Saturday, 30 July 2016

Will WTO membership help improve the economy of Afghanistan?

Precarious security situation and corruption are two of
the main impediments to economic growth in Afghanistan
Afghanistan, one of the poorest countries in the world, has joined the WTO. The country hopes greater access to global markets will lay the foundation for economic growth, but instability still poses major problems.
On Friday 29 of July 2016, Afghanistan became the 164th country to join the World Trade Organization (WTO). after its upper house of parliament passed a final handful of laws that were required as preconditions for membership. Afghanistan, one of the poorest countries in the world, first applied for WTO membership in 2004. It is rich in mineral resources such as copper, chromium and iron, and precious stones like lapis lazuli, but pervasive extremist violence in the country discourages investment. Afghan officials say the WTO membership will help their country "strengthen its rule of law, establish transparency and lay the foundations for healthy economic growth." "The World Trade Organization gives us the opportunity to bring reforms in the trade sector. It is also very important for business and transit," Siamuden Pasarly, director for public relations at the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries, told DW. "We have many trade-related problems with our neighboring countries. Pakistan and Uzbekistan are both WTO members. Now, for example, we can put pressure on Pakistan to stop illegal activities regarding trade and transit through Afghanistan," Pasarly added.

Slugglish growth
But while the WTO membership is expected to confer benefits such as granting access to new markets and global supply chains, it is unclear how much Afghanistan would be able to benefit from the new opportunities. Rajiv Biswas, Asia-Pacific Chief Economist at global analytics firm IHS, says Afghanistan's export structure is dominated by agricultural products and some types of light manufacturing such as textiles and carpets, which may gain some benefits from lower tariffs and other non-tariff barriers as part of the WTO system. "Afghanistan has already been liberalizing its own tariff barriers as part of its WTO accession process, which has increased import competition in some segments of industry but allows consumers to benefit from lower prices," the economist told DW. After achieving remarkable growth over the past decade, the Afghan economy has floundered in the past three years as international investors and aid organizations have drastically scaled back operations following the withdrawal of most international troops. For instance, GDP growth shrunk to about two percent in 2014 after expanding at a nine percent rate just two years prior. Reflecting reduced investor confidence in the economy, foreign direct investment dropped by 30 percent in the first half of 2015, according to the Afghanistan Investment Support Agency. The economic shrinkage has been accompanied by spikes in unemployment and capital flight. It also dented the government's already weak tax revenues, leading to a fiscal crisis.
Deteriorating security situation
The economic hardship is in large part due to the continued political deadlock and worsening security situation in the conflict-ridden country. Experts believe that it is essential for Kabul to focus on improving the security situation in order to allow the country to benefit from the increased trading opportunities provided by joining the WTO. "Even if WTO membership opens up new markets and supply chains for Afghanistan, few will want to engage it on economic levels if the country is too unstable to sustain such transactions. The biggest issue therefore is security," said Michael Kugelman, South Asia expert at the Washington-based Woodrow Wilson Center. And then the government also has to tackle issues such as pervasive corruption, bureaucratic red tape and widespread inefficiencies that dissuade foreign investors, the analyst told DW.
'A value in itself'
But Alexey Yusupov, director of the Afghanistan office of the German foundation Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES), believes inclusion in regional and global economic and trade bodies such as the WTO is a value in itself for an isolated country like Afghanistan. However, Yusupov shares Kugelman's skepticism about the concrete benefits Afghanistan might draw from its WTO membership, as long as it remains one of the least-secure nations in the world. "I cannot see how the accession to the WTO will help Afghanistan attract more investments. The inhibiting factors are mostly security-centered, so the alleviation of tariffs and non-tariff barriers will not be a game-changer," the analyst said, adding that substantive investment projects like the Aynak and Hajigak mining concessions are not materializing anytime soon because of security impediments. Nevertheless, others say the biggest impact of a WTO membership will be on incentive structures. "Afghanistan will be expected to do certain things and fulfill certain conditions to ensure that it serves as a member in good stead," said Kugelman. "What this means is that in order to maintain its good standing in the WTO, Afghanistan's government would have a strong incentive to engage in liberalization reforms and crack down more robustly on corruption," the analyst explained. "In some ways, one could argue that Afghanistan's WTO accession is a case of putting the cart before the horse: trying to have Afghanistan join a prestigious economic club while its economy is still struggling to enjoy any semblance of sustained growth."

Thursday, 28 July 2016

В районе Касаба афганской столицы в ближайшие недели будет сдан в эксплуатацию жилой комплекс "Аль Касаба"

Проект, стоимость US$ 180M, состоит из 110 блоков и около 3 тыс. квартир. Он был реализован при финансовой поддержке Абу-Даби (столица ОАЭ) и включает, помимо домов, строительство всей необходимой инфраструктуры: дорог, школ, поликлиник, парков, систем водоснабжения и канализации. Проект был начат в 2012 году, благодаря нему временные рабочие места смогли получить более 4 тыс. жителей Кабула и близлежащих районов.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Too many contracts in Afghanistan awarded to unqualified companies

