Afghanistan has been in the news since September 11 2001 US bombing that led to NATO forces launching military attacks in a bid to end the terrorism. The Taliban insurgency as it was then still remains the main problem to stability in Afghanistan as it tries to rise from the war that has lasted over 2 decades. This essay discusses the main challenges related to political and economic challenges that are facing the country.
Political stability is essential to development in any country and lack of it can result in a failed state such as is the case of Somalia. Indeed, this is the main reason that has resulted to the current state that Afghanistan is. The country has its elections in 2014 and Ashraf Ghani was elected as the president that succeeded Hamid Karzai. The main challenge in the country remains that of governance where the country is divided with Talibans opposing the president and his predecessor as “American puppets”. The president was himself opposed by his opponent Abdullah Abdullah before US brokered a deal resulting in a momentary truce. The delicate state has made the US troops to camp in the country to provide the much needed support in military and other aspects of governance such as robust electoral system. Security is thus a challenge in the country that will need to be conclusively solved before serious nation building can begin.
Afghanistan also faces an issue of economy that has been compromised by failed or lack of proper functioning institutions. The economic situation in the country is in critical condition despite massive support from the US government and foreign investments. The situation has been exacerbated by corruption and heightened narcotics trade. Ineptitude and corruption resulted in loss of billions of aid that was given to the government. As a consequence, criminals were not adequately prosecuted. Thus, the challenge is to have competent, credible and effective institutions and also law abiding officials. The institutions will work if office bearers will be qualified and able to execute assigned duties. As the situation is, the country has a dearth of skilled workers and systems for effective administration. For example, too many unnecessary weapons in the country resulted from poor record keeping by Afghan National Army that used both handwritten notes and Microsoft Excel spreadsheet for inventory records.
Afghanistan suffers many of its challenges from political instability but also notable, the country faces serious governance issues. While the country faces opposition from Taliban militants, the government has also failed to show commitment in fighting vices such as corruption. This makes donors whose funds are supposed to boost development to shy away from working with the government. The president will need to unite the people and install strong working institutions and officials that will win trust of people and foreign investors.
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