Showing posts with label minerals. Show all posts
Showing posts with label minerals. Show all posts

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Development & Economic News - Afghanistan

Railway Corridor. The Afghanistan National Railway Authority (ANRA) says that a report for the establishment of 880 klics of railway line is 50% complete. The railway system will connect five countries in the region. Read "Five Nations Railway Corridor to Power Regional  Economies", Tolo News, February 15, 2018. The rail system in Afghanistan is very undeveloped; read more about railroads in Afghanistan.

U.S. Aid to Afghanistan Needed. The Borgen Project aims to ensure U.S. foreign policy ensures the providing of aid to humanitarian needs of impoverished countries. Read "How the US Benefits from Foreign Aid to Afghanistan", Borgen Magazine, February 14, 2018.

Squandering of Afghan Mineral Resources. Afghanistan has lots of mineral resources that are not being leveraged properly. Read "Riches Lie Below the Surface in Afghan Province", Institute for War & Peace Reporting, February 12, 2018.

Herat Cleared of Mines. Using United Kingdom funding HALO Trust says that Herat province is now cleared of minefields. The effort started in 2008. Certainly good news for the farmers working in the fields. (Gandhara, Feb 16, 2018).

Illegal Mining in Afghanistan. Mohammad Ismail Amin writes about the mining industry in "Illegal Mining: Headache for Afghanistan Government, International and Local Investors", Eurasia Review, February 12, 2018.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Afghan Corruption - It Just Doesn't Go Away

The U.S. and other nations have long identified corruption as a main factor in support for the insurgency and the ineffectiveness of the government and security institutions to defeat the insurgency. For many long years the international community has worked very hard (some years harder than others) to diminish corruption but still it persists at all levels of the Afghan government and throughout the security institutions. General John R. Allen, USMC and former COMISAF, once said "Corruption is the existential, strategic threat to Afghanistan". Some recent reports and news stories about Afghan corruption are provided below:

May 30, 2017. Industrial-Scale Looting of Afghanistan's Mineral Resources, United States Institute for Peace (USPI). This 20-page report details the large-scale looting of mineral resources amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars per year that fuels local conflicts, the wider insurgency, and supports power brokers and warlords.

May 27, 2017. Inspector general grads to boost anti-corruption efforts, Resolute Support HQs. A press release by RS HQs featuring recent graduates of the Ministry of Defense IG school. The newly minted IGs will join 570 of their IG colleagues operating across Afghanistan.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Afghan Mineral Wealth Awaits

Afghanistan has an immense reservoir of mineral wealth that remains untapped. Afghanistan's economic future can certainly change if security is established, infrastructure improved (electricity, roads, and railroads), and minerals extracted for export. However the infrastructure cannot be improved to a sufficient degree until security is established. And there is the rub. There is little confidence that the Afghan National Security Forces can establish security to the degree necessary for infrastructure improvement. The two biggest mineral development projects -  the Hajigak Iron Ore Mine in Wardak province and the Mes Aynak Copper Mine in Logar province are on hold until security is sufficient. Read more in "War, uncertainty keep Afghanistan from unlocking vast mineral wealth", Business Vancouver, November 10, 2014.

Friday, November 7, 2014

China Replaces NATO?

Now that Operation Enduring Freedom is approaching the end of mission (December 2014), the insurgents have been defeated, the terrorist safe havens have been cleared, and al Qaeda has been eliminated we wonder who will reap the benefits of this hard 13-year long hard-fought victory. While we were slogging it out on the battlefield, suffering numerous deaths and wounded, and spending our money - someone was on the sidelines waiting to pick up the pieces and reap the benefits. Can you spell C - H - I - N -A? Watch for it. China has been slowly picking up its diplomatic activity with Afghanistan. It has cautiously invested in economic activities such as Afghanistan's extensive mineral wealth (see Mes Aynak copper mine). It has engaged other South Asian nations (India and Pakistan) to encourage regional stability. China has become very westward looking in its diplomacy and economic engagement (not Europe, but Central Asia) especially with the re-invention of the Silk Road. Of course, there are some security concerns as well. China, due to its subjugation of the Muslims in its western province of Xinjiang, wants to ensure that an unstable Afghanistan does not become a sanctuary for jihadists. Apparently it sees the problems that insurgents who have sanctuary in Pakistan can cause security forces in Afghanistan (something that ISAF could never seem to fix). Learn more in "Afghanistan: Out with NATO, in with China?", The Christian Science Monitor, October 28, 2014.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Afghan's Minerals Law

Afghanistan has a new minerals law. The question is will it improve sector governance and catalyse the massive investment needed? Read more in "The new minerals law: breaking new ground for Afghanistan?", The Guardian, October 30, 2014.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Minerals in Afghanistan

Afghanistan is rich in copper, iron and rare minerals that are needed by the world's economy for manufacturing goods. At some point in the future, once security is established and good governance takes hold, the mining of minerals will produce a significant part of the annual revenue to run Afghanistan's government. Read more in All that Glitters in Afghanistan, Inside Science, September 10, 2014.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Minerals in Afghanistan: Curse or Blessing

A blogger of Afghanistan (newly arrived on the scene) provides us some insight on the immense reserves of copper, iron, gold, hydrocarbons, and rare earth minerals. Unfortunately, as the author points out, minerals in Afghanistan may prove to be more trouble than they are worth due to corruption, warlords, lack of security, and minimal infrastructure (roads, railroads, and skilled labor). Read more in "Afghan Extractive Industry: Are Abundant Natural Resources a Blessing or a Curse?", Relentlessly Alive Blog, February 10, 2014 at this link. Learn more about Afghanistan's mineral resources.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Afghanistan Has Hope for the Future

Afghanistan has some hope for the future. With the April 2014 presidential elections around the corner the country has the opportunity to elect a president who can lead Afghanistan into the future. That would require the elimination of corruption (to an acceptable level?), ensuring that foreign aid continues, tapping into the various mineral deposits, signing the Bilateral Security Agreement, reaching an agreement with the Taliban, and bringing measures to bear against Pakistan so that the Pakistanis will stop supporting the insurgents with money, explosives, and sanctuaries. Read more in "Can Afghanistan's Economy Stand on Its Own?", The Diplomat, January 30, 2014. Richard Ghiasy of the Afghan Institute for Strategic Studies (AISS) in Kabul writes about the tremendous potential that Afghanistan can achieve.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Will China Be the "Ultimate Winner" of Afghan War?

China's policy towards Afghanistan is calculated and shrewd. It has taken a "hands-off" stand in regards to the internal politics and the conflict in Afghanistan. At the same time it has fostered strong diplomatic relationships with the government of Afghanistan. In addition, it has positioned itself to benefit economically with investments in mineral and oil exploitation within Afghanistan. Read more on this topic in "China Could Prove Ultimate Winner in Afghanistan", National Public Radio, January 16, 2013. Learn more about China's role in Afghanistan.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Mining Minerals in Afghanistan - Still on Hold

Afghanistan appears to be sitting on significant mineral deposits; however the current political and security situation prevents large international firms from getting to these minerals. Read more in "Dreams of a Mining Future on Hold in Afghanistan", NPR, March 29, 2012.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Mineral Resources in Afghanistan Give Hope for Future but Corruption and Other Factors Diminish Possibilities

Afghanistan has lots of natural resources that can provide much needed money for the government and jobs for thousands of Afghan workers.  However much stands in the way of fully capitalizing on these resources and aiding in the development of Afghanistan.  See "How Afghanistan Can Escape the Resource Curse", Foreign Affairs, February 29, 2012.