The President of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani cancels contracts of 3 dams citing progress, quality issues
President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani has cancelled the contracts for 3 dams and has ordered the Ministry of Energy and Water to launch a new and speedy process for the completion of the remaining works of the dams. The Administrative Office of the President (AOP) said the contracts for the construction of Almar, Machalgho and Pashdan were previously awarded.However AOP said the contracts works had turned into an issue due to work progress and quality of the works.According to a statement by AOP, the contractors of the mentioned dams will also be fined and the Ministry of Energy and Water and the Ministry of Finance were instructed to resolve the issue of the residents Pashdan dam.In the meantime the National Procurement Commission approved 6 contracts worth 490 million AFN which include the modification of second turbine installation for Kajaki dam, procurement of 1 million passports for machine readers, procurement of food items for hostels and hospitals and other items. This comes as President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani earlier said work on key infrastructure projects including construction of water dams will start in accordance with the available resources.During a meeting of the National Procurement Commission (NPC) late in March this year, President Ghani reviewed a report by the Ministry of Energy and Water regarding the construction of 29 large, medium and small water dams. President Ghani said necessary measures will be put in place for the start of key infrastructure projects, considering a balance and the available resources. The Ministry of Finance was given the task to take necessary steps for the arrangement of funds for the said projects while the Ministry of Energy and Water was instructed to seek ways in attracting private sector investments as well for the implementation of the projects.

Afghanistan suspends bidding on magnetite and marble stone mines in Kandahar due to deteriorating security situation

Kandahar Governor Dr. Humayun Azizi announced on Tuesday that the bidding process and contract signing for two precious stone mines have been suspended due to insecurity in the area. Addressing a weekly meeting with the government officials and Provincial Council members, Dr. Azizi said the contract and bidding process for magnetite stone mine in Khakrez district and marble stone mine in the Shah Walikot district were suspended due to deteriorating security situation. He assured that work on the projects would resume as soon as law and order was restored. Meanwhile, Mine and Petroleum Director Eng. Khan Aqa said a ten-year contract of fluorite mine, situated in Nesh district of southern Kandahar, had been signed. According to sources, Kandahar is home for 30 deposits of different natural resources such as fluorite, chromites, gold, marble, iron, magnetite, zing, coal and highly precious and semi-precious stones.

Sunday, 24 July 2016

International Monetary Fund approves a $45 million Extended Credit Facility Arrangement to support Afghanistan

The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved a three-year Extended Credit Facility (ECF) arrangement for the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan for US$44.9 million to help raise growth by consolidating progress on the macroeconomic and structural fronts and catalyzing continued support from donors. Following the Board’s decision, about US$6.2 million is available for immediate disbursement; the remaining amount will be phased in over the duration of the program, subject to semi-annual reviews. Following the Board discussion, Mr. Mitsuhiro Furusawa, Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair, made the following statement:
“Afghanistan is undergoing a difficult political, security, and economic transition. Against this background, the authorities’ successful completion of the 2015 staff-monitored program has provided the needed track record for a financial arrangement with the Fund. The authorities’ program supported under the Fund’s Extended Credit Facility aims to consolidate recent gains on the macroeconomic and structural fronts, and catalyze donor support. It will focus on institution building, fiscal and financial reforms, and measures to combat corruption. These reforms will help lay the foundation for private sector development, in line with the goal of Afghanistan’s forthcoming National Development Framework. “On the fiscal side, the program aims to raise revenue and reduce reliance on aid through tax administration and policy reforms; improve the formulation, execution, and reporting of the budget; ensure a pro-growth re-composition of public spending over time; and strengthen commitment controls and cash management. “The program envisions bolstering financial stability and the central bank’s regulatory and supervisory frameworks to address remaining financial risks, including the need to complete the resolution of the 2010 Kabul Bank crisis. “The reform agenda also includes strong anti-corruption measures and implementation of further reforms of the AML/CFT framework, which are critical to protecting financial stability, deterring corruption, and exiting the Financial Action Task Force’s monitoring process. “The program will support a policy mix that aims to preserve macro-financial stability by strengthening fiscal and external balances, keeping inflation low, and maintaining exchange rate flexibility and strong buffers. “In view of the challenging circumstances, full ownership of the program and buy-in from stakeholders will help mitigate implementation risks and raise the likelihood of program success.”

Saturday, 23 July 2016

В провинции Кабул реализуют новые сельскохозяйственные проекты

Министерство сельского хозяйства ИРА реализует в 14 уездах провинции Кабул новые сельскохозяйственные проекты.  
Проекты стоимостью около USD 400,000 профинансируют из бюджета министерства. Планируется, в частности, обеспечить ирригацию более 600 гектаров сельхозугодий, а также расширить выращивание шафрана. Кроме того, планируется построить новый ирригационный канал в уезде Шакар Дара и отремонтировать ряд имеющихся. Благодаря новым проектам до 13,000 местных жителей смогут получить временные рабочие места.

