Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Monday, August 21st, 2017

Strategic View to Economic Policy-making and Mines

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Strategic View to Economic  Policy-making and Mines

In the realm of economy, mid-term and long-term growth and self-sufficiency need different outlook, definition and strategic policy-making. There is enough potential vis-à-vis economic development, however, superficial and short-term view and lack of specific strategy in the past caused economy, mainly the sources of national budget, to be dependent on foreign aids. Human and natural resources, which are considered as the mainstay of economic growth are as following:
1- Young and dynamic population:
Based on the current statistics, more than 63 % out of the 31 million population is formed by people under the age of 25 and above 15 million active work force are in the country.
2-Favorite water and soil:
The current statistics show that about 12 % of the total area is formed by arable land (about seven million and eight hundred thousand square kilometer). Currently, 18 % out of the mentioned measures is cultivated in traditional and non-mechanized way. On the other hand, more than 75 billion cubic meter water emerges in Afghanistan, about 20 billion cubic meter is underground water and the rest is the stream and sea water. Out of this total, around 45 billion cubic meter water flows from Afghanistan to the neighboring countries through Amo, Kabul, Kuner, Helmand and Heriroad Rivers.  
3-Transportation and transitional ways:
With regard to the geo-politic and economy-politic geography – as Afghanistan is located at the trading crossroad with large population which connects Central Asia, Southern Asia, Northern Asia and far and middle East – transit and the movement of goods and passengers through Afghanistan’s route is one of the factors for economic development. Connecting the regional areas and Asia continent to Europe through railroads, sea and air will be a top priority for Afghanistan and will provide economic prosperity better than ever before.
4-Types of mines:
Afghanistan’s rich mines and sources are considered one of the salient potential for economic development. Based on statistics and assumption, the estimated value of Afghanistan’s mines is more than three trillion dollar with 1400 types of minerals and mineral stones and viewed as significant economic sources. 
Based on the aforementioned facts and significance regarding the economic boom and movement towards financial self-sufficiency, the Second Vice President, Muhammad Sarwar Danish, talking in the ceremony of introduction of the acting head and candidate for the ministry of Mines and Petroleum, stated about the necessity of “economic and strategic policy-making” and definition of “economic growth and self-sufficiency as most significant responsibility and priority” of the National Unity Government (NUG).
He said that economic growth and self-sufficiency will lead to the gradual independence upon the financial aids, which pave the grounds for foreign interference in the country and result in disunity and internal dispute. He outlined two definite mechanism for economic self-sufficiency:
1-“First, our state and nation especially our cadres and all those who have the position of leadership and administration need to go beyond the sectional and limited line of tribal and ethnic thoughts and policies and ponder over strengthening a single national identity and a big national and comprehensive thought with the aim of ensuring the big national interests so that we can utilize all our power and energy in immense national policy-making – apart from daily routines,  internal self-mutilation and ethnic, linguistic and group conflicts.” 
2-“Secondly, reaching economic growth and human resources is a vital need. The experience of successful and developed countries of the world shows that first they trained expert, professional and technical cadres for reaching development. Today, we should, first, invest on education and higher education mainly in the field of mines, engineering, medical, technology, economy, etc. so that we can have professional and successful policy-makers, managers and executive.”
“Fundamental attention and strategic view to the country’s mines” were deemed a principle by the vice president and believed that it is one of the main elements of the self-sufficiency and economic independence. Besides pointing out the problems and challenges about the extraction and protection of the country’s mines, he deemed the duty and responsibility of the related officials, including the ministry of mines, highly significant and said, “It is highly disgraceful that today the armed opposition groups use the ammunition and equipment of our security forces for providing their war funding and for continuing war against the state and killing of innocent people and also equip themselves through plundering the public assets and natural resources, including mines. Therefore, this is the first responsibility of the ministry of mine to shorten, with the help of other institutions, the hands of betrayers and Mafia and put our mines and other natural resources under their own and state’s control and protection. If we are not able to exploit and utilize our mines, at least we will have to protect this national wealth from being plundered and looted by Mafia and the enemies and keep them safe for our next generations.”
Besides outlining the challenges of the Ministry of Mines and pointing them out to the new leadership of this ministry, the Vice President noted a number of practical issues surrounding the decrease of challenges about mines which are summarized as:
(A) Finalizing reforms and adjusting the mineral law and hydro carbon mainly the mine law and oil and gas law the relevant regulations as a government’s priority.
(B)Implementing a comprehensive programs about administrative reforms and revising the formation and duty of ministry of mines, combating administrative corruption and law aversion as the next priority of the National Unity Government.
(C)The use of economic and technical capacity of the private sector in investments, mining, counseling and consultation, planning, controlling and supervising over the country’s mines beside the general duty of the government.

(D)Securing the mining sector as a fundamental principle. Besides stating the importance of providing security about the country’s economic part, the Vice President deemed it critical about the mining as well and put it as, “No doubt, the issue of security is one of our public challenges which is more complicated in the field of economy. Because our enemies never want us to gain success in key and national projects such as mines, oil and gas, energy, big water dams, strategic transportation line macro investments and so on. In addition, the armed opposition groups seek to fund their war machine through ransom and looting. Therefore, the issue of mine security should not be viewed only from the angle of security but the national, political and economic aspects are far significant and that is why securing mines is one of the national responsibility of all Afghan people. All people in all provinces should help the state in this regard and protect the country’s natural resources which are the part of people’s assets. Our national and defense forces also should view this as a national and vital issue view it strategically.”

Tawsily Gharjistani is the permanent writer of the Daily Afghanistan. He can be reached at thedailyafghanistan@yahoo.com. The article is in Dari language and translated by Hujjatullah Zia.

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