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. USIP and the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) presented and discussed 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.


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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Breaking out of Afghanistan’s current economic stagnation, rising unemployment, and poverty will only be possible if there is strong, sustained progress toward durable peace and political stability. Lowering security costs and, over time, reducing the extremely high aid dependency is the only way for the country to move toward balancing its budget books.

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A New Afghan Law Preserves ‘Virginity Tests’ for Women

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