Economy of Afghanistan

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Economy of Afghanistan
Samples of Afghan fresh and dried fruits.jpg
Fresh and dried Afghan fruits on display at a small agricultural fair
CurrencyAfghani (AFN)
21 December – 20 December
Trade organizations
WTO, SCO (observer), SAARC and ECO
Country group
PopulationIncrease 39,767,414 (2021)[3]
  • Decrease $19.81 billion (nominal, 2021 est.)[4]
  • Increase $78.88 billion (PPP, 2019 est.)[4]
GDP rank
GDP growth
  • 1.8% (2018) 2.9% (2019e)
  • −5.5% (2020f) 1.0% (2021f)[5]
GDP per capita
  • Decrease $508.8 (nominal, 2021 est.)[4]
  • Increase $2,087 (PPP, 2021 est.)[4]
GDP per capita rank
GDP by sector
4.5% (2020 est.)[4]
Population below poverty line
Labor force
  • Increase 14,450,224 (2019)[11]
  • 42.0% employment rate (2017)[12]
Labor force by occupation
UnemploymentNegative increase 23.9% (2017 est.)[6]
Main industries
small-scale production of textiles, soap, furniture, shoes, fertilizer, apparel, food-products, non-alcoholic beverages, mineral water, cement; handwoven carpets; natural gas, coal, copper
Decrease 173rd (below average, 2020)[13]
  • Increase $823 million (2021)[6]
  • note: not including illicit exports or reexports
Export goods
fruits, nuts, Afghan rugs, wool, cotton, hides, gemstone, and medical herbs[14]
Main export partners
ImportsIncrease $6.0 billion (2021)[6]
Import goods
machinery and other capital goods, food, textiles and petroleum products
Main import partners
Decrease $1.014 billion (2017 est.)[6]
$2.84 billion (FY/)[6]
Public finances
Positive decrease 7% of GDP (2017)[6]
−15.1% (of GDP) (2017)[6]
Revenues2.276 billion (2017)[6]
Expenses5.328 billion (2017)[6]
Foreign reserves
$9.6 billion (Frozen by the U.S.)(2021)[16]
Main data source: CIA World Fact Book
All values, unless otherwise stated, are in US dollars.

The economy of Afghanistan has steadily improved in the last decade due to the return of a large number of wealthy expats, the modernization of the nation's agriculture sector, and the establishment of more trade routes with neighboring and regional countries.[17] The billions of dollars in international assistance that came from expats and outside investors saw this increase when there was more political reliability after NATO became involved in Afghanistan's reconstruction.[18] The nation's GDP (PPP) stands these days at about $70 billion with an exchange rate of $20 billion (2017), and the GDP per capita (PPP) is about $2,000.[6] It imports over $6 billion worth of goods but exports about $1 billion worth of legal products,[19][20] mainly fruits and nuts.[14]

Despite holding over $1-3 trillion in proven untapped mineral deposits, Afghanistan remains one of the least developed countries in the world. Its unemployment rate is over 23%[6] and about half of its population lives below the poverty line.[6][21][22] Many of the unemployed men join the foreign-funded militant groups or the world of crime, particularly as smugglers. Afghanistan has long sought foreign investment in order to improve its economy.

Economic history[edit]

In the early modern period under the rule of kings Abdur Rahman Khan (1880–1901) and Habibullah Khan (1901–1919), a great deal of Afghan commerce was centrally controlled by the Afghan government. The Afghan monarchs were eager to develop the stature of government and the country's military capability, and so attempted to raise money by the imposition of state monopolies on the sale of commodities and high taxes. This slowed the long-term development of Afghanistan during that period. Western technologies and manufacturing methods were slowly introduced during these eras at the command of the Afghan ruler, but in general only according to the logistical requirements of the growing army. An emphasis was placed on the manufacture of weapons and other military material. This process was in the hands of a small number of Western experts invited to Kabul by the Afghan kings.[23] Otherwise, it was not possible for outsiders, particularly westerners, to set up large-scale enterprises in Afghanistan during that period.[24]

The first prominent plan to develop Afghanistan's economy in modern times was the Helmand Valley Authority project of 1952, modeled on the Tennessee Valley Authority in the United States, which was expected to be of primary economic importance.[25] Glenn Foster, an American contractor working in Afghanistan in the 1950s, stated this about the Afghan people:

Their diet may not be abundant but you don't see the hunger that you do in some countries and beggars are seldom seen. Even though there are masses of people the country seems able to feed them all.[23]

Afghanistan began facing severe economic hardships during the 1979 Soviet invasion and ensuing civil war destroyed much of the country's limited infrastructure, and disrupted normal patterns of economic activity. Eventually, Afghanistan went from a traditional economy to a centrally planned economy up until 2002 when it was replaced by a free market economy.[26] Gross domestic product has fallen substantially since the 1980s due to disruption of trade and transport as well as loss of labor and capital. Continuing internal strife severely hampered domestic efforts to rebuild the nation or provide ways for the international community to help.

According to the International Monetary Fund, the Afghan economy grew 20% in the fiscal year ending in March 2004, after expanding 30% in the previous 12 months. The growth was attributed to international aid and to the end of droughts. An estimated $100 billion of aid had entered the nation from 2002 to 2021. A GDP of $4 billion in fiscal year 2003 was recalculated by the IMF to $6.1 billion, after adding proceeds from opium production. Mean graduate pay was $0.56 per man-hour in 2010. The country expects to be self sufficient in wheat, rice, poultry and dairy production by 2026.[27]

On November 2, 2021, the Taliban required that all economic transactions in Afghanistan use Afghanis and banned the use of all foreign currency.[28][29][30]

Western nations suspended humanitarian aid to Afghanistan following the Taliban's takeover of the country in August 2021 and the World Bank and International Monetary Fund also halted payments.[31][32] The Biden administration froze about $9 billion in assets belonging to the Afghan central banks, blocking the Taliban from accessing billions of dollars held in U.S. bank accounts.[33][34] On 11 November 2021, the Human Rights Watch reported that Afghanistan is facing widespread famine due to collapsed economy and broken banking system.[35]