Hundreds of thousands of Hazara people in the streets of Kabul to protest against chosen route for 500kV TUTAP power project

A major demonstration has kicked off in Kabul city this morning July 23 to protest against the implementation of a massive power project, 500kV TUTAP project through Salang pass. The demonstration has been organized by Enlightening Movement which has been formed to protest against the implementation of the project which was originally planned through Bamyan province. Hundreds of thousands of people gathered in Mazari square in the West of Kabul city to start their rally. The Enlightening Movement is saying that the women, elder men, and youths have taken part in the rally as it calls on the rally participants to keep the city clean. This comes as the Office of the Second Vice President earlier said the demonstration has been cancelled after the government reached to an agreement with the movement to hold further talks on the issue. This is the second the movement has been organizing large demonstration in Kabul city in the past two months. The Afghan government decided to halt the execution of the project and order a commission to review the project through Salang pass and Bamyan province. President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani issued a decree after a commission concluded its review regarding the implementation of the project. In his decree following the conclusion of the commission, President Ghani ordered that a 220kW double circuit power line will be transmitted from from Doshi to the central provinces to transmit 300 megawatt of electricity that would be enough for the entire central provinces. The decree further stated that the power 220kV power line should be executed to include the construction of a 220kV (double circuit) electricity network to transmit 300 megawatt of electricity from Doshi to center of Bamyan with the start of the project to be from the first of the month of June and should conclude in the solar year 1398. However the protesters are saying that their demonstrations will continue until the government choose the original route for the implementation of the project which is through Bamyan and Maidan Wardak provinces.

Friday, 22 July 2016

Afghan brothers invented a mine-hunting drone

Former refugees Massoud and Mahmud Hassani stunned the world three years ago with an invention like a dandelion puffball that sought to rid the world of landmines. Now the Afghan brothers are back with their latest creation: a low-cost drone to detect and destroy mines, which each year claim thousands of lives. Ridding the world of their childhood horror has become the life work of the Hassanis, who now live in the Netherlands. In 2013, they won worldwide acclaim for the "mine kafon" - a giant ball shaped like a dandelion-seed head that rolls around with the wind, its plastic stalks tripping landmines in the process. Inspired by their childhood toys, the kafon - short for "kafondan" which in the Hassanis' native Dari language means "something that explodes" - drew high praise from anti-landmine organisations.
Flying blue octopus
Now their latest mine-hunting device combines drone technology, 3D printing and robotics with a metal detector to find and ultimately destroy landmines. Hinged on six arms with rotors that creates lift, the 4.5 kilo (10-pound) drone consists of a blue hard plastic casing that contains batteries, computer hardware and software and a global positioning system. A robotic arm slung underneath is fitted with pincers that can remotely be opened and closed. The pincers can carry a metal detector or a small explosive charge, which the brothers say can be used to destroy a landmine. The on-board GPS allows it to plot its course via computer. Massoud explains that the drone works in three stages: mapping, detecting and destroying. When deployed, a 3D mapping system scans the section that needs to be demined. Secondly, the mapped area is meticulously sweeped by the drones carrying a metal detector on a pre-programme path. "This way the mine field in question can be scanned inch-by-inch," Massoud told Agence France-Presse (AFP) at his workshop in the southern Dutch city of Eindhoven. Finally, the plan is to destroy the mines by using the drone to place a small charge on every mine to detonate it. "We believe this way mines can be cleared almost 20 times faster than what they are now," Massoud said.
Time-consuming process
So far the duo have built three working prototypes, and have carried out demonstrations before the Dutch military, who say they are willing to help with further testing. "Clearing minefields is an incredibly time-consuming process," Major Fred de Vries of the Dutch army's explosives ordnance disposal unit told AFP. "We see many possibilities to use drones" to save time to map and detect landmines in a given area, De Vries said. The key phase will be to carry out field tests in Afghanistan, which the brothers hope to finance by crowd-funding. If all goes well, the pair believe the drone can be made for as little as 1,000 euros ($1,100) each. Other opinions are guarded. One of them is the Halo Trust, the world's largest humanitarian mine clearing organisation. It said despite having carried out some "small-scale trials with aerial mapping drones" it did not believe "drones will contribute significantly to the future of mine clearance". Drones are of limited use in areas covered with vegetation and in poor weather conditions, the trust said. And even if the drone did find a landmine "a trained human being will still be required to excavate and destroy it," the trust said in a statement.
Back to Afghanistan
The brothers are using the Kickstarter online crowd funding platform in the hope of raising 90,000 euros ($100,000) for the final tests. They want to take it to Afghanistan for testing within the next two months, the first time the brothers will be back in their native country since fleeing the Taliban-ruled Kabul in the late 1990s. Three years ago a plan to return to Afghanistan to test the original kafon failed. The "puffball" idea -- while praised for its low technology and cheapness -- meant the device was at the mercy of the winds and could not cover a minefield systematically to guarantee it was cleared, as humans would. "The mine kafon invention did a lot to create awareness of landmines," Massoud Hassani said. "We felt that it was now time to do something even more concrete to destroy landmines," he said. Massoud, 32, fled Afghanistan in 1998, followed two years later by Mahmud, 30. After arduous treks through Pakistan and Uzbekistan the brothers finally made their way to the Netherlands and today hold Dutch citizenship. Landmines are scattered in 78 countries, and each year kill between 15,000 and 20,000 people and maim countless more, according to UN figures. Despite huge progress in mine-clearing, Afghanistan remains one of the most-mined countries in the world. Since 1989, around 703,000 anti-personnel mines, 29,000 anti-tank mines and more than 18 million other pieces of unexploded ordnance have been collected, according to the UN Mine Action Centre for Afghanistan (UNMACA). There were at least 1,296 Afghan casualties in 2014 resulting from mines, victim-triggered improvised explosive devises and other ordnance left over from the Afghan war, the Geneva-based Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor research group said. "Our whole life is dedicated to the fight against landmines. As children we saw our friends lose limbs and die," said Massoud.

