Economy of Afghanistan

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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
Statistics
PopulationIncrease 39,767,414 (2021)[3]
GDP
  • 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]
External
Exports
  • 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]

Fishing[edit]

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]

Forestry[edit]

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[edit]

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 $
(PPP)
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 $
(PPP)
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
(real)
... 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)

Budget:

  • 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]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]