Agriculture and livestock[edit]

An agricultural show in Kabul, in 2009
Workers processing pomegranates (anaar), which Afghanistan is famous for in Asia
Afghan grapes

Afghanistan produced in 2018:

  • 3.6 million tons of wheat;
  • 984 thousand tons of grape (18th largest world producer);
  • 615 thousand tons of potato;
  • 591 thousand tons of vegetable;
  • 381 thousand tons of watermelon;
  • 352 thousand tons of rice;
  • 329 thousand tons of melon;
  • 217 thousand tons of apple;
  • 150 thousand tons of onion;
  • 106 thousand tons of maize;
  • 56 thousand tons of barley;
  • 47 thousand tons of peach;

In addition to smaller productions of other agricultural products.[36]

Afghanistan currently produces roughly 1.5 million tons of fresh fruits annually, which could be increased significantly.[37] It is known for producing some of the finest fruits, especially pomegranates and grapes as well as sweet melons and mulberries.[38][39] Other fruits grown in the country are apricots, apples, figs, peaches, cherries and strawberries.[40][41][42][43][44][45] The number of farms are steadily increasing.[46] Building and using modern greenhouses is also expanding throughout the country.[47][48]

The northern and western Afghan provinces are known for pistachio cultivation.[49][50][51][52][53] In recent years, farmers in the southern provinces have also begun cultivating pistachios.[54] Provinces in the east of the country are famous for pine nuts.[55][56] The northern and central provinces are also famous for almonds and walnuts.[57][58] The Bamyan Province in central Afghanistan is known for growing superior quality potatoes, which produced 370,000 tons in 2020.[59] Nangarhar is famous for lemons, oranges, olives, peanuts and dates.[60][61][62][63] Cultivation of these products are now spreading to other provinces of the country.[64][65][66] The government even planted banana trees in Helmand Province to see if they grow and produce bananas.[67]

Wheat and cereal production is Afghanistan's traditional agricultural mainstay. National wheat production in 2015 was 5 million tons.[68] Afghanistan is nearing self-sufficiency in grain production. It requires an additional 1 million ton of wheat to become self-sufficient, which is predicted to be accomplished in 2020.[69] The overall agricultural production sometimes declines following droughts.

Two boys with their herd in Zabul Province

Livestock in Afghanistan mainly include cattle, sheep, and goats.[70] Poultry farming is widespread.[71][72]

Arable land in Afghanistan was reported to be around 8 million hectares. Wheat production had stood at about 5 million tonnes in 2015,[68] nurseries held 119,000 hectares of land, and grape production is at 615,000 tonnes. Almond production has jumped to 56,000 tons and cotton to 45,000 tonnes.[73] In 2019, it was reported that about 4,000 hectares (10,000 acres) of land in Afghanistan is used to cultivate saffron.[74]

According to the World Bank's report published in April 2019, Afghanistan's economy suffered from the consequences of a severe drought that affected the agriculture production in 2018. While the wheat production declined by 24%, milk production declined by 30%.[75]


Afghanistan is landlocked with no direct access to an ocean but it has a number of reservoirs, lakes, ponds, rivers and streams,[76] which make it a suitable climate for fish farming.[77] Historically, fish constituted a smaller part of the Afghan diet because of the unavailability of modern fish farms. Fishing only took place in the lakes and rivers, particularly in the Kunar, Amu and Helmand rivers.[78] Consumption of fish has increased sharply due to the establishment of many fish farms. There are over 2,600 of them in the country.[79] The largest one is at the Qargha, which supplies fish eggs to the other fish farms. Fish farming has also been launched in the Afghan-India Friendship Dam.[80]


Lumber yard in Asadabad, Kunar Province

According to a 2010 report, only about 2.1% (or 1,350,000 ha) of Afghanistan is forested.[81] Some steps have been taken in recent years in planting trees in the urban areas across Afghanistan.[82][83][84][85][86] Even the Taliban spiritual leader has recently called for planting more trees.[87][88]

Trade and industry[edit]

Afghanistan's geographical location makes the country economically secured. This could play a major role in the future. Even its trade with other countries is steadily increasing with the establishment of more international transportation routes.[89][90][91] One of these trade routes is the Lapis Lazuli corridor, which connects Afghanistan with Turkmenistan and ultimately ends somewhere in Europe.[17] Other such trade routes connect Afghanistan with neighboring Iran, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The country also has direct trade with India via air corridor. Its rail system is slowly expanding to connect Central Asia with Pakistan and Iran.

The Port of entry at Shir Khan Bandar in Kunduz Province, near the border with Tajikistan (2011)
Officials from Afghanistan, Georgia, Turkey, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan signing the Lapis Lazuli Route agreement in 2016, which created a new trade route from Afghanistan to the Caucusus and Turkey

The Afghanistan–Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA) allows Afghan and Pakistani cargo trucks to transit goods within both nations. This revised US-sponsored APTTA agreement also allows Afghan trucks to transport exports to India via Pakistan up to the Wagah crossing point.[92][93] There are at least 11 main international border crossings in Afghanistan. They include Abu Nasar Farahi in Farah Province,[94] Aqina in Faryab Province, Hairatan in Balkh Province, Islam Qala in Herat Province, Sher Khan Bandar in Kunduz Province, Torghundi in Herat Province, Torkham in Nangarhar Province, Spin Boldak in Kandahar Province, and Zaranj in Nimruz Province.[95][96] The country also has legal access to two major seaports in Pakistan, the Gwadar Port in Balochistan and the Port Qasim in Sindh.[97] Afghanistan also has legal access to two major seaports in Iran, which include the Bandar Abbas and the Chabahar Port in the south of the country.

