President's Words
Geographically located at the heart of Asia and a historical gateway to the Indian subcontinent, Afghanistan is poised to function as an Asian Roundabout. It is not aid, but market access, transit investment and regional cooperation that we seek to assume our rightful place in the rank of developmental states and countries and serve as an anchor of international and regional stability.

Government’s Major Gains and Activities in 2016

16 Apr 2017

Zia Danesh 

Afghan government succeeded to have extensive achievements in spite of organizational structure, security, economic and social problems and challenges. Improvement of economic and investment development, support of freedom of speech, expedition and facilitation citizen’s access to information and media, ascension of Afghanistan’s global ranking in fight against corruption, protection and preservation of the country from undeclared war, increase in employment opportunities, give attention to women and children issues, improvement of commercial and export situation, development and support of E-governance, facilitation and acceleration of public services, systemization, simplification of working procedures, implementation of reforms and capacity building of Human Resource departments, etc. all the mentioned instances can be counted as achievements and performances of the government in 2016 which were separately published for public information through various sources.

This article briefly points out at the most outstanding achievements of the government in various areas.

A - Good governance and the Rule of Law:

Implementation of law, fight against corruption, facilitation and acceleration of administrative procedures, freedom of expression, access to information and electronic governance are the indicators of good governance and the rule of law. In this regard, some of government’s offices are responsible for drafting and due process of laws, development of policies, development of procedures and guidelines, practical actions against corruption, raising public awareness about fighting against corruption etc. Following is the list of major achievements and activities:

Land Grabbing:

•Reclamation of more than 320 thousand acres of land from land grabbers

•Preparation list of 15831 land grabbers as well as identification of 355 illegal towns

•For the first time criminalization of land grabbing within the country's legal framework with the proposition of the land law

Prevention of embezzlement:

•Review of 1474 contracts worth more than AFN326 billion and approval of 1307 contracts worth more than AFN155.7 billion by National Procurement Commission which resulted in about AFN7.5 billion savings in the contracts

•Prohibition of more than 62 offender companies from participation in procurement process as result about 2 million dollar deposited into the State’s treasury

•Savings of AFN3.7 billion in the Ministry of Defense including AFN 1.6 billion in the contracts and AFN2.1 billion in food articles

•Savings of USD5 million in the Hajj pilgrimage process

Fight against corruption:

•Establishment of Anti-Corruption Center and working on the 67 corruption cases as result 19 individuals convicted and 44 persons detained. The convicts were imprisoned as well as sentenced to make total cash payment of AFN52 million and USD9 million

•A study of more than 1,100 cases of corruption including bribery, embezzlement, treachery, abuse of administrative authority and forgery of documents by the Attorney General

•Following up 828 complaints and information about corruption

•Ascension of Afghanistan’s global ranking in Anti-Corruption fight from 3rd to 8th position

Electronic Governance and Systemization:

•Creation of control system (Tariff Integrated and Management System) for uniform implementation and control of tariffs in all Customs offices of the country

•Implementation of web-based Afghanistan Financial Management Information System (AFMIS) in the sectoral ministries and the development of financial management systems of AFMIS in police headquarters of 6 provinces, Afghan embassies abroad, State Owned Enterprise and municipalities for providing actual information about expenditures and revenues of municipalities.

•Creation database for  Islamic Republic of Afghanistan laws in both Dari and Pashto languages

•Development and implementation of biometric system for retirees and opening of bank accounts for them in more than 30 provinces

•Electronic transfer of 80% of wages into bank accounts of government employees

Freedom of expression and access to information:

•Ascension of Afghanistan’s position in the World Press Freedom Index

•Introduction of Afghanistan as a responsive government to the media by Reporters Without Borders

•Issuance of President's decree on the assignment of authorities and government institutions to provide "true" and "timely" information to the mass media and the public 

•Appointment of “Ambassador of freedom of expression” in Afghanistan

•Issuance of President’s decree to ensure the safety of journalists, collaboration of government agencies with journalists to access information and tracking the cases of killings and violence against journalists