"It will be great to go back to our country bearing this gift."

Thursday, 21 July 2016

В Нью-Дели прошла выставка афганских товаров

Более сорока афганских компаний представили свою продукцию на выставке 'Made in Afghanistan', которая прошла в Нью-Дели. Участники мероприятия представили свежие фрукты и сухофрукты, шафран, орехи, изделия из оникса и мрамора, драгоценных и полудрагоценных камней, а также разнообразные изделия ручной работы. Как заявил министр сельского хозяйства Афганистана, выставка поможет афганским производителям завязать нужные контакты с тем, чтобы поставлять в Индию свои товары. В Индии высоко ценят качественный афганский гранаты, орехи, гранаты, абрикосы, изюм и яблоки. Индия является вторым по объёму импортёром афганской продукции после Пакистана.

Kabul Municipality and IFC launch efficient construction permit system

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has helped Afghanistan’s Kabul Municipality develop a simpler, more efficient construction permit system that has significantly cut red tape and processing times, and increased private investment in the city’s construction sector. The initiative, the result of a partnership between IFC and Kabul Municipality signed in 2014, is designed to spur much-needed construction in the Afghan capital. Funded by the United States Agency for International Development, it has helped modernize the construction permit system, providing new software and training for staff. Kabul also opened a one-stop shop where prospective builders can go to obtain construction permits. The project’s progress was marked at a ceremony attended by Kabul’s acting Mayor and other officials earlier this month. “We are committed to creating the right enabling environment for the construction permit process and implementing the city’s development plans,” said, Abdullah Jan Habibzai, Kabul’s acting Mayor. “The project has also helped us develop the right legal and regulatory framework for permit processing and train our staff to deliver the best service possible.” Mohammad H. Qayoumi, senior advisor to Afghanistan’s president, said: “About 80 percent of economic activities are carried out in cities and construction is a major part of the country’s economy. Simplifying the construction permit process will encourage investments in the sector. I hope other organizations follow the same path to simplifying complicated permit processes.” The ceremony included the formal opening of the municipality’s newly established one-stop shop for construction permits and a presentation of a new online system for the permits, which will be introduced this month. “Our goals with this project were to improve the investment climate and contribute to sustainable development in Afghanistan,” said Nadeem Siddiqui, IFC Country Manager for Afghanistan and Pakistan. “We are pleased that construction permit practices have been aligned with international best practices and we hope this lays a foundation for further reforms in the country.” The project was part of IFC’s Advisory Services program in Afghanistan, which is focused on improving access to finance, especially for smaller businesses, supporting agribusiness, and enhancing the investment climate. That is part of a larger effort to support the development of the private sector and spur job creation, especially in the areas of infrastructure, finance, and agribusiness.

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

В афганской провинции Кандагар ожидается хороший урожай винограда

Бизнесмены провинции Кандагар объявили, что, судя по всему, провинция экспортирует не менее 40 тыс. тонн винограда в текущем году. Несмотря на то, что сбор урожая только начинается, около 50 тонн винограда из провинции уже экспортируют в Пакистан ежедневно. В течение ближайших дней это количество может возрасти до 200 тонн в сутки. Афганский виноград мог бы быть востребован в странах Европы и Азии, однако из-за недостатка возможностей грузоперевозки приходится продавать его в соседний Пакистан.

Pakistan worried as Afghanistan decided to build 12 dams on Kabul River

Pakistani officials are worried amid reports that the Afghan government is planning to build water dams on Kabul River. The country’s Ministry of Water and Power has said Pakistan is willing to sign a water treaty with Afghanistan. “We have held many brainstorming sessions at the ministry on this particular issue after receiving credible reports about Afghanistan’s plans to build dams on Kabul River,” a ministry official quoted by local newspaper, The News, said. The official further added that “Some of Pakistan’s ambassadors appointed in various capitals have taken up this issue with the officials of the ministry and sometimes the Foreign Office also agitated this issue.” According to the paper, the ministry had asked many agencies to initiate the process for formulating a water information share mechanism with Afghanistan. Being the low riparian, Pakistan has the right to have the data of water flows in Kabul River in the vicinity of Afghanistan, the ministry said. Earlier the paper reported that the Afghan authorities with the help of Indian experts had completed feasibilities and detailed engineering of 12 hydro power projects on Kabul River to generate 1,177MW electricity. If the 12 projects get completed, they will store 4.7 million acre feet water squeezing flows into the river that are destined to reach Pakistan, the paper reported in its edition of June 4, 2013. Citing the official documents, the paper reported that the World Bank will fund the 12 projects that will cost $7.079 billion.

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Afghanistan to become member of the World Trade Organization

Afghanistan will become the 164th member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) on July 29th of this year, 30 days after the Protocol of Accession was ratified by the Afghan Parliament. WTO members officially approved Afghanistan’s accession at the Tenth Ministerial Conference in Nairobi on December 17, 2015 and the Protocol of Accession was signed between Afghanistan’s First Deputy Chief Executive Mohammad Khan Rahmani and Director-General Roberto Azevedo. Afghanistan is the 36th government and the ninth least-developed country (LDC) to join the WTO following accession negotiations since the WTO was established in 1995. Liberia, also an LDC, will meanwhile become the 163rd WTO member on 14 July. LDCs represent a fifth of the WTO membership.

