Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Thursday, June 24th, 2021

Entrepreneurship Culture: Solution to Unemployment Problem in Afghanistan


Entrepreneurship Culture: Solution to  Unemployment Problem in Afghanistan

When we turn on the local TV or open the media news, thousands of issues such war, terrorism, unemployment, poverty, children malnourishment and so on irritate our ears and eyes. Although this country has a wide and flat geography, abundance of pristine mines, fertile lands, abundant waters, young and energetic generation and dozens of other advantages, all of them have remained untouched and pristine. With all this good advantages and rich nature, unfortunately it suffers from thousands of troubles. According to experts, a large number of these troubles are rooted in poverty and unemployment. The highest-ranking authorities of the country recently admitted that 90% of the population are suffering from poverty. Many do not have a piece of dry bread to satiate their hunger. Unemployment and poverty have paralyzed all our people. Unemployment has compelled many human resources to seek refuge in other countries. Every day we see capital flight and brain drain from the country. Now, what can be done to increase the level of hunger and poverty? Can entrepreneurship be a solution to get out of the current situation?
Given to the disappointment of people from public sectors, there is no way other than encouraging people to seek personal solution with opening new small and medium enterprises in the country. the small and medium enterprises can play effective role in job creation, capital production and economic growth on condition that supported by people and government. In recent years, the mall and medium-sized businesses have increasingly faced many challenges and problems including insecurity, limited access to financial services, and widespread corruption. This article also going to address three main issues and three basic solutions that include basic measures to ensure the security of entrepreneurs, facilitate access to financial services and the necessary measures to reduce corruption. The following are briefly and extensively related challenges and approaches:
First, insecurities have serious negative effects on investment, motivation and willingness of investors to invest in Afghanistan. Persistent insecurity has led small and medium-sized business owners to face a variety of serious threats, including kidnapping, murder, extortion, and looting of their property and assets. They are forced to leave their business or move their business to neighboring or foreign countries, which has a detrimental effect on capital flight, declining domestic investment, unemployment and poor economic conditions. So, there is need for urgent and serious fight against organized criminals, mafia gangs, ensuring transparency in the judiciary with taking honest actions in order to ensure timely fights against the criminals and mafia gangs and their supporters.
Second, lack of accessing to comprehensive financial services with suitable conditions is another major challenge for small and medium enterprises in Afghanistan. It is said that accessing to financial services in Afghanistan is around 9 percent while includes high- rate profits.  Thus, there are some monetary services such as money transfers, bank guarantees and bank account. Whilst this rate and percentage in neighboring countries is more than 60 percent and in European countries between 90 to 99 percent. For example, the single debt in European countries such as Switzerland, Italy, Hungary and Austria is between 1.5 and 4 percent per annum, but in Afghanistan it is on average 18 percent per year.
Pervasive corruption is the third major challenge for small and medium-sized enterprises in Afghanistan. Extortion by government officials and Talibans, bribery, unnecessary harassment, abusing from legal positions can be considered as such problems. Lack of fair and timely resolution of commercial cases in the judiciary, problems in tax clearance and renewal of licenses and informal monopolies of certain industries can also be cited as examples in this regard. to ensure transparency, a serious fight against corruption and impartial reforms are among the necessary proposals to  be addressed. without serious intentions and actions against corrupt officials, bribe-takers and their supporters It is not possible to overcome the chronic problem. Heavy fines and penalties, including imprisonment, disqualification from civil service, and the payment of substantial fines, can be considered as fundamental solutions in this regard.
In addition, to the above mentioned solutions, the young entrepreneurs and investors must be trained provide with technical consultations. As entrepreneurship is a new phenomenon, we need to promote the culture of entrepreneurship through media and academic centers. Unfortunately, In Afghanistan neither there is the culture of entrepreneurship and nor the government and universities are enthusiastic to cultivate such culture in the country.  If Afghan people were aware of entrepreneurship advantages and government also supported it, now Afghanistan would not rank as one of the poorest countries in the world. many of the entrepreneurs are imitators or opportunists, not innovator as their talents have not been nurtured in the educational centers. Unfortunately, the higher educational system in Afghanistan is only organized for educational activities, not creative programs and so they produce only job seekers, not job creators. As long as everything is based on merely traditional educational and training courses, we should not expect any economic dynamism in the country.
In general, lack of security, lack of systematic supports, lack of entrepreneurship culture and also administrative corruptions are the main challenges of entrepreneurship in the country. the government should also monitor the damping policies not allowing to inflict their blows on new and vulnerable enterprises in the country. The excessive imports of goods at lower prices than domestic goods have led to fall of most handicrafts and domestic products in recent years. On the other hand, our entrepreneurs must realize that in today’s borderless world, quality, creativities and overall customer centered-policies are extremely important. If we look at definition of entrepreneurship, it directly links to creativity, creating new values with risk-taking. When choosing entrepreneurship as a career path, it is crystal clear that the only way to stay on top of the corporate world is by coming up with brand new ideas. Therefore, Creativity is the key to success in entrepreneurship.

Mohammad Zahir Akbari is the permanent writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at mohammadzahirakbari@gmail.com

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