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kabul
December 16, 2018
The Kabul Times

Private sector’s role essential in mining

The Government of Afghanistan and the United Nations are co-hosting the conference on Afghanistan in Geneva on Tuesday and Wednesday and the world is expected to renew its commitment and solidarity with the Afghan people and the Afghan government in their bid for peace and security.
The conference provides a platform for the Afghan government and international community to demonstrate progress and commitment and maintain the momentum for presidential elections and opportunities for peace and security.
The conference also aims to emphasize the importance and the implementation of mutual commitments made by the Afghan government and the international community towards reform and development and in measuring results against the $15.2 billion committed by the international community for Afghanistan in 2016.
Addressing a private sector session on the occasion of Geneva Conference on Afghanistan on Tuesday, President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani said that Afghan government has created the legal structure for the mining sector in the country.He said that Afghanistan’s natural resources can play a vital role in dealing with poverty and instability in the country.
“To deal with poverty and instability on one side, but prosperity and empowerment on the other, the other side of the equation is our natural resources. Our natural resources are estimated to be worth one trillion dollars. But they remain on paper,” said the president.
“Agriculture is key to stability and to global security and agriculture is key to overcoming the challenge of narcotics,” he said, adding the state, civil society and the market are not in opposition, they require a unity.
Though a ray of hope for economic stability in Afghanistan, mining sector faces major challenges and issues. These issues, if remain unsolved, can threaten the viability of the whole sector and ultimately result in its failure. Therefore, it is important that these issues should be solved as they arise so that the sector is able to flourish. However, doing so requires bold and confident steps towards betterment. 
Boosting foreign and domestic investment and supporting the private sector are considered as a key factor for developing the Afghan economy. The National Unity Government (NUG) leaders stress that encouraging and facilitating investments is a top priority for the government to help grow the country’s economy.
Since the country’s rich mineral deposits still remained intact, the private sector can play key role in its exploitation. The Ministry of Mines and Petroleum has signed many contracts with private companies on extraction of the country’s mineral deposits, but still much efforts needed. By creating smart, comprehensive, and clearly defined strategies, private companies can not only get credit for their efforts; they can also help government to reach self-sufficiency via exploiting the minerals for the welfare and development of the country.