Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Saturday, August 15th, 2020

Ethnicity in Afghanistan: A Challenge or Opportunity?

Afghanistan is a multi-ethnic nation state with socio-cultural differences between its component ethnic groups all of which have resulted into cultural dissimilarity. Against this diverse background, many ethnic problems exist in Afghan communities and organizations, which arise majorly from the hostility that emanated from competition between ethnically different peoples for wealth and power, and privileges.
Sociologists argue that the diverse nature of the Afghan society has also made identification with the ‘nation’ a difficult task. Today, identification is easier at both family and ethnic levels; consequently, many of the citizens may never develop a proper concept of nation. This kind of ethnic group relation signifies a negative dimension and which may mean much for the Afghan communities and organizations. In all political activities in Afghanistan, the factor of ethnicity is evident. It is particularly obvious in areas like voting, distribution of political offices, employment and government general patronage of the citizens. For instance, the South Afghanistan has since the creation of the Afghanistan enjoyed power and privileges more than the North. Historically, all core strategic positions in the government have been totally reserved for the South and the people in the north who were moved from the South to the North. 
There are also ethnic hostilities among the various ethnic groups in Afghanistan. Among the various forms of ethnic confrontations in recent times and which indicate vividly the lack of cordiality, existence of mutual suspicion and fear of domination among the various ethnic groups in Afghanistan. All these have implications for national development. From the foregoing, it is evident that major fall-out of ethnocentrisms in Afghanistan is social conflict, which has characterized the Afghan nation. All the ethnic conflicts are either Struggle over values or claims to status, power, privileges and scarce resources in which the aims of the conflicting parties are not only to gain some desirable values but also to neutralize, injure and/or eliminate their rivals.
How to Minimize Ethnic and Racial Inequalities
Sociologists believe that educational establishments (colleges and universities) have the potential to counter the effects of segregated neighborhoods and socialization that occurred in primary and secondary schools. They argue that interaction among races thrust together on a college campus provides a unique opportunity for individuals to experience and discuss the aspects of racial/ethnic diversity in their lives, some for the first time. Aside educational organizations, diversity training programs should also be promoted in public and private workplaces, considering the fact that it will make managers aware of how their biases affect their actions in the workplace. These programs familiarize employees with antidiscrimination laws, to suggest behavioral changes that could address bias, and to increase cultural awareness and cross-cultural communication among employees. Business leaders are motivated to address diversity on principle and because they recognize how their company’s productivity and success depend on it. 
Ethnic diversity is one of the social issues in Afghanistan. Whilst one expected that the multi-ethnic and socio-cultural nature of Afghanistan would have created benefits as a result of its diversity but instead, it has generated strife, ethnic hostilities and competition for power, wealth and privileges. In order to minimize ethnic and racial discrimination, it is important to encourage and educate the people that constitute different ethnic groups, races, and class to embrace diversity and multiculturalism; this can enable different ethnic and racial groups have a unique opportunity to experience and discuss the aspects of racial/ethnic diversity in their lives and how they can maximize the benefits that comes from such. Sustainable peace and development only comes through accepting all different groups and consider them a golden opportunity to help Afghanistan become a better place to live.