Saturday, 16 July 2016

The Governments of India and Afghanistan agreed additional 87 projects under the Small Development Projects (SDP)

Afghan and Indian governments signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for additional 87 projects worth USD 25mn under the Small Development Projects (SDP). A significant part of India’s development portfolio in Afghanistan has been a special program to foster community-based Small Development Projects (SDP) in the fields of education, health, rural development, agriculture and vocational training that can have a direct and visible impact on community life. SDP scheme started in 2005 with an initial budget of USD 20,000,000. Under this, more than 100 projects were approved and a majority have already been completed. In 2012, the Government of India provided an additional sum of USD100M for the SDP scheme, also extending it across all 34 provinces of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. The agreement on the additional 87 projects was signed between the Embassy of India in Kabul and the Afghan Ministry of Economy in the presence of the CEO of Afghanistan Dr. Abdullah Abdullah.

Friday, 15 July 2016

Доходы Афганистана за первые шесть месяцев 2016 возросли на 36%

Министерство финансов ИРА сообщает о том, что за первое финансовое полугодие доходы страны возросли на 36% и составили 38,6 млрд. афгани, или USD 560,000,000. Рост доходов был достигнут не только и не столько за счёт налогообложения. Среди основных причин, успешную борьбу с коррупцией, установку современного таможенного оборудования на терминалах и успешную работу экспертов различных департаментов министерства. Эксперты отмечают, что борьба с коррупцией ещё далеко не завершена и при успехе может существенно повысить налоговые и таможенные сборы.

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Afghanistan National Procurement Authority: Debarred Companies

  • Ce fe Construction Company - Provided fake Bid Security
  • Waheed Zia Construction Company - Provided fake documents as similar contract
  • Cefe Group of Logistic Services Company - Provided fake bank guarantee as bid security
  • Altanbena Construction, Road Construction and Construction Material Production Company- Provided fake Bank Statement
  • Real Builder Step Construction - Fake Bank Statement
  • Golden Sky Logistic Company - Provided fake Bank Statement
  • Kabul Modern Construction Company - Provided fake bank statement
  • Kamal Baba Construction, and construction materials production - Fake Bank Security
  • Kasre Construction company - Provided fake Bank Statement
  • Kumsen Insaat Construction Company - Provided fake documents as similar contract
  • Elham Emamzadah Construction company - Provided fake Bank Statement
  • Hiwad Safeer Construction Company - Provided fake bank statement
  • Wesa Ahadi Construction Company - Provided fake documents as a similar Projects
  • Al-Hoti Construction Company - Fake on Bid Security and Bank Statement Documents
  • Conservable Construction Company - Provided fake documents as similar Contract
  • Paktin Construction Company - Provided fake bank guarantee as bid security
  • Hashmat Qais Construction Company - Fake on Bid Security
  • Class Construction Group - Provided fake Bid Security
  • Kabul Afghan Sabz Traiding Company - Provided fake documents as similar contract
  • Haroon Mutahid Construction Company - Provided fake documents as similar contract
  • Safi Sultani Logistic Company - Provided fake bid security
  • Arzo ha-e-sabz City Transportation Company - Provided fake documents as similar contract
  • Zuhmat Group of Construction Company - Provided fake Bank Statement
  • Ample Logistic Services Company - Provided fake bank statement
  • Arman Sharq Construction Company - Provided fake Bank Statement
  • Kaihan Alhaj Gul Habib Construction and Construction Materials Production Company - Provided fake Bid Security
  • Haseeb Bagramwal Construction Company - Provided fake Bank Statement
  • Unified Construction Company - Fake information regarding similar contract
  • Biltek Afghan Construction Company - Provided fake Letter of Credit
  • Marouf Sharif Construction Company - Provided fake Letter of Credit
  • Safi Qlandari Trading Company - Provided fake bank statement
  • Akif Construction Company - Provide false information regarding similar contract
  • Jabar Nabi Zada Advertisement Services - Provided fake bank statement
  • Khalid Karwan Construction Company - Provided fake bank statement
  • Shams Group International Construction Company - Provided false information regarding similar contract
  • Kavan Construction Company - Provided fake bank statement
  • Unique Atlantic Telecommunication Ltd - False information regarding similar contract
  • Kaihan Construction and Engineering Company - Provided fake Bank Guarantee
  • Fawad Hashimi Logistic Company - Provided fake Bank Statement
  • Basharat Silkroad Group - Fake on documents of similar projects
  • Nesar Ansar Construction Company - Provided false information regarding similar contract
  • Deh Kadeh Sabze Pamir Ldt - Provided false information regarding similar contracts
  • Dezad Karimi Construction CO. Ltd - Provided fake bank Statement
  • Leyaqat Sadaf Constuction and Road Building Company - Provided fake Bid Security
  • Salim Samim Construction Company - Provided fake Bid Security
  • Worono Construction and Material Producation Company - Provided fake Bank Statement
>>> Source of information >>> History of Debarred Companies >>> List of Companies Under Debarment Process

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Afghan Finance Minister promises to bring significant improvements in transparency, fighting corruption and delivery of public services

