill Enhancement and Livelihood Initiative (SELI) to support skills development and income generation of the most vulnerable people. People in Peshawar, Nowshera, Charsadda and Mardan districts benefitted from the initiative. Selected beneficiaries received training in block printing, frame-based weaving, jewellery making, filling stitch, leather and crochet embroidery. UNHCR representative Indrika Ratwatte, famous Fashion Designer Rizwan Beyg and diplomats from different countries attended the event.Ratwatte called investment in Pakistani and Afghan youth investment in peace and sustainable development. Fifty community-based skills centres have been established in different union councils, where 727 Pakistanis and 273 Afghan refugees were given skills training. More than 10.6 million people (11% Afghan refugees) have benefited from some 3,500 projects implemented across the country at a cost of approximately $175 million.

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