On July 18th, the U.S. Institute of Peace and USAID hosted an expert panel, which highlighted efforts made by multilateral actors within the U.S. Government and internationally, in ensuring a commitment to the empowerment of women and girls in Afghanistan.

Securing-Future-
Panel left to right: Rangina Hamidi, Naheed Farid, Hossai Wardak, WIlliam Byrd, Palwasha Kakar

Research repeatedly shows that no nation can achieve sustainable peace, reconciliation, stability, and economic growth when half the population is marginalized. USAID and the U.S. Institute of Peace are fully committed to removing constraints on women’s potential -- their contributions to Afghan society are imperative to lasting peace, stability and economic progress. This event took stock of progress thus far, of on-going commitments to the needs of women and girls, and explored the potential impact of new programming and partnerships beyond the political and security transitions in 2014.

This event coincided with the release of the USAID Request for Proposal, "Promote," a five year program for women's empowerment in Afghanistan.

Agenda and Biographies

Welcome and Introductions:

  • Jim Marshall
    President, U.S. Institute of Peace

Keynote Speaker:

  • Rajiv Shah
    USAID Administrator

Followed by a panel including:

  • Carla Koppell, Moderator
    Chief Strategy Officer, Former Senior Coordinator on Gender, USAID
  • Kathleen Kuehnast, Panel Introductions
    Director, Center for Gender & Peacebuilding, USIP
  • William Byrd
    Afghanistan Senior Expert, U.S. Institute of Peace
  • Naheed Farid
    Member of the Afghan Parliament
  • Rangina Hamidi
    Founder, Kandahar Treasure
  • Palwasha Kakar
    Director of Women's Empowerment and Development Programs, The Asia Foundation
  • Hossai Wardak
    Afghanistan Visiting Expert, U.S. Institute of Peace

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Can Technology Help Afghanistan Avoid the Resource Curse?

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Afghanistan’s mineral wealth, roughly estimated at upwards of $1 trillion, is sometimes seen as the country’s potential savior—with prospects to generate large government revenues, exports, and some jobs. On the other hand, international and Afghan experience amply demonstrates the downside risks associated with mineral exploitation—macroeconomic and fiscal distortions; waste, corruption, and poor governance; environmental degradation; and the risk of financing or fomenting violent conflict, thereby undermining peacebuilding. The so-called “resource curse” is not destiny, however, and some countries have managed to avoid it, though Afghanistan faces much greater challenges than most when it comes to beneficially developing its mining sector.

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