Afghanistan and Azerbaijan signed an agreement on the establishment of a One-Stop Shop. The agreement was signed between Afghan Finance Minister Eklil Hakimi and Anam Karimov, Head of Azerbaijan’s Public Services Center. 
The One-Stop Shop is a new innovation which enables simple and quick provision of public services to citizens. “This center will bring significant improvements in transparency, fighting corruption and delivery of public services,” said Hakimi. According to Minister Hakimi, the One-Stop Shop will enable citizen to receive their Tazkira (national ID cards), marriage certificate, driving license, car registration, plate number, birth certificate, death certificate, graduation documents and other documents in a short period of time.
>>> read original article

It's time to think of cybersecurity as a business enabler: VeilMail in Afghanistan

Author: William H. Saito
Named by Nikkei as one of the "100 Most Influential People for Japan," William H. Saito is Special Advisor of the Cabinet Office and Prime Minister for the Government of Japan, and Vice Chairman for Palo Alto Networks Japan. William began software programming in elementary school and started his own company while still in high school. Named Entrepreneur of the Year in 1998 (by Ernst & Young, NASDAQ and USA Today), he is recognized as one of the world’s leading authorities on cybersecurity. He is a Foundation Board Member at the World Economic Forum (WEF) and advises several national governments around the globe. His autobiography, An Unprogrammed Life: Adventures of an Incurable Entrepreneur, was published in 2011 by John Wiley & Sons.

Last year, CIO, CSO and PricewaterhouseCoopers released a new Global State of Information Security survey, which polled more than 10,000 executives from 127 countries about IT security. The results were a mixed bag, with security incidents up 38% over 2014 but corresponding budgets rising only 24%.
The survey reflected broad thinking about how companies are trying to defend themselves from hackers as well as employees, the most often cited sources of security compromises. But despite the continued growth in hacks and other security incidents, there were some important signs that security threats aren’t being taken seriously enough at the executive level. For one, the poll found that only 45% of boards participate in overall security strategy.
Brakes for your bullet train
This finding reflects common corporate psychology that cybersecurity is a cost center and a drain on resources – a Cisco survey of over 1,000 executives also found that 74% of respondents in the U.S. said that the main purpose of cybersecurity is to reduce risk instead of enable growth. I’ve found that people tend to think of cybersecurity as costly, complex, inefficient, and a damper on productivity. Many people believe it may not actually work or mitigate risk. This can result in security measures being implemented piecemeal without any overarching policy, resulting in costly but poor integration.
To make matters worse, by focusing on cost as a deciding factor for IT purchase decisions, companies will try to implement the bare minimum and, in some cases, also sacrifice usability and by extension, business productivity. Employees who aren’t confident in the tools and systems they are provided often turn to “shadow IT” – tools, many of which are cloud-based file sharing applications, that are not officially approved for use by the IT department.
This kind of mindset has engendered a defensive posture that’s not only inadequate when it comes to dealing with growing cyber threats like ransomware, but also short-changes the growth potential of business. Doing cybersecurity the right way is a must, and it has to be done at the highest levels of an organization because it affects the whole entity. But we can’t just think about it as a layer of protection. We have to think of cybersecurity as a plus, not a minus — a means of better using ICT to improve efficiency and productivity. This is true for companies as well as nations. To employ a Japanese example, the best way to think of cybersecurity is comparing it to the brakes on the famous Shinkansen bullet train. In 1964, they were heralded for their speed, but frankly anyone can make a fast train. It was the innovations in brakes that allowed the speed. The brakes aren’t there to act as a drag on the bullet train’s performance – they allow it to travel faster than conventional trains because they put the train drivers in control of its speed. To go really fast, you need really good brakes.

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No Email Addresses - VeilMail is a closed loop secure email system with no email addresses, eliminating the opportunity for outside party contact.
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No e-mail Server - VeilMail avoids using email servers improving security.
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Abstract Security Layer - VeilMail runs on an AIC virtual machine (a proprietory development) which itself is an abstract security layer.

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✔ Uses 256 Bit AES by default and single use, random keys for all transmissions.

Unique functions in VeilMail sets it from all others
✔ The rights enforced on a message give the extra protection including restricting devices the user utilises to accessing/view the messages and data.
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No Local Storage - Messages are not stored locally on a user's machine, neither is it cached on servers outside your control.
✔ Backups of the user device not required
✔ Information available from any device if permitted

View Message on Selected Device - A user can select to view it's message on an assigned trusted device only.

Self Managed Nodes - There is no centralized database for storing data - each account manages it's own messages.

Completely Private - The administrator of the system cannot access/engage in private messages between any two users.

Contact the VeilMail team
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Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Afghanistan reviewing major corruption cases involving politicians

The Afghan government is reportedly working on at least 20 major corruption cases involving highly political influential figures. According to a report by BBC’s Afghanistan service, the government is currently reviewing the cases of powerful individuals which includes former ministers. The report further added that the suspects are having extensive political support and the review of the cases comes as the Afghan government has committed to uproot corruption as part of its commitment to international community. President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani appeared in a press conference after returning from the NATO Warsaw summit in Poland. He promised to bring reforms to different sectors of the and to abolish corruption in the country. “We are working on bringing reforms to different sectors, and to abolish corruption in Afghanistan,” President Ghani said. President Ghani insisted that “Our fight against corruption is legal, not political.” This comes as the Afghan Attorney General Farid Hamidi earlier promised that a serious and speedy campaign against corruption will be launched in the near future. Speaking during a press conference late in the month of May, Hamidi said Afghanistan will witness an anti-corruption machine launch to start a major fight against the growing corruption in the country. Afghanistan has been consecutively placed among the top three nations with most corruption during the recent years by international organizations combating corruption. President Ghani pledged a strict anti-corruption measure shortly after he was elected as the new President of the country, calling the growing graft a major barrier to implement reforms and bring changes.
>>> read original article