•Development of safety procedures for reporters

•Reopening of violence against journalists cases

•Creation of call center in NDS to address threats against journalists 

B- Economic Development 

In spite of different challenges and obstacles, 2016 had noticeable and promising achievements in the area of economic development; the following are the major ones:

Agricultural and Livestock:

•Irrigation of 700 thousand acres of land through implementation of around 8500 projects of construction and rehabilitation of irrigation canals, sarbands, watershed dams, canals etc. which helped to increase crops of 2.5 million rural inhabitants

•Implementation of the national strategy to become self-sufficient in wheat production until 2021

•Allocation of USD565 million loan for farmers for next 3 years

•Construction of 8 large cooling storages with the capacity of 5 thousand tons in 6 provinces and utilization of 13 cooling storages with the capacity of 13 thousand tons

•Increase in honey production from 1300 tons to 2050 tons per year.

•70% of increase in saffron production (6.5 tons in 2016)

•18% increase in cotton production

Energy and Water:

•The implementation stage of Casa1000 project for transmitting of electricity through Afghanistan

•Attracting more than USD700 million of investment in the energy sector

•Procuring of 32 water supply projects including technical studies, detailed design and construction

•Finalization of 3 principle documents of Water Diplomacy

Transit and transport:

•Creating air corridors with India

•Opening of Chabahar port

•Opening  of International Asian Railway (Atamurat- Imamnazar - Aqinah - Andkhoy)

•Finalizing the Penta-lateral Lapis Lazuli Route agreement’s text

•Becoming member of Europe-Caucasus and Central Asia (TRACECA) international transport corridor

•Development of airports

Communications and Information Technology:

•Utilization of 256 km of fiber optic network in the central provinces of the country

•Utilization of 254 km of fiber optic network in the North East provinces of the country

Increase Domestic Revenue:

•25% increase in domestic revenue from AFN132 billion to AFN165 billion compared to set target

Commerce and Industry:

•Construction of carpet manufacturing industrial towns in 4 provinces and preparing 9,000 acres of land for construction of industrial and residential towns 

•Endorsement of 17 legislative documents about synchronization according to the requirements of World Trade Organization

•Finalizing the first guideline of Economic Diplomacy for diplomatic representatives outside the country

Urban Development and Housing:

•Finalizing the construction project of 1000 housing units granted by China

•Signing of agreement of 1000 housing units with the value of USD100 million

C - Social Development

Implementation of laws, expansion of social and welfare services, providing psychological security of the society, human rights protection of citizens, etc., can be accounted as responsibilities and set goals of the government. In this regard, through vast plans for achieving expected outcomes a wide array of activities and initiatives are launched or underway.

Followings are some of the major achievements and activities accomplished in this area:

National Employment Program:

•Formulating and implementing of National Employment Programs in 5 areas, improvement of agriculture, cleaning up of cities, road construction for villages, construction of electricity generating dams as well as construction of affordable homes

•Implementing of surveys about living conditions of the population in 34 provinces of the country for providing data on poverty, food security, employment and unemployment, differentiate sections of the population in terms of gender, age and other information at the national level for the purpose of  developing policies, programs and making decisions based on facts and figures

 Human Development:

•13.5times budget increase in housing for repatriates

•Attracting and distributing of more than USD190 million donation for repatriates

•Establishing of Support Center for Children at Risk

•Implementing of National Health Policy and National Health Strategy for 5 years

•Providing of drinking water access for 15% of the rural population 

•Establishing of diagnosis and treatment center for cancer diseases

Environment:

•Formulating and implementing strategic plan to control and prevent air pollution in 5 major cities

•Adapting and implementing of renewable energy policies

•Planning and arranging renewable energy strategy and guidelines for small size hydro, solar and wind energy

Higher Education

•Attracting of 2776 scholarships from various foreign countries

•Development of Higher Education Management Information System (HEMIS) in 7 universities

•Adapting the ‘jumbling system’ for the ensuring further transparency in Konkor exam

•Implementing electronic registration and biometric system for Konkor participants

D - Foreign Policy

Currently, Afghanistan is an active member, having independent sovereignty, and a well-respected country of the international community. Good and strong relations combined with mutual respect exist between Afghanistan and all world countries including neighbors and the region.