Trade in goods smuggled into Pakistan once constituted a major source of revenue for Afghanistan. Many of the goods that were smuggled into Pakistan have originally entered Afghanistan from Pakistan, where they fell under the 1965 APTTA. This permitted goods bound for Afghanistan to transit through Pakistani seaports free of duty. Once in Afghanistan, the goods were often immediately smuggled back into Pakistan over the porous border that the two countries share, often with the help of corrupt officials. Additionally, items declared as Afghanistan-bound were often prematurely offloaded from trucks and smuggled into Pakistani markets without paying requisite duty fees.[92][93] This resulted in the creation of a thriving black market, with much of the illegal trading occurring openly, as was common in Peshawar's bustling Karkhano Market, which was widely regarded as a smuggler's bazaar.[98]

Afghanistan is endowed with a wealth of natural resources, including extensive deposits of natural gas, petroleum, coal, marble, gold, copper, chromite, talc, barites, sulfur, lead, zinc, iron ore, salt, precious and semi-precious stones, and many rare earth elements.[99][100] In 2006, a U.S. Geological Survey estimated that Afghanistan has as much as 1,000 million cubic metres (36 billion cubic feet) of natural gas, 570 million cubic metres (3.6 billion barrels) of oil and condensate reserves.[101] According to a 2007 assessment, Afghanistan has significant amounts of undiscovered non-fuel mineral resources. Geologists also found indications of abundant deposits of colored stones and gemstones, including emerald, ruby, sapphire, garnet, lapis lazuli, kunzite, spinel, tourmaline and peridot.[102]

Trucks on the road in Afghanistan
A proportional representation of Afghan exports, 2019. Not including opium

In 2010, U.S. Pentagon officials along with American geologists have revealed the discovery of nearly $1 trillion in untapped mineral deposits in Afghanistan.[103][104] A memo from the Pentagon stated that Afghanistan could become the "Saudi Arabia of lithium".[105] Some believe that the untapped minerals are worth up to $3 trillion.[106][107][108] The Khanashin carbonatites in the Helmand Province of the country have an estimated 1 million metric tonnes of rare earth elements.[109]

Afghanistan signed a copper deal with China (Metallurgical Corp. of China Ltd.) in 2008, which is to a large-scale project that involves the investment of $2.8 billion by China and an annual income of about $400 million to the Afghan government. The country's Ainak copper mine, located in Logar Province, is one of the biggest in the world. It is estimated to hold at least 11 million tonnes or US$33 billion worth of copper.[110][111]

On October 5, 2018 in Washington, D.C., Afghan officials signed a 30-year contract with investment group Centar and its operating company, Afghan Gold and Minerals Co., to explore and develop a copper mining operation in Balkhab District in Sar-e Pol Province and to explore and develop a gold mining operation in Badakhshan Province. The copper contract involved a $56 million investment and the gold contract a $22 million investment.[112]

The country's other recently announced treasure is the Hajigak iron ore mine, located 210 kilometres (130 mi) west of Kabul and is believed to hold an estimated 1.8 billion to 2 billion metric tons of the mineral used to make steel. AFISCO, an Indian consortium of seven companies, led by the Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL), and Canada's Kilo Goldmines Ltd are expected to jointly invest $14.6 billion in developing the Hajigak iron mine.[113] The country has several coal mines but need to be modernized.[114]

Afghanistan's important resource in the past has been natural gas, which was first tapped in 1967. During the 1980s, gas sales accounted for $300 million a year in export revenues (56% of the total). About 90% of these exports went to the Soviet Union to pay for imports and debts. However, during the withdrawal of Soviet troops in 1989, the natural gas fields were capped to prevent sabotage by criminals. Gas production has dropped from a high of 8.2 million cubic metres (290 million cubic feet) per day in the 1980s to a low of about 600,000 cubic metres (21 million cubic feet) in 2001. Production of natural gas was restored during the Karzai administration in 2010.[115]

In December 2011, Afghanistan signed an oil exploration contract with China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) for the development of three oil fields along the Amu Darya river.[116][117] CNPC began Afghan oil production in late October 2012, with extracting 240,000 cubic metres (1.5 million barrels) of oil annually.[118]

Economic development and recovery[edit]

From left to right: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during the signing of the Chabahar Port transit agreement in May 2016

Afghanistan embarked on a modest economic development program in the 1930s. The government founded banks; introduced paper money; established a university; expanded primary, secondary, and technical schools; and sent students abroad for education. In 1952 it created the Helmand Valley Authority to manage the economic development of the Helmand and Arghandab valleys through irrigation and land development,[25] a scheme which remains one of the country's most important capital resources.[119]

In 1956, the government promulgated the first in a long series of ambitious development plans.[23] By the late 1970s, these had achieved only mixed results due to flaws in the planning process as well as inadequate funding and a shortage of the skilled managers and technicians needed for implementation.[120]

Afghan United Bank

Da Afghanistan Bank serves as the central bank of the nation. The "Afghani" (AFN) is the national currency, which has an exchange rate of nearly 70 Afghanis to 1 US dollar. There are over 16 different banks operating in the country, including Afghanistan International Bank, Kabul Bank, Azizi Bank, Pashtany Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, and First Micro Finance Bank. Cash is still widely used for most transactions. A new law on private investment provides three to seven-year tax holidays to eligible companies and a four-year exemption from exports tariffs and duties. According to a UN report in 2007, Afghanistan has received over $3.3 billion from its expatriate community in 2006. UN officials familiar with the issue said remittances to Afghanistan could have been more if the banking regulations are more convenient.[18] Additionally, improvements to the business-enabling environment have resulted in more than $1.5 billion in telecom investment and created more than 100,000 jobs since 2003.[121]

Afghanistan is a member of World Trade Organization, SAARC, ECO, OIC, and has an observer status in the SCO. It seeks to complete the so-called New Silk Road trade project, which is aimed to connecting South Asia with Central Asia and the Middle East. This way Afghanistan will be able to collect large fees from trade passing through the country, including from the Trans-Afghanistan Pipeline. Foreign Minister Zalmai Rassoul has stated that the "goal is to achieve an Afghan economy whose growth is based on trade, private enterprise and investment". Experts believe that this will revolutionize the economy of the region.