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Afghan female decided to fulfill her dream and by riding her bike tries to introduce Afghanistan as a peace-loving country to the world

Zhala Saramst wants to raise Afghanistan’s flag all over the world
Wind running through her hair and sun kissing her face, Zhala Saramst at the age of 17, decided to fulfill her dream and by riding her bike tries to introduce Afghanistan as a peace-loving country to the world. By winding her way through cultural taboo and beating a new path to Afghan women’s equality, Zhala wants to raise her country’s flag in all across the world. Being a teenage girl in Afghanistan means that the chance of getting a quality education is severely limited. The 17-year old, Zhala is one of the Afghan female bike riders who rides her bike for hours daily to reach the mount victory. In just a few short years, a group of brave girls have been taking to the pavement and to the cracked dirt roads to try to make a stand and Zhala was among one of them. She met a group of bicycle riders three years ago, and now it has been one year that she professionally passes hundreds kilometers of the roads every day. The two keys that reach Zhala to success are her goal and confidence that persuade her to go forward than her fellows. “I have had many achievements in domestic and international competitions; the south Asian Games, nominated for the Noble Prize and gaining the second position in France competitions are among my great achievements,” Zhala Sarmast said. What is most impressive about her is that she plays guitar and with her guitar strings, she showcases the good and bad stories of her country. The teenager Zhala labored for almost three years that become familiar to her guitar’s strings. “I have achieved one of my biggest dreams that was the participation in the France competitions and now one of my greatest wish is that one day I can play guitar with the world’s greatest orchestras,”  Zhala added. Even before the Taliban ruled in Afghanistan, women were banned from riding bicycles. Though they’re no longer officially banned, women’s cycling is still frowned upon in the conservative country. This comes as the Afghan girls are still heading out and going for a ride despite huge explosions and insecurity going on in the country that can never stop them.

Afghan Minister of Urban Development Affairs Mansoor Naderi launched a widespread campaign against corruption to boost housing sector

Syed Sadat Mansoor Naderi is one of the youngest ministers in the cabinet of the government of Afghanistan. Enriched with the experience in trade and business, Mr. Naderi was appointed as the Minister of Urban Development Affairs as he was unanimously approved by the lawmakers in Lower House of the Parliament.  Mr. Naderi received 202 votes following an impressive statement he delivered in the Lower House to present his plans for the one of the most technical and professional ministries. Before starting his routine work, Mr. Naderi wakes up early in the morning for the prayers and gym workout and gets ready for the breakfast at around 6:00 am every day. He arrives in the office at 7:00 am and starts his work as per the scheduled which has been properly prepared.
– Construction of affordable houses.
– Fixing up the conditions of the major cities which have been out of the norms, reforms and capacity building are among the top priorities Mr. Naderi promised to take care of during his speech in the Lower House of the Parliament. Mr. Naderi came across with a bitter reality soon after assuming charge of the office as the Minister of Urban Development Affairs by coming to know that he has taken into heritage the massive misconducts from the previous administration which had badly affected its image and credit in the society. Corruption, incomplete projects and lack of trust by the people towards the ministry were making the headlines besides other challenges, including:
– Formation incompatible with the goals.
– Affected relations of the ministry with the people, entrepreneurs, and international sponsors.
– Competition and incompatibility in housing urban sector.
– Lack of legal authority and the position of the ministry in terms of decision making.
– Lack of identifying the capacities and loss of talents of the young generation.
– Rehabilitation of trust of the ministry.
Each of the above mentioned challenges seemed far from resolving as Mr. Naderi assumed charge of the ministry. But, as per the notion of Mr. Naderi “The existing challenges should not become barriers for the leaders to take a step ahead”. He appeared with power and firmness and took major steps during the first few weeks since he assumed the charge of the office and launched a widespread campaign against corruption, a step which was in contrast to the other ministers and politicians who are normally sidelining their commitments after achieving votes of confidence from the lawmakers, a move which is common in countries like Afghanistan. His initial major step was to dismiss 6 top officials of the ministry of urban development affairs for the miscue of authority, embezzlement, and bribery. The top officials were introduced to the Attorney General’s Office of Afghanistan despite they were influential individuals and had pocketed large sums during their work in the ministry and had luxury houses and expensive apartments in their custody. The introduction of the six senior officials to the Attorney General’s Office had a positive impact on the persistent situation of the ministry where corruption was rampantly on the rise but further steps were needed to eradicate the graft. Mr. Naderi continued with his efforts to root out corruption and create an environment not suitable for the corrupt people in the ministry which led to the identification of further people involved in the corruption forcing some of them flee while others were arrested. A source in the ministry speaking on the condition of anonymity said almost 90% of the individuals involved in the corruption have been dismissed from the ministry, either they have been arrested or they have been sacked from the ministry through the reform program. The source further added that a healthy environment is in power in the ministry, insisting that the other departments will have a similar environment if they say no to corruption and have a resolute stance against graft. The idea of affordable housing scheme was not available in the ministry before Mr. Naderi assumed charge of it and has taken further steps besides bringing the idea to the ministry. He brought key changes in the ministry, including the addition of the name ‘housing’ in it, establishment of housing department, and conclusion of memorandum of understandings with the foreign countries to bring the idea into reality. As a result, China has promised to start work on the construction of 10,000 affordable houses while Qatar has vowed to construct an additional 1,000 more units. His other achievements include creation of an atmosphere of unity in the urban sector which was suffering from unhealthy and irregular competition, enshrining of the ministry image and credit as key leader in urban sector, and largely rehabilitated the damaged trust of the people, entrepreneurs, foreign donors and international conventions. The persistent efforts by Mr. Naderi have led to the improvement of the works particularly of the incomplete projects which are due to be completed in the near future. Other milestones achieved are the reforms which are currently being implemented and the minister has promised that numerous development projects are on hand which will bring a considerable change in the sector of urban development and housing once they have been implemented.
>>> read original article

