Anadolu Agency:¬†The Afghan government has inked a multi-million dollar electricity supply deal with an Indian firm that aims to connect more than 45 thousand families to the national grid in the energy-starved nation. The project is funded by the Asian Development Bank, and it would cost $55.8 million dollars. Click here to read more (external link).
Khaama Press: Afghan cricketer Mohammad Shahzad has been named as the ICC Associated and Affiliate Cricket of the Year by the International Cricket Council (ICC). ‚ÄúAfghanistan‚Äôs flamboyant wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Shahzad has been named as the ICC Associate and Affiliate Cricketer of the Year after he finished as the leading ODI run-scorer with 699 runs in 16 one-day matches,‚ÄĚ ICC said in a news release. He is the first Afghanistan player to win this award. Click here to read more (external link).
1TV:¬†The Afghanistan Rural Rehabilitation Ministry (MRRD) has signed 36 development project contracts, worth 201,122,035 Afghanis with villages councils, providing job opportunities to more than 180 thousand people. The projects will include, construction of retaining walls, canals, intakes, bridges and roads and will be implemented in 17 provinces through the cohesion programs regional office of MRRD. Click here to read more (external link).
Khaama Press:¬†The Lazuli railway network is due to be inaugurated in the near future to link Afghanistan with the European countries and China via Central Asia.¬†Mohammad Shaker Kargar, the special envoy of the President for Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), said the inauguration of the railway network will act as an alternative to link the country with the global market.¬†He said the railway network will resolve the inevitability the country is currently facing in terms of transit being dependent to other nations and will help expedite the transit process. Click here to read more (external link).
Afghanistan is a source of great inspiration and resolve for its long-suffering citizens, for a number of reasons.
1.It is one of the youngest countries in the world, and children are its pride
2. A diversity of‚Ä¶everything
3. A hospitality like nowhere else
4. Tremendous patriotism, despite divisions
5. Women gain more visibility
6. Simplicity is King
7. Children going to school
8. Nan, nan and more nan
9. Tasty fruit above ground and fantastic mineral wealth below it
The Chinese news agency, Xinhua, reported on Thursday, August 25th, that China launched it’s first freight train service from it’s Nantong City to Hairatan in Afghanistan. The train carrying 84 containers is expected to take 15 days and will pass first through Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. According to Chinese officials, 2 trains will be scheduled each month.
Furthermore, Xinhua reported today (August 28) that a train from the eastern Chinese city of Yiwu, which is the home of the world’s leading small commodities market had it’s first ever freight train leave for Afghanistan carrying 100 containers of goods worth more than $4 million. The train is expected to arrive in Mazar-e Sharif. The service is expected to run weekly by the end of this year, according to the Xinhua report.
All this is an attempt to further improve trade ties between the two countries, according to both Afghan and Chinese officials. Since 2010, China has increased its economic aid and investment in Afghanistan and there a¬†steady growing stream of business travelers between the two countries.
Two Afghan brothers, Massoud and Mahmud Hassani, have created a low-cost drone, called the¬†Mine Kafon Drone to detect and destroy mines in Afghanistan. Each year, mines kill thousands of people in Afghanistan. The two brothers are not new to the mine destroying business. Three years ago, they had invented a dandelion puffball called the “Mine Kafon”, that could be used to trip landmines.
Their latest invention has 6 arms with rotors that create lift, and it comes with a computer that has a global positioning system (GPS) in it. ¬†The drone uses a¬†three step process to map, detect and detonate land mines.The brothers are using Kickstarter to raise funds for testing of the drone. The brothers say that the drone can be made for as little as $1,100. ¬†The brothers state on their Kickstarter page that the¬†Mine Kafon Drone is up to 20 times faster than currently available technologies. They want to take the drone to Afghanistan within the next 2 months.
VOA News:¬†Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated a dam in Afghanistan’s western Herat province Saturday that had been 40 years in the making due to war and upheaval in the country.¬†The Salma Dam, referred to as the Afghanistan India Friendship Dam by both countries, is built with $300 million of Indian money.¬†The 107 meter high, 550 meter long earth and rock filled dam will come online next year and start generating around 42 megawatts of electricity for mostly residential and agricultural use. ¬†Click here to read more (external link).
Reuters:¬†After a break of 20 years, Afghanistan’s first cement factory is once more clanking noisily in the countryside near Kabul as crushed-up limestone rocks rattle along a battered conveyor belt to the newly restored kiln.¬†“By selling our products and improving the factory’s production, we can avoid having our young generation go abroad,” said Amir Mohammad. “If there are job possibilities, they can stay with their families and look after their children.” Click here to read more (external link).
Afghanistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced yesterday that the $1.17 billion Central Asia South Asia electricity importing project, or CASA-1000, will be inaugurated by officials on May 12th. Officials from the four main countries involved, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyz Republic, and Pakistan will meet for a ground-breaking ceremony in Tajikistan. The Krygyz Republic and Tajikistan have an abundance of hydro-power resources, as a result of water cascading from their mountain ranges, and both Afghanistan and Pakistan are in desperate need of energy. The project will connect the four countries and enable energy surpluses to be be sent down to Afghanistan and Pakistan.
A 1,250 km high voltage transmission line will be built so that electricity from Tajikistan and Kyrgyz Republic can be sent down to Afghanistan and Pakistan. 75% of the transmission lines will be in Afghanistan. Furthermore, a high voltage transformer will be built in Baghlan province’s Pul-e Khumri in order to supply 300 mega watts of electricity to Afghanistan. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs added that Afghanistan will have an income of $45 million per year because of the project.
Lack of adequate electricity supplies is a major detriment to the economic development and security situation in Afghanistan. This project can help to improve transportation, telecommunications, industry, social services systems, and even reduce pollution in Afghanistan. Air pollution is a major problem in Afghanistan as a result of people burning wood for heating and cooking.
Map of the transmission line
AOPNEWS: Tonight in Las Vegas, Nevada, in a welterweight showdown, Afghan MMA fighter Siyar Bahadurzada defeated American fighter Brandon Thatch in round 3 via submission (arm triangle) at UFC 196. Click here to read more (external link).