Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Economy, Development, Environment

This priority area covers Afghanistan’s political economy, economic development and poverty, with a focus on sectors with important political and/or rule of law implications, such as mining, banking and transport and, in the past, the private security sector.

Transition and Peace Talks: Optimism and Confidence in Herat?

Hamisha Bahar

Transition of security and the possibility of a process of peace talks with the Taleban are a concern to most Afghans. According to reports, house prices are falling, investors are getting more careful and more and more people are contemplating to leave the country because of concerns that the situation may get worse. However, the […]

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Afghanistan’s Fluctuating Poppy Production: More Than a Poverty Problem

Doris Buddenberg

Afghanistan’s area of poppy cultivation has increased by 7 per cent compared to the last year and more provinces cultivate poppy than then. This is the gist of annual opium survey for the country for 2012. There are no predictions about how many (thousands of) tons this will be. And the publishers – the UN […]

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Guest blog: Working in Aid: donor rule, funding flows, and awkward ‘no’s

Sarah Han

Criticism of top-down development approaches find common cause in Afghanistan, where projects are often envisioned and implemented without due attention paid to realities on the ground. Here, AAN guest blogger SARAH HAN shares some of her personal experience of the oft-frustrating world of donor-NGO relations. Her paper ‘Legal Aid in Afghanistan: Context and Challenges,’ released […]

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On the Way to Chicago: Fighting Corruption – and Condoning It?

Gran Hewad

Networks of corruption in the Afghan administration are like the tentacles of a hungry octopus entangling its prey. It is difficult to make them let go. But is the Afghan government really trying? Despite the uncovering of various graft scandals in recent years, it has failed to bring their investigations to a satisfactory end. Meanwhile […]

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The Many Owners of Ashab Baba: Land conflict at the Ainak copper mine

Obaid Ali Thomas Ruttig

So far, after the (re-)discovery of Afghanistan’s mineral wealth, interest has concentrated on the macro-level – how to access and to market it, who won the tenders (and why not American companies*) – or on the cultural heritage aspect, how the Buddhist relics found at the Ainak copper mine can be protected. Now, micro conflicts […]

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A Katanga Scenario for Afghanistan? (amended)

Thomas Ruttig

When former Northern Alliance leaders met with a group of influential US congressmen and businessmen in Berlin in early January, the meeting made a lot of waves in Kabul, because it created the impression that a broad anti-Karzai alliance was in the making and that it had started to muster support in the US. Furthermore, […]

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Ministry of Education reacts to “The Battle for the Schools”

Martine van Bijlert

Afghanistan’s Ministry of Education has issued an official statement in Dari in response to AAN’s latest report “The Battle for the Schools”, in which it refutes all substance of the report, calls its findings fabricated and assures the great Afghan nation of its tireless efforts and the impeccable Islamic credentials of its curriculum. The full […]

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Afghanistan’s business elite has its own election

Martine van Bijlert

Last month Afghanistan’s Chamber of Commerce, the ACCI, elected its new leadership. The process was not without controversy. A lively pre-election trade in ACCI membership cards allowed large numbers of underage children and people who had nothing to do with running a business to participate in the vote at the provincial level. And at the […]

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Sugar trapped on the Silk Road

Fabrizio Foschini

For many observers of Afghanistan, local and foreigner, Pakistan has become, through the years, an indispensable part of the political equation, its image increasingly darkened by the spread of conflict to its own territory and because of the the charge of interference in the Afghan conflict. Pakistan itself, its politics, society and economy, and especially […]

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The Great Hindukush Gold Rush (2): Afghanistan is not Chad (yet?)

Thomas Ruttig

There is plenty of evidence from all over the world that indicates that mineral wealth can easily turn into a curse – environmentally, socially, politically and even economically. It also can exacerbate conflict, instead of alleviating it. A particular example is the Central African country of Chad*, and it should warn both the Afghan government […]

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The Great Hindukush Gold Rush (1): Another Silver Bullet

Thomas Ruttig

When last year the not-so-new news hit the headlines that Afghanistan possesses enormous mineral resources, a lot of eyes started to shine with joy. Some Afghan and foreign officials believe that they finally have found the Holy Grail for post-2014 Afghanistan: a resource from which the country can pay its own security and development costs, […]

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