Groundbreaking ceremony for Balkh province administrative building

The Provincial Council of Balkh province celebrated the groundbreaking of a new administrative building in Mazar-e Sharif.
The ceremony marks the start of a three-component project for strengthening the ability of the Provincial Council to fulfil its administrative duties and responsibilities for the citizens of Balkh.

The new administrative building will be a two-storey structure with two halls, seven administrative offices and various facilities required for offering public services. Following on from construction, the administrative building will be supplied with new office equipment, with various training sessions for the Provincial Council members. Zahir “Wahdat” Balkh Deputy Governor, Dr. Moh. Afzal “Hadeed” Head of Balkh Provincial Council, Major General Abdul Rahman “Rahimi” General Police Chief of Balkh Province, Abbas Ibrahim Zada Member of Parliament, Directors of governmental institutions in Balkh, Members of Provincial Council of Balkh province, Representatives of Civil Society officially opened the construction site and welcomed the commitment of the German Government to improving working conditions for the public sector and in turn helping to improve the livelihood of the province's citizens. The ceremony was attended by members of the provincial government of Balkh and Afghan-German Cooperation representatives.

The decision to start construction of a new administrative building for the Provincial Council of Balkh was made in June 2013 by the Balkh Provincial Development Committee (PDC). Afghanistan's constitution states that each of the country’s 34 provinces has one Provincial Council. The members of the Provincial Councils are responsible for managing provincial policy and expenditure and also play an important consultative and participatory role in many aspects of provincial affairs. Provincial governments help determine the government's provincial development objectives in the fields of the economy, social services, healthcare, education and reconstruction, which all contribute to improve living conditions in the province. Council members are also responsible for representing and listening to the provincial population's concerns. Their duties also include working with people to resolve conflicts, for example, ethnic conflicts or local disputes. 

The members of the Provincial Council are directly elected by the population for a term of four years, with one member elected as president or chairperson. Provincial Council membership is based on the population of each province. Electoral law states that at least one quarter of all seats must be reserved for females. The construction, equipment and training project is supported by the Regional Capacity Development Fund (RCDF) and financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

As part of the Afghan-German Cooperation strategy, the RCDF is implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. The RCDF provides supports for its Afghan partners’ development priorities both on a provincial and a district level in six of Afghanistan’s Northern provinces.  At the same time, the RCDF provides training and coaching programmes for civil servants. With its broad range of activities, the RCDF aims to increase Afghan ownership of the development process, strengthen Afghan state institutions on the sub-national level and promote transparency and inclusiveness.