Shopping district in the Khair Khana neighborhood of Kabul

As part of an attempt to modernize the city and boost the economy, a number of new high rise buildings are under construction by various developers. Some of the national development projects include the $35 bn New Kabul City next to the capital,[122] the Aino Mena in Kandahar, and the Ghazi Amanullah Khan City east of Jalalabad.[123] Similar development projects are also found in Herat in the west, Mazar-e-Sharif in the north and in other cities.[124]

Afghan handwoven rugs are one of the most popular products for exportation. Other products include hand crafted antique replicas as well as leather and furs. Afghanistan is the third largest exporter of cashmere.[125] Afghanistan has no textile industry. The country imports roughly $500 million of textile goods from other countries.[126] Afghanistan also lacks major international companies. This may explain why the country has high unemployment rate.[6] As a competitor of the Coca-Cola Company, the Pepsi-Cola Company is said to be establishing itself in Afghanistan.[127] This not only promotes foreign investment but also makes the country less dependent on imports from neighboring countries and helps provide employment opportunity to many Afghans.[128][129]

In February 2019, it was reported that the World Bank granted $235 million to the government of Afghanistan for the country's development and growth. The acting Minister of Finance Humayon Qayoumi said that out of the total amount granted, $75 million will finance "the Tackling Afghanistan's Government HRM (Human Resource Management) and Institutional Reforms (TAGHIR) project, which will strengthen the capacity of selected line ministries. The grant also includes 25 million U.S. dollars from IDA (International Development Association) and 50 million U.S. dollars from ARTF (Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund)."[130]

GDP growth in Afghanistan dropped to 1.8% in 2018 as compared to 2.9% in 2017, partially because of drought. It then recovered to 2.5% in 2019, and was predicted to rise to 3.0% in 2020.[131][132]

The Ministry of Communications and Technology collected information from the perception of a producer (10 percent) of telecom services during the last four months(August 2021-January 17, 2022) about 1.5 billion Afghanis and entered to the government treasury[133]


Tourism in Afghanistan was at its peak in 1977. Many tourists from around the world came to visit Afghanistan, including from as far away as Europe and North America. All of that ended with the start of the April 1978 Saur Revolution. However, it is again gradually increasing despite the insecurity. Each year about 20,000 foreign tourists visit Afghanistan.[134] Tourists should avoid areas where armed criminals operate in the name of Taliban.[135]

The country has four international airports, including the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul; the Maulana Jalaluddin Balkhi International Airport in Mazar-i-Sharif; the Khwaja Abdullah Ansari International Airport in Herat; and the Ahmad Shah Baba International Airport in Kandahar. It also has several smaller airports throughout the country. The city of Kabul has many guest houses and hotels, including the Serena Hotel, the Hotel Inter-Continental Kabul, and the Safi Landmark Hotel. Small number of guest houses and hotels are also available in other cities such Kandahar, Herat, Mazar-i-Sharif, etc.[136]

The following are some notable places in Afghanistan that tourists find worth visiting:

National accounts[edit]

The majority of the following information is taken from, or adapted from The World Factbook

Year[137] 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
GDP in $
18.76 Bil. 20.81 Bil. 21.52 Bil.. 24.84 Bil. 26.97 Bil. 31.39 Bil. 33.24 Bil. 40.39 Bil. 44.33 Bil. 48.18 Bil. 55.92 Bil. 60.05 Bil. 62.78 Bil. 64.29 Bil. 66.65 Bil. 69.55 Bil.
GDP per capita in $
845 900 896 999 1,052 1,191 1,230 1,458 1,561 1,655 1,875 1,966 2,007 2,009 1,923 1,957
GDP growth
... 8.7 % 0.7 % 11.8 % 5.4 % 13.3 % 3.9 % 20.6 % 8.6 % 6.5 % 14.0 % 5.7 % 2.7 % 1.3 % 2.4 % 2.5 %
Government debt
(Percentage of GDP)
346 % 271 % 245 % 206 % 23 % 20 % 19 % 16 % 8 % 8 % 7 % 7 % 9 % 9 % 8 % 7 %

GDP: purchasing power parity $78.557 billion, with an exchange rate at $20.24 billion (2019 estimates)

GDP - real growth rate: 2.7% (2017)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $2,065 (2019)

Gross national saving: 22.7% of GDP (2017)

GDP - composition by sector:

  • agriculture: 23%
  • industry: 21.1%
  • services: 55.9%

note: data excludes opium production

GDP - composition by end use:

  • household consumption: 81.6% (2016)
  • government consumption: 12% (2016)
  • investment in fixed capital: 17.2% (2016)
  • investment in inventories: 30% (2016)
  • exports of goods and services: 6.7% (2016)
  • imports of goods and services: -47.6% (2016)

Ease of Doing Business Index scores:

  • Overall score: 44.1 (2020)
  • Starting a Business score: 92 (2020)
  • Trading score: 30.6 (2020)
  • Enforcement score: 31.8 (2020)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

  • lowest 10%: 3.8%
  • highest 10%: 24% (2008)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 5% (2017)
country comparison to the world: 181

Agriculture - products: wheat, milk, grapes, vegetables, potatoes, watermelons, melons, rice, onions, apples

Industries: small-scale production of bricks, textiles, soap, furniture, shoes, fertilizer, apparel, food-products, non-alcoholic beverages, mineral water, cement; handwoven carpets; natural gas, coal, copper

Industrial production growth rate: -1.9% (2016)
country comparison to the world: 181

Labor force: 8.478 million (2017)
country comparison to the world: 58

Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 44.3%, industry 18.1%, services 37.6% (2017)

Unemployment rate: 23.9% (2017)
country comparison to the world: 195

Population below poverty line: 54.5% (2017)


  • revenues: 2.276 billion (2017)
  • expenditures: 5.328 billion

Taxes and other revenues: 11.2% (of GDP) (2017)
country comparison to the world: 210

