Since 2001, the United States and international donors have supported Afghanistan in its attempt to build a thriving private-sector economy. Despite 17 years of effort, progress has been mixed and much remains to be done. Please join USIP and the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) for a presentation and panel discussion on how the United States can improve its private-sector development and economic growth efforts in Afghanistan and in other states emerging from conflict.

At this report launch event, SIGAR will release its latest lessons learned report, Private Sector Development and Economic Growth: Lessons from the U.S. Experience in Afghanistan. This report examines how the U.S. government supported private sector development in Afghanistan since 2001 through efforts led by USAID, with additional significant roles played by the Departments of State, Defense, Commerce, and Treasury. It discusses the myriad challenges of supporting economic development in Afghanistan and offers key findings, lessons, and recommendations to improve private sector development efforts.

Participants

John F. Sopko, Keynote Address
Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction 

Scott Worden, Moderator
Director, Afghanistan and Central Asia Programs, U.S. Institute of Peace

William Byrd
Senior Expert, Afghanistan, U.S. Institute of Peace

Paul Fishstein
Lead Research Analyst, Lessons Learned Program, Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction

Mary Louise Vitelli, Esq.
President, Vitelli & Associates, and former advisor to Afghan Ministry of Mines and Petroleum

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Scott Worden on the Taliban in Afghanistan

Scott Worden on the Taliban in Afghanistan

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

By: Scott Worden

Following the horrendous bombing outside a Kabul voter registration center, Scott Worden shares his sobering analysis and commentary about the continuing war in Afghanistan where he says most agree that a military victory is unlikely. The conflicts grinding stalemate, Fall 2018 elections and presidential elections due a year from now concern Worden especially with today’s Taliban announcement of a new fighting season and rejection of President Ghani’s peace offering.

Violent Extremism; Electoral Violence; Conflict Analysis & Prevention

ISIS Attack on Afghan Voting Center Aims to Sow Ethnic Division

ISIS Attack on Afghan Voting Center Aims to Sow Ethnic Division

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

By: Scott Worden; USIP Staff

In Afghanistan, the Islamic State has claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing at a Kabul voting center that killed at least 60 people, including 22 women and eight children. More than 130 people were wounded, and Afghan police say many of the victims were waiting in line outside the center attempting to receive national identity cards in order to vote. Parliamentary elections are scheduled for October, but could be derailed by continued violence, low voter registration, and a lack of confidence in the electoral process. USIP expert Scott Worden analyzes what potential impact this incident and any future attacks could have on Afghanistan's electoral process.

Electoral Violence; Conflict Analysis & Prevention

Improving Afghanistan’s Public Finances in 2017–2019: Raising Revenue and Reforming the Budget

Improving Afghanistan’s Public Finances in 2017–2019: Raising Revenue and Reforming the Budget

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

By: William Byrd; Shah Zaman Farahi

The Afghan government has recently embarked on important reforms to the national budget, embodied in the 2018 budget approved by Parliament early this year. This budget sets in motion an envisaged two-year reform process to achieve greater overall transparency, better development programming, and reduced corruption. The third in a series on Afghanistan’s public finances, this report updates revenue performance in 2017 and assesses the new budgetary reforms, how the draft budget fared in Parliament, the outcome, and next steps and prospects for the reforms.

Economics & Environment

Making Peace Among Afghans: Kabul's View

Making Peace Among Afghans: Kabul's View

Friday, March 23, 2018

By: USIP Staff

Afghanistan’s government is focused on building consensus—both domestically and among states in the region—to support a peace process with the Taliban insurgency, according to the Afghan national security advisor, Hanif Atmar. The main challenges, he said, include continued support from Pakistan for the Taliban and an incremental recent Russian move toward immediate cooperation with the Taliban even without a peace process.

Peace Processes

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