Tangible achievements gained from the Heart of Asia summit, attracting of international support for Afghanistan, clarifying and identifying the financial, logistical and intelligence sponsors of terrorist groups in the region, active participation in regional and international organizations, etc. are number of the achievements in the mentioned area of foreign policy of the government.

Despite numerous obstacles, Afghanistan could manage to establish its position in the global community over the past two and a half years and particularly since 2016 it again became the focus of international attention as well as gained the following achievements:

•Attracting of USD4.5 billion funds annually until 2020 in Warsaw meeting

•Extending the presence of 11 thousand international troops

•Attracting  USD15.2 billion of aid until 2020 in the Brussels’s meeting 

•Reaching an agreement and renewed commitment for realization of confidence-building measures and increasing security, economic and political cooperation in the Heart of the Asian summits

•Gaining support of 40 nations and international organizations for the process of governance, economic development and exchange of experiences between the members in the ministerial meeting of G7 +

•Strengthening of relations and support by Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) for Afghanistan

•Winning the support of the International Contact Group (ICG) countries for the process of governance, security and economic development in the three Berlin, Istanbul and New York summits

•Finalizing draft of principles and long-term foreign policy goals to facilitate and demystify the foreign policy of Afghanistan

•Finalizing the fundamental lines of the foreign policy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan for the next 4 years to facilitate communication and demystify the foreign policy

E – Security:

As 2015 was the year of Afghanistan survival and the security forces protected the sovereignty of the country, as well as in 2016 defended the homeland with total dedication and courage.  Despite the imposition of a foreign sophisticated war equipped with various capabilities, the armed forces of the country have taken the initiatives from terrorist groups and their supporters and prevented their schemes and plans from realization.

Plans, programs and fundamental steps have taken place to enhance the defensive and offensive capability of armed forces and for the purpose of ensuring peace and security of the citizens as well as to defend the homeland for the first time in the country the preparation and implementation of comprehensive security plan was made which quickly brought about fundamental reforms in the areas of anti-corruption, improving capacity building, equipping and increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of the security and defense forces of the country and further reforms will be implemented in future.

In 2016, the priorities of  the government in the security sector could be considered as fighting against corruption, monitoring and handling of contracts, paying attention to livelihood conditions and logistic capabilities of the armed forces, promoting capacity building and meritocracy, increasing the level of commitment and satisfaction of the armed forces, stressing on further specialization, professionalism and nationalization of the security sector, etc. The followings are the number of achievements in this area:

•Approving 5 year security and defense plan 

•Establishing command and control centers for security and defense forces

•Excluding Afghan Security Forces from United Nations’ list related to exploitation of children in armed forces as result of the implementation of resolution 1325

•Creating of State Ministry on Reforms in Security Sector

•Creating High Supervisory Board for appointing senior officers of defense and security forces

•Arranging non-discrimination policy in the Ministry of Interior

•Developing birth and death registration system in 28 provinces

•Creating Anti-corruption committees in all Afghan National Army units in the light of the Anti-Corruption strategy of the Ministry of Defense

•Dismissing about 1400 individuals related to Ministry of Defense (946 officers, 230 financial officers, 209 individuals responsible for awarding contracts and 26 responsible for organizing workshops)

•Investigating 55 cases of selling of weapons and ammunition related to 109 persons and 578 cases of other crimes related to 1107 persons in the legal department of the Ministry of Defense

•Receiving of USD5 billion aid annually until 2020 and creating international consensus in the support of the armed forces

•Increasing supply level up to 85% of Afghan National Army

•Significant development in Air Force

•Facilitating greater participation of women in the Afghan National Army

•Assisting families of the martyrs and the wounded personnel of Security and Defense Forces

•Distributing of AFN15 million to the heirs of martyrs according to the President’s instruction and AFN415 million to 1785 the heirs of martyrs and disabled, including land price, assistance for home construction, municipal services, distribution of 65 apartments, etc.

•Dispatching of 6 Afghan National Army athletes with disabilities to USA for participation in disabled sports matches


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