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US-Afghan Gov’ts failed to achieve Joint goals: SIGAR

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(Last Updated On: April 16, 2016)

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 Today, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, John F. Sopko, testified before the United States House Committee on Armed Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. Unfortunately, SIGAR’s cumulative work to date has shown that TFBSO’s nearly $800 million investment in Afghanistan has generally not delivered on its stated goals.

The compressed natural gas (CNG) filling station and a cashmere goat’s project are glaring examples of TFBSO activities SIGAR has examined that were ill-conceived, poorly planned, or left unfinished. Further, it appears that TFBSO’s activities in Afghanistan were stymied by

several avoidable problems and repeated mistakes from its Iraq experience that hindered Task Force operations and outcomes.

 Inspector General Sopko noted that DOD’s Task Force for Business and Stability Operations (TFBSO) efforts in Afghanistan were marred by the absence of a clear strategy, a lack of consistent management and leadership, and a failure to coordinate with other U.S. government agencies.

 TFBSO’s lack of strategic direction and inconsistent management resulted in a scattershot approach to economic development resulting in an $800 million investment in Afghanistan that has generally not delivered on its stated goals.

 Mr. Sopko has stated that My testimony today will broadly discuss TFBSO’s challenges with project development, execution, and oversight, and, at the request of the Chairwoman, will focus on three TFBSO expenditures that illustrate these challenges:(1) nearly $150 million for private housing and private security guards for TFBSO personnel in Afghanistan; (2) $43 million for a CNG filling station; and (3) $6 million on a project to bolster Afghanistan’s cashmere industry..

 Poor policy coordination in between the Afghan and US Governments have caused the following projects to be wasted in Afghanistan.

 “Based on our previous reports published indicated that poor coordination in between the US- Afghan Government including the Ministry of Foreign affairs and USAID have caused that the following Governments failed to achieve the goals on extraction of mineral sources, Gas, Oil in Afghanistan, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, John F. Sopko said,”

The following poor coordination in between the two Governments comes after that corruption in Afghanistan is huge challenges standing against the Afghan Government and International community.

 

Reported by Fahim Noori

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Three-day expo of Iranian goods and services underway in Kabul

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(Last Updated On: September 23, 2020)

Iran is hosting a three-day trade exhibition in Kabul in the hope of strengthening bilateral trade ties with Afghanistan. 

Speaking at the event, Iran’s Ambassador to Afghanistan Bahador Aminian said the exhibition aims to promote trade and share technical “know-how” with Afghanistan. 

Iran’s Commercial Consular in Kabul Javanmard Qassab said the exhibition will last for three days in an effort to introduce Iranian products to Afghan customers.

He said the embassy was hoping to sign agreements between Iranian and Afghan businesses. 

Trade value between the two countries has now topped $1.5 billion, with Iran exporting a large amount of goods to its neighbor annually. 

Afghan traders are also showcasing their products to Iranian businesses.

 Representatives of 21 Iranian companies that offer services within the municipal sector are participating along with 54 other Iranian companies. 

These companies are from a cross-sector of the commercial industry including technical and engineering services, along with electricity, energy and telecommunications providers.

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Gov’t approves four wind and solar power projects

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(Last Updated On: September 22, 2020)

The Afghan High Economic Council has approved four wind and solar power projects in Herat, Kabul and Balkh provinces.

Laima Khurram, director of public-private partnership policy at the Ministry of Finance, said the projects would cost an estimated $160 million.

“One of the wind power projects is in Herat with a capacity of 25 megawatts, another 40-megawatt solar power project is in Mazar, another 25-megawatt solar power plant is in Herat,” she said.

The projects are part of a public-private partnership between the government and the private sector.

This comes after last month’s agreement between the Afghan government and an Emirati company to generate 3,000 megawatts of solar power in Afghanistan. 

Afghanistan currently needs 2,000 megawatts of electricity to light homes and power the economy. However, it relies heavily on imported power from neighboring countries.

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Atmar addresses concerns of Afghans in Tajikistan

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(Last Updated On: September 19, 2020)

On a two-day official visit to Dushanbe, Tajikistan, acting foreign affairs minister Haneef Atmar met with a number of Afghan refugees, students and business owners at the Afghan Embassy on Friday evening where he discussed challenges they are facing. 

In a statement issued by foreign affairs on Saturday, the ministry said Atmar assured students and business owners that problems they have been dealing with – specifically due to COVID-19 – would be addressed as soon as possible. 

Easy border crossings for bilateral trade was also addressed and the embassy was instructed to assist refugees with problems they are facing, the statement read. 

Addressing Afghan students that attended the meeting, Atmar said it was important for them to return to their home country once they had completed their studies so as to help with the development of Afghanistan.

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