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Afghanistan national cricket team defeated Scotland

The Afghanistan national cricket team defeated Scotland by 78 runs and won the two match One Day International series 1-0. Afghanistan won the toss and elected to bat first setting a target of 179 runs for Scotland from 37.2 overs by losing 6 wickets. Mohammad Shahzad scored 84 runs, Noor Ali Zadran 6 runs, Jaed Ahmadi 16 runs, Rahmat Shah 26 runs, Asghar Stanikzai 5 runs, Najibullah Zadran 11 runs, and Mohammad Nabi remained not out after scoring 14 runss with Mirwais Ashraf who did not make any runs. The overs of the match was reduced due to rainfall and the match refrees applied Duck and Lewis method. Scotland could not chase the given target and lost all its wickets after scoring 132 runs from 27.1 overs. Dawlat Zadran took 2 wickets, Shapoor Zadran 2 wickets, Mohammad Nabi 3 wickets, Rashid Khan 2 wickets, and Mirwais Ashraf 1 wicket. The first ODI match between Afghanistan and Scotland ended without any result due to heavy rainfall which stopped the match. Afghanistan scored 283 runs but the match ended without any result as the Scotland batsmen could not play their inning.

Sunday, 3 July 2016

Qatar and China build 11,000 residential units in Afghanistan

The Ministry of Urban Development Affairs of Afghanistan announced that construction works of 11,000 residential units would kick off in the current solar year.
The Minister of Urban Development, H.E. Syed Sadat Mansoor Naderi, said 10,000 residential units would be built by China in the coming three months upon conclusion of a Memorandum of Understanding. He added that the agreement with Qatar on the construction of 1,000 residential units was concluded and construction work was expected to start soon. Explaining his plans for the solar year 1395, Naderi said his ministry would focus on creation of jobs, economic momentum and bringing positive changes in the perspective of the cities. He also promised to bring changes to the urban master plan in order to ensure it meets the needs and demands of the people. Naderi also added that the Ministry of Urban Development Affairs has managed to spend 49% of its annual budget during the solar year 1394, which is considerably higher than the solar year 1393 where only 17% of the budget was spent. He said the main challenges of the Ministry of Urban Development Affairs included lack of security, corruption and flight of capital from the country.
>>> read original article

Friday, 1 July 2016

Afghanistan sees a considerable increase in the production of honey

Nearly 2 million kilograms of honey has been produced throughout Afghanistan this year. Currently, about 24,000 beekeepers (of which over 600 are women) are currently engaged in honey production within 60 cooperatives across the country.
And, a large number of beekeepers are individually involved in honey production in various provinces. Honey is produced in 30 provinces of Afghanistan. The provinces with the highest production of honey are Badakhshan, Herat, Takhar, Kunduz, Baghlan and Ghazni. The French Development Agency (AFD) is the major international partner and donor supporting honey production in Afghanistan.

Cold-storage facility for agricultural products to be built at Kabul International Airport

The Office of the President of Afghanistan has given its approval for the construction of a cold-storage facility for agricultural products at the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul. 

The Deputy Director of the Afghanistan Civil Aviation Authority (ACAA), Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Mr Shah Mahmood Habibi, said the facility would have a storage capacity of 70-100 tons of products and would be stretched over 1,760 square meters of land inside the airport’s custom office. The facility would be built at an estimated cost of 3,2 million AFN. Similar facilities would also be built at Herat, Kandahar and Balkh airports, said the Deputy Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation Mr Shah Mahmood Habibi.

Statistics on the presence of women in the institutions of Afghanistan

33% of teachers in Afghanistan are women, and 240 Afghan females are serving as judges. 3,5 million Afghan girls are attending schools/Madrassas across the country. Based on figures from the Ministry of Education of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, there are currently 8,5 million students in Afghanistan, 170,000 teachers and 16,000 schools. The Education Ministry’s staff is over 90,000, of which about 30% are women. In the Afghan capital Kabul, 80% of the teachers are women. Over 3300 women are serving in police and security forces. There are nearly 4000 Afghan female doctors and about 800 private companies managed by women. Hundreds of Afghan female athletes have participated in various international and national competitions. At local governments, over 30% of departments are led by females. 85 Afghan women are members of the Afghan Parliament. Afghan women form about 22% of Afghanistan’s public service employees.