Public debt: 7% of GDP (2017)
country comparison to the world: 202

Exports: $784 million (2017)
country comparison to the world: 169

Exports - commodities: gold, grapes, opium, fruits and nuts, insect resins, cotton, handwoven carpets, soapstone, scrap metal (2019)

Exports - partners: United Arab Emirates 45%, Pakistan 24%, India 22%, China 1% (2019)

Imports: $7.616 billion (2017)
country comparison to the world: 119

Imports - commodities: wheat flours, broadcasting equipment, refined petroleum, rolled tobacco, aircraft parts, synthetic fabrics (2019)

Imports - partners: United Arab Emirates 23%, Pakistan 17%, India 13%, China 9%, United States 9%, Uzbekistan 7%, Kazakhstan 6% (2019)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $7.187 billion (2017)
country comparison to the world: 85

Debt - external: $284 million (2021)[139]
country comparison to the world: 185

Current account balance: $1.014 billion (2017)
country comparison to the world: 49

Currency: Afghani (AFN)

Exchange rates: Afghanis (AFN) per US dollar - 68.3 = $1

  • 57.25 (2013)
  • 46.45 (2010)

Fiscal year: 21 December - 20 December

Energy in Afghanistan[edit]

Aerial photography of Kandahar at night in 2011.

Energy in Afghanistan is provided by hydropower followed by fossil fuel and solar power.[6] According to Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (DABS), approximately 35% of Afghanistan's population has access to electricity.[140] This covers the major cities in the country. Many rural areas do not have access to 24-hour electricity but this should change after the major CASA-1000 project is completed.[141]

Afghanistan currently generates over 600 megawatts (MW) of electricity from its several hydroelectric plants as well as using fossil fuel and solar panels.[6] Over 670 MW more is imported from neighboring Iran, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.[140]

