Afghanistan defeated Nepal 1-0 in a 2013 SAFF (South Asian Football Federation) Championship semi-final match on Sunday night in Kathmandu, Nepal. Afghanistan took the lead early in the football (soccer) match when Afghan attacker Sandjar Ahmadi scored the only goal of the game after the 10th minute. No more goals were scored as Afghan goalie Mansur Faqiryar brilliantly stopped one Nepalese attack after another. With this win, Afghanistan has become the first team to make it to the final match, which will be against the winner of the Maldives vs. India match on Monday night. The final match is scheduled for Wednesday, September 11th. A total of 8 teams participated in the tournament, which started on August 31st. Besides Afghanistan, and host country Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Pakistan, Maldives and Sri Lanka participated in the tournament.
Click here to watch the full match.
Afghan men athletes aren’t the only ones making news recently. Afghanistan’s female football (soccer) team defeated Kyrgyzstan’s national team 1-0 in a friendly match held yesterday in