Without doubt, the economy of Afghanistan has had significant improvement in the past 15 years due to the infusion of billions dollars in international assistance and investments, as well as from domestic incomes. The development is also due to dramatic improvements in agriculture production and the strong attention of the government. It is also worth mentioning that Afghanistan holds to 3$ trillion in proven untapped mineral deposits, which could make it one of the richest mining regions on earth. But, however, due to the ongoing conflict, our country remained one of the least developed countries in the world.
A large number of Afghans are living under poverty and a number others are unemployed. These people are suffering from shortages of housing, clean drinking water, electricity, and other necessary needs. Both, the previous and the incumbent government along with the international donors have been remained committed to improve access to these basic necessities by prioritizing infrastructure development, education, housing development, jobs programs, medical care, and economic reform.
During war the economy was dead, but after 2001 it has been put on life by the support of international community. However, the point is that more much needed to be done since 2001 to build and strengthen the fundamentals of the economy. Important steps, such as fostering the growth and consolidation of small and medium-scale industries, encouraging foreign investments, providing safe environment for the foreign and domestic traders, and etc… have been ignored at some level. We are not turning blind eye over some improvements too, but much more was needed to be done.
We should not forget that corruption is considered one of the major issues behind hampering economic growth. Corruption even weakened our security institutions. Despite these misers the good point is that the country’s economic freedom is graded for the first time in the 2017 Index, reflecting the improved availability of key economic data. Over the past decade, the country has achieved rapid yet volatile economic growth. Construction and agriculture have been the key contributors to economic expansion. Afghanistan becomes a member of the World Trade Organization in 2016. In part of improving economy, the Minister of Rural Rehabilitation and Development said it saved more than 1.7 billion Afghanis in contracts in one year as a result of its anti-corruption effort.
The measures that ministry had taken included building electronic system, simplifying executive processes, creating a single center for customers, sharing corruption cases with judiciary organs, establishing information bank, increasing provincial trips of ministry leadership’s board to assess problems, monitor projects and improve supervisory team as part of anti-corruption efforts. This move is a great achievement indeed. Thought it is not a big win in fight against corruption, as millions of dollars have been embezzled, but it can be taken is one step toward growing economy, and elimination of corruption.
Afghanistan Times, May 19, 2017