Mr Mohammad Sakhi, Head of the Community Development Council in Argo district’s Khoja Eshtul village, commented, “The residents of Khoja Eshtul village faced many challenges due to the lack of a bridge across the valley. There was no connection between the school and the village. During rainy season, the floods blocked the roads and students could not go to school. The new bridge’s construction addresses the main problem of the village. Finally, we will be able to send our children to school without concerns.” 3,000 people will benefit from that bridge.
RTCO organised the round table as a follow-up of a workshop that took place in March 2017, where representatives from several civil society organisations (CSO) and the provincial government developed a strategy to strengthen local institutions and community groups in protecting children’s rights. Today’s round table focused on identifying legal weaknesses relevant to child protection and discussing possible changes to be submitted to Afghan government institutions.
Throughout the workshop, the participants learned about the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative and the AEITI’s activities in Afghanistan. Mr Abdul Malik Asem, representing the AEITI secretariat, commented: “The Afghan government needs to implement the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative’s (EITI) standards for good governance in the extractive sector to ensure transparency and accountability. Natural resources such as oil, gas and minerals should benefit all Afghan citizens.”
At the ceremony, Dr Fazlullah Mujaddidi, Takhar’s provincial governor, stated: “The German Cooperation is very active in Afghanistan and we are thankful for their support. The new irrigation canal will improve the agricultural activities in the area and therefore the people’s economic condition.”
A mullah at a mosque in Marmul district explained: “In the training, we learned that providing a platform for discussion can contribute to de-radicalisation. Moreover, I am more aware now of the effect of my preaching – that it can influence extremist thinking. Hence, I will try to take a more moderate approach in future.”
Today, Kofab district’s inhabitants celebrated the forestation of 5.7 hectares of land, corresponding to the size of five football fields. Pacha Khan, the District Governor, underlined: “The communities are facing a recurrent loss of valuable farmland due to natural disasters. This has a huge impact on the inhabitants’ economic situation as half of the population in Kofab depends on agriculture and livestock”.
Each year, some 800,000 young people flood onto the labour market. They are highly motivated to learn a profession and excel in their jobs. Most of them become apprentices in one of the 500,000 or so craft and commercial enterprises in Afghan bazaars, where they receive on-the-job training. However, many apprentices are missing an essential part during the apprenticeship: Profound theoretical background in their profession that would allow them to take their businesses forward – and make a difference.
At the end of last week, 16 female students from Balkh University received their certificates for completing a three-month internship. The young women spent this time at different judicial institutions such as the Afghanistan Independent Bar Association (AIBA), courts, the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) and the Department of Women’s Affairs (DOWA).
During the press conference, MEC’s chairperson, Mr Mark Pyman, emphasised: “Assessing the AGO’s vulnerability to corruption will support the AGO in fighting corruption within the organisation. We consider this study a milestone for rebuilding confidence in the AGO.”
Many Afghans confirm that they will use these bills for “payment” when asked for bribe money. Corruption has devastating effects on many levels: political, economic and societal. Quite often, corruptive acts remain unpunished. Thus, corruption is a crucial problem in Afghanistan that needs to be addressed. In a while, the campaign will also feature anti-corruption messages via graffiti arts on prominent walls in Mazar-e Sharif. Graffiti arts are a rather new phenomenon to transmit messages.