Due to the large influx of expats from neighboring Pakistan and Iran, Afghanistan may require as much as 7,000 MW of electricity in the coming years.[142] The Afghan National Development Strategy has identified renewable energy alternatives, such as wind and solar energy, as a high value power source to develop.[143][144] As a result, a number of solar and wind farms have been established,[145][146] with more currently under development.[147][148][149][150][151][152]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "World Economic Outlook Database, April 2019". International Monetary Fund. Retrieved 29 September 2019.
  2. ^ "World Bank Country and Lending Groups". World Bank. Retrieved 29 September 2019.
  3. ^ "Population, total". World Bank. Retrieved 30 August 2019.
  4. ^ a b c d e "World Economic Outlook Database, October 2019". International Monetary Fund. Retrieved 3 November 2019.
  5. ^ "Global Economic Prospects, June 2020". World Bank. p. 98. Retrieved 24 June 2020.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q "Afghanistan". The World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved 2020-10-11.
  7. ^ "Poverty headcount ratio at national poverty lines (% of population)". World Bank. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  8. ^ "Poverty headcount ratio at $1.90 a day (2011 PPP) (% of population) - Afghanistan". World Bank. Retrieved 3 November 2019.
  9. ^ "Human Development Index (HDI)". HDRO (Human Development Report Office) United Nations Development Programme. Retrieved 11 December 2019.
  10. ^ "Inequality-adjusted Human Development Index (IHDI)". HDRO (Human Development Report Office) United Nations Development Programme. Archived from the original on 12 December 2020. Retrieved 11 December 2019.
  11. ^ "Labor force, total - Afghanistan". World Bank. Retrieved 3 November 2019.
  12. ^ "Employment to population ratio, 15+, total (%) (national estimate)". World Bank. Retrieved 30 August 2019.
  13. ^ "Ease of Doing Business in Afghanistan". Retrieved 2017-01-25.
  14. ^ a b "Afghanistan". The Observatory of Economic Complexity. 2019. Retrieved 2021-03-18.
  15. ^ a b "Foreign trade partners of Afghanistan". The Observatory of Economic Complexity. Retrieved 20 June 2021.
  16. ^ "Central Bank Reports Increase In Foreign Exchange Reserves". TOLOnews. 30 March 2019. Archived from the original on 30 March 2019. Retrieved 2019-03-31.
  17. ^ a b Javed Hamim Kakar, ed. (December 29, 2018). "Afghanistan's commercial goods arrived in Turkey through Lapis Lazuli route". Pajhwok Afghan News. Archived from the original on 2019-03-27. Retrieved 2020-10-09.
  18. ^ a b "Afghanistan receives $3.3b remittances from expats". Pajhwok Afghan News. October 19, 2007. Archived from the original on February 3, 2020. Retrieved 2012-11-23.
  19. ^ "Afghan Exports Increased This Year: Islamic Emirate". TOLOnews. December 27, 2021. Retrieved 2021-12-27.
  20. ^ "Afghanistan's exports up, imports down this year". Pajhwok Afghan News. December 27, 2021. Retrieved 2021-12-27.
  21. ^ "Afghanistan Unemployment rate - data, chart". Retrieved 2019-09-21.
  22. ^ World Bank Data: Afghanistan. Retrieved 2013-8-14.
  23. ^ a b c "Helmand's Golden Age". BBC News. Archived from the original on 7 August 2014. Retrieved 2020-10-09.
  24. ^ Asian Affairs Journal, Making Money in Afghanistan: The First Western Entrepreneurs 1880-1919, Vol 3, 2012.
  25. ^ a b Report on Development of Helmand Valley, Afghanistan, 1956, Tudor Engineering Company
  26. ^ Archived 2020-05-31 at the Wayback Machine.
  27. ^ "Self-sufficiency in wheat, dairy, rice in 4 years: Ahadi". Pajhwok Afghan News. March 22, 2021. Retrieved 2021-03-24.
  28. ^ "Taliban bans the use of foreign currency across Afghanistan". Al Jazeera. Al Jazeera. Retrieved 3 November 2021.
  29. ^ "Taliban forbid use of US dollar, other foreign currency". The Hill. Retrieved 3 November 2021.
  30. ^ "Taliban bar Afghans from using foreign currency as economy spirals". Washington Post. Retrieved 3 November 2021.
  31. ^ "'Countdown to catastrophe': half of Afghans face hunger this winter – UN". The Guardian. 25 October 2021.
  32. ^ "China urges World Bank, IMF to help Afghanistan". News24. 28 October 2021.
  33. ^ "Taliban blames U.S. as 1 million Afghan kids face death by starvation". CBS News. 20 October 2021.
  34. ^ "Afghanistan's hunger crisis is a problem the U.S. can fix". MSNBC. 10 November 2021.
  35. ^ "Afghanistan Facing Famine: UN, World Bank, US Should Adjust Sanctions, Economic Policies". Human Rights Watch. 11 November 2021.
  36. ^ "Afghanistan production in 2018, by FAO".
  37. ^ "Afghanistan Produces 1.5 Million Tons Of Fresh Fruit A Year". TOLOnews. 12 February 2018. Retrieved 2019-03-31.
  38. ^ "".
  39. ^ "".
  40. ^ "Afghan Exports Attract Investors At Dubai Exhibition". TOLOnews. 26 February 2018. Archived from the original on 22 April 2019. Retrieved 2019-04-22.
  41. ^ Making the India Connection. USAID. March 11, 2018. Archived from the original on 2020-04-26. Retrieved 2019-04-17.
  42. ^ "BAZAR: Efforts To Boost Cherry Farming Discussed". TOLOnews. May 23, 2018. Retrieved 2021-04-27.
  43. ^ "Significant Increase in Nangarhar's Strawberry Yield". TOLOnews. April 27, 2018. Retrieved 2021-04-27.
  44. ^ USAID help farmers to increase the quality and value of grape crops (in Dari). USAID. February 3, 2016. Archived from the original on 2016-12-03. Retrieved 2019-03-30.
  45. ^ "Afghanistan: Peaches and nectarines, production quantity (tons)". 2017. Archived from the original on 2019-03-19. Retrieved 2019-03-30.
  46. ^ "Commercial Farming Limited by Lack of Land, Water". TOLOnews. April 5, 2021. Retrieved 2021-04-27.
  47. ^ Kandahar Green House VOA Ashna (in Pashto). Voice of America. June 24, 2017. Archived from the original on 2021-12-11. Retrieved 2019-04-14.
  48. ^ Green house in Khost VOA Ashna (in Pashto). Voice of America. January 15, 2017. Archived from the original on 2021-12-11. Retrieved 2019-04-14.
  49. ^ "".
  50. ^ Pistachio Groves Change Lives of Farmers in Afghanistan. World Bank. February 20, 2019. Archived from the original on 2021-12-11. Retrieved 2019-03-30.
  51. ^ Herat Pistachios products grown (in Dari). Voice of America. April 25, 2017. Archived from the original on 2021-12-11. Retrieved 2019-03-30.
  52. ^ Taliban makes millions of dollars from pistachio gardens in Badghis (in Dari). Salaam Times. September 6, 2018. Archived from the original on 2021-12-11. Retrieved 2019-03-30.
