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On March 12, Federal Development Minister Dr Gerd Müller presented the development policy strategy for Afghanistan for 2014 to 2017.
The Afghan Finance Minister Dr. Omar Zakhilwal was present as Minister Müller identified the central points of the new country strategy that will characterise German-Afghan cooperation after the withdrawal of ISAF troops. The event was organised by the Development Policy Forum on behalf of the Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Around 220 high-ranking representatives from the government and parliament, the private sector, civil society and the scientific community attended the event – including Tanja Gönner, Chair of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) Board, who Minister Müller thanked for the GIZ’s excellent work in Afghanistan.
By the year 2016, up to 430 million euros will be made available. Müller noted that these funds were conditional. Afghanistan would be obligated to enact effective measures to fight corruption, and strengthen the rights of women and advance their equal participation in society. Müller added that Afghanistan’s ratification of the partnership agreement with the USA negotiated in 2012 was also an essential condition. The agreement regulates cooperation between the two countries for ten years following the planned withdrawal of international troops in 2014.
Afghan Finance Minister Dr Omar Zakhilwal expressed appreciation for Germany’s support, both financial and with human resources. Afghanistan was willing, he added, to meet the conditions outlined by Minister Müller. Germany’s expectations widely corresponded with the goals of the Afghanistan government, Zakhilwal emphasised.
In addition to the presentation of the Afghanistan strategy, discussions were held in panels and workshops. The BMZ was especially pleased to be able to welcome around 20 participants from Afghanistan.
The conference was accompanied by a side event on women’s rights.