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Home | Editorial | Afghanistan’s self-reliance

Afghanistan’s self-reliance

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Afghanistan’s self-reliance
 Afghanistan entered a new chapter in its history in 2001 and has come a long way since. The Afghan people – together with their international partners – have made tremendous progress in education, freedom of speech and media, healthcare, economic growth, technology, regional cooperation and democracy in general, but there are issues that should be addressed concerning security, good governance, rule of law, corruption and development.
Addressing the Council of Ministers’ meeting here on Monday, Chief Executive Dr. Abdullah said international supports were not forever, asking the officials to do more and help Afghanistan stand on its own feet. 
Pointing to reports of the international organs monitoring activities of the government agencies, Dr. Abdullah asked the ministries and independent organs to respect such reports and take necessary steps for reformation.
Afghanistan is rich in mineral deposits. The total value of the country’s mineral deposits has been estimated to be between $1 trillion and $3 trillion, including $420 billion worth of iron ore, according to a World Bank study, if the country appropriately develops its mining industry, it will likely contribute two or three percent annually to GDP by 2021. 
For Afghanistan to achieve self-reliance it must develop a vibrant, fast growing, equitable, and sustainable economy requiring good governance and significant foundational investments. Good governance, based on rule of law and responsive, and accountable, institutions, is essential for the successful implementation of the government’s development strategy. 
The Government of National Unity is committed to ensuring peace, stability and security in the country; to realizing self-reliance by enhancing productivity, growth and revenues; to promoting the welfare and well-being of the people through better opportunities, governance and respect for human rights; to deepening democracy by taking up electoral reforms and institutional restructuring; and above all, to peaceful co-existence with its neighbors. 
During three years of existence, the government has already reinstated optimism and hope through bold initiatives towards fighting corruption, better establishment of the rule of law, improving governance, and advancing relations with the international community. Prospects for peace are on the rise and it is hoped to see the formal peace process launched in the near future.
The ultimate solution to self-reliance is that Afghans be at the forefront of national programs and priorities. Empowered, they can be key agents for development and peace. Future of Afghanistan should rest in the hands of Afghans themselves, especially the younger generation. 
The majority of Afghanistan’s population – about 60 percent – is between 15 and 25 years old.  These young people are a great asset for the stability of their country. Afghanistan’s future depends on how they are integrated into society, the kind of educational and employment opportunities they have, and how they are inspired to contribute to rebuilding efforts. If they are left on society’s margins, all of us will be impoverished.

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