  53. ^ "".
  54. ^ Pistachio orchards in Kandahar (in Pashto). Voice of America. July 3, 2018. Archived from the original on 2021-12-11. Retrieved 2019-03-30.
  55. ^ "".
  56. ^ "Ghani Inaugurates 'Biggest' Smelting Plant In Kabul". TOLOnews. 28 March 2019. Archived from the original on 30 March 2019. Retrieved 2019-03-30.
  57. ^ "".
  58. ^ "Afghanistan: Walnuts, production quantity (tons)". 2017. Retrieved 2019-03-30.
  59. ^ "".
  60. ^ "Nangarhar to produce 15 tonnes of dates this year". Pajhwok Afghan News. September 9, 2021. Retrieved 2021-09-11.
  61. ^ Nangarhar Canal Project Enjoys Bumper Orange Season (in Dari). USAID. December 23, 2017. Archived from the original on 2021-12-11. Retrieved 2019-03-30.
  62. ^ Olive Production Nangarhar (in Dari). Voice of America. October 8, 2018. Archived from the original on 2021-12-11. Retrieved 2019-03-30.
  63. ^ "Severed Trees in Orchards Mirror Afghan History". The New York Times. July 10, 2010. Retrieved 2019-04-10.
  64. ^ "".
  65. ^ "".
  66. ^ "Afghan province begins push to discourage poppy cultivation". Arab News. 28 July 2018. Retrieved 2019-04-10.
  67. ^ "Afghan Province Grows Bananas To Replace Opium Poppies".
  68. ^ a b "AFGHANISTAN: 2015/2016 Wheat Production above Average but Down from Last Year". U.S. Department of Agriculture. July 17, 2015. Archived from the original on April 15, 2019. Retrieved 2019-04-16..
  69. ^ "Self-sufficiency in wheat production". Afghanistan Times. December 27, 2015. Retrieved 2019-04-16.
  70. ^ ښاري انځور خپرونه کندهار ملي راډیو ټلوېزیون (in Pashto). Kandahar Mili Television. February 8, 2019. Archived from the original on 2021-12-11. Retrieved 2019-03-30.
  71. ^ "Afghanistan nears chicken meat self-sufficiency: MAIL". Pajhwok Afghan News. April 12, 2021. Retrieved 2021-04-23.
  72. ^ Poultry Value Chain in Afghanistan. Comprehensive Agriculture and Rural Development-Facility (CARD-F). November 11, 2018. Archived from the original on 2021-12-11. Retrieved 2019-03-30.
  73. ^ "Water & energy sector in critical situation". Pajhwok Afghan News. April 3, 2012. Retrieved 2012-05-15.
  74. ^ "'Illegal' Saffron Imports Affect Afghan Products Market". TOLOnews. April 21, 2019. Archived from the original on April 20, 2019. Retrieved 2019-04-21.
  75. ^ "Afghan Economy Suffers From Drought And Uncertainty – World Bank". Archived from the original on 25 April 2019. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
  76. ^ "Afghanistan and Pakistan's Looming Water Conflict". The Diplomat. December 15, 2018. Retrieved 2021-04-23. Afghanistan has abundant water resources. It produces 80 billion cubic meters of water a year, pumping 60 billion cubic meters of it to the neighbors — particularly Pakistan.
  77. ^ "Fish farming booms in S. Afghan province". Xinhua. July 14, 2019. Retrieved 2021-04-23.
  78. ^ "Livestock and Fish Farming Bring Self-Sufficiency to Rural Afghans". The World Bank. October 28, 2018. Retrieved 2019-04-16.
  79. ^ "More than 2,600 fish farms operating in Afghanistan". Ariana News. April 7, 2021. Retrieved 2021-04-23.
  80. ^ Ghanizada, ed. (October 29, 2016). "Afghanistan launches fish farming in mega $300m Salma Dam built by India". Khaama Press. Retrieved 2017-05-16.
  81. ^ "Afghanistan Forest Information and Data". Mongabay. 2010. Retrieved 2020-10-09.
  82. ^ "Government to Plant 'Millions' of Trees Across Afghanistan". TOLOnews. March 10, 2021. Retrieved 2021-03-10.
  83. ^ "National tree plantation campaign begins: MAIL". Pajhwok Afghan News. March 10, 2021. Retrieved 2021-03-10.
  84. ^ "Afghanistan Hires Lockdown Jobless to Boost Kabul's Water and Trees". KCET. June 15, 2020. Retrieved 2021-03-11.
  85. ^ "Nangarhar kicks off spring tree plantation drive". Pajhwok Afghan News. February 4, 2019. Retrieved 2020-10-09.
  86. ^ "Changing the Afghan landscape, one tree at a time". United Nations Environment Programme. May 4, 2018. Archived from the original on April 21, 2019. Retrieved 2019-04-21.
  87. ^ "Taliban leader urges Afghans to plant more trees". BBC News. February 26, 2017. Retrieved 2019-04-21.
  88. ^ "Taliban Leaders Wants Afghans to Plant More Trees". Voice of America. February 26, 2017. Retrieved 2019-04-21.
  89. ^ China pushes Pakistan to open trade routes with Afghanistan. Nikkei Asia. August 24, 2020. Retrieved 2020-10-09.
  90. ^ Trade boost between India-Afghan with air-corridor. DD News. December 27, 2017. Archived from the original on 2021-12-11. Retrieved 2019-03-30.
  91. ^ Pajhwok Afghan News, Afghan-US trade up by 34pc in eight months, November 14, 2007.
  92. ^ a b Siddiqui, Abdul Qadir (November 29, 2010). "Afghan-Pakistan chamber of commerce set up". Pajhwok Afghan News. Archived from the original on 2011-07-27. Retrieved 2010-12-10.
  93. ^ a b Siddiqui, Abdul Qadir (December 5, 2010). "Pakistan to resolve Afghan traders' problems". Pajhwok Afghan News. Archived from the original on 2011-07-27. Retrieved 2010-12-10.
  94. ^ "Taliban take control of Abu Nasar Farahi Port". Pajhwok Afghan News. July 9, 2021. Retrieved 2021-09-11.
  95. ^ "Afghan border crossings gain more importance amid Taliban's advance". Anadolu Agency. July 13, 2021. Retrieved 2021-09-11.
  96. ^ "Afghanistan: How many refugees are there and where will they go?". BBC News. August 31, 2021. Retrieved 2021-09-11.
  97. ^ "Gwadar port offers new opportunity for Afghan economy". January 28, 2020. Archived from the original on February 2, 2020. Retrieved February 2, 2020.
  98. ^ "Peshawar Smuggling Boom". Institute for War and Peace Reporting. 21 February 2005. Archived from the original on 5 November 2016. Retrieved 6 March 2016.
  99. ^ "Rare Earth: Afghanistan Sits on $1 Trillion in Minerals". NBC. September 5, 2014. Retrieved 2021-03-19.
  100. ^ "Govt's Agreement with Australian Company Sparks Controversy". TOLOnews. March 4, 2021. Retrieved 2021-03-19.
  101. ^ - Eurasia Insight, Afghanistan's Energy Future and its Potential Implications
  102. ^ "Afghanistan has huge mineral resources: survey". Pajhwok Afghan News. November 14, 2007. Archived from the original on 2015-09-03. Retrieved 2012-11-23.
  103. ^ U.S. Identifies Vast Riches of Minerals in Afghanistan, The New York Times by James Risen. June 13, 2010.
  104. ^ "Turning Afghan minerals into wealth could take years; US". Pajhwok Afghan News. 2010-06-15. Archived from the original on 2013-12-04. Retrieved 2012-05-15.
  105. ^ "Afghanistan: The Saudi Arabia of Lithium?". 2010-06-14. Archived from the original on 2012-05-07. Retrieved 2012-05-15.
  106. ^ "Afghanistan says its untapped mineral wealth is at least $3 trillion _ triple US estimate". Archived from the original on 2010-06-21. Retrieved 2012-05-15.
  107. ^ "Afghanistan is suddenly wealthy: US finds $1 trillion in mineral deposits". 2010-06-14. Retrieved 2012-05-15.
  108. ^ Sengupta, Kim (2010-06-15). "Afghanistan's resources could make it the richest mining region on earth". Retrieved 2012-05-15.
  109. ^ "Geologic Map of the Khanneshin Carbonatite Complex, Helmand Province, Afghanistan, Modified From the 1976 Original Map Compilation of V.G. Cheremytsin" (PDF). United States Geological Survey. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-08-15. Retrieved 2021-03-19.
  110. ^ Pak Tribune, NASA Confirms Gas, Mineral Reserves In Afghanistan Archived 2015-06-10 at the Wayback Machine, November 18, 2005.
  111. ^, (1.8 MB pdf file) Archived 2011-07-24 at the Wayback Machine
  112. ^ Mackenzie, James; Qadir Sediqi, Abdul (2018-10-07). "Afghanistan signs major mining deals in development push". Reuters. Retrieved 30 June 2020.
  113. ^ Abdul Qadir Siddiqui, ed. (March 31, 2012). "Indian, Canadian firms to invest $ 14.6b in Hajigak iron mine". Pajhwok Afghan News. Retrieved 2012-03-31.
  114. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-07-15. Retrieved 2012-08-05.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link), McClatchy News, Factory, coal mine show connections matter most in Afghan business, November 10, 2010
  115. ^ "Gas well inaugurated in Shiberghan". Pajhwok Afghan News. November 8, 2010. Archived from the original on January 19, 2011. Retrieved 2011-02-09.
  116. ^ Afghanistan signs '$7 bn' oil deal with China[dead link]
  117. ^ Associated Press – Wed, Dec 28, 2011 (2011-12-28). "Afghanistan, China sign first oil contract". Archived from the original on 2012-01-15. Retrieved 2012-05-15.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  118. ^ China's CNPC begins oil production in Afghanistan Archived 2013-01-05 at, by Hamid Shalizi. October 21, 2012.
  119. ^ Haack, Barry (1998). "Remote sensing change detection of irrigated agriculture in Afghanistan". Geocarto International. 13 (2): 65–75. doi:10.1080/10106049809354643.
  120. ^ [1] Archived 2015-09-03 at the Wayback Machine, Socio-Economic Overview of Afghanistan, Strategic Outlook
  121. ^ "Economic Growth". USAID. Archived from the original on 29 September 2013. Retrieved 25 September 2011.
  122. ^ "Kabul New City Faces Continued Resistance". TOLOnews. 28 August 2013. Archived from the original on 31 March 2019. Retrieved 2019-03-31.
  123. ^ "Ghazi Amanullah Khan City". 2009. Archived from the original on 2013-04-29. Retrieved 2011-08-15.
  124. ^ A Humane Afghan City? by Ann Marlowe in Forbes September 2, 2009.
  125. ^ Cashmere Fibres Afghan. USAID. May 25, 2017. Archived from the original on 2020-04-28. Retrieved 2019-03-30.
  126. ^ "Afghanistan Imports $500m Worth Of Textiles Annually". TOLOnews. October 7, 2018. Retrieved 2021-03-18.
  127. ^ "Coming Soon To Afghanistan: Pepsi Products". TOLOnews. 23 April 2016. Archived from the original on 31 March 2019. Retrieved 2019-03-31.
  128. ^ Nestlé, Afghanistan Operations Archived 2012-03-30 at the Wayback Machine
  129. ^ Dairy Industry Revitalization Project for Afghanistan Archived 2011-10-26 at the Wayback Machine, implemented by Land O'Lakes
  130. ^ "World Bank offers Afghanistan 235 mln USD for supporting development". Xinhua. Retrieved 7 February 2019.
  131. ^ "IMF, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan : Staff Report for the 2019 Article IV Consultation and the Sixth Review under the Extended Credit Facility Arrangement-Press Release; Staff Report; and Statement by the Executive Director for Islamic Republic of Afghanistan". International Monetary Fund. Retrieved 27 March 2020.
  132. ^ "Global Economic Prospects, January 2020 : Slow Growth, Policy Challenges" (PDF). World Bank. p. 130. Retrieved 27 March 2020.
  133. ^ Ministry, Of communication|Afghanistan (17 January 2022). {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  134. ^ Navid Ahmad Barakzai, ed. (September 27, 2016). "20,000 foreign tourists visit Afghanistan annually". Pajhwok Afghan News. Retrieved 2017-05-15.
  135. ^ "Afghanistan Travel Advisory". U.S. Dept. of State. Retrieved 2020-10-09. Do not travel to Afghanistan due to COVID-19, crime, terrorism, civil unrest, kidnapping, and armed conflict.
  136. ^ Bamyan's interesting hotels in the Bamyan TV special report on YouTube, Nov. 22, 2018, Bamyam TV.
  137. ^ "Report for Selected Countries and Subjects". Retrieved 2018-08-25.
  138. ^ Based on the IMF data. If no data was available for a country from IMF, data from the World Bank is used.
  139. ^ "$1.5b borrowed, $300m debt repaid in past 17 years". Pajhwok Afghan News. March 8, 2021. Retrieved 2021-03-12.
  140. ^ a b "Afghanistan Annually Pays $280M for Imported Power". TOLOnews. September 1, 2020. Retrieved 2020-10-10.
  141. ^ "Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat" (PDF). United States Energy Association (USEA). 2014. Retrieved 2019-04-17.
  142. ^ "Naghlo Dam Turbines Up And Running". TOLOnews. April 12, 2018. Retrieved 2019-04-21.
  143. ^ "ADB to provide $44.76m for construction of solar power plant". Pajhwok Afghan News. November 26, 2017. Retrieved 2019-04-18.
  144. ^ "Fifty-two investors interested in Afghanistan's 2,000 MW solar energy plan". 1TV (Afghan TV channel). April 16, 2019. Archived from the original on 2019-04-17. Retrieved 2019-04-18.
  145. ^ "First-ever Kabul solar energy plant goes functional". Pajhwok Afghan News. May 22, 2018. Retrieved 2019-04-18.
  146. ^ "First-ever solar-wind power plant goes functional in Herat". Pajhwok Afghan News. September 17, 2017. Retrieved 2019-04-18.
  147. ^ "Solar Power Plants To Be Inaugurated In Kabul, Kandahar". TOLOnews. July 9, 2019. Retrieved 2020-10-10.
  148. ^ "Eastern Provinces To Get Solar Energy Boost". TOLOnews. April 14, 2018. Retrieved 2019-04-18.
  149. ^ Frangoul, Anmar (November 27, 2017). "Solar power in Afghanistan to get $44.76 million boost". CNBC. Retrieved 2019-04-18.
  150. ^ "Private firms to build 30-MW solar park in Afghanistan".
  151. ^ "ECOsys Implements the Hybrid Solar and Wind Power Plant in Herat Province-Afghanistan".
  152. ^ "Solar powered hatchery in Balkh to increase poultry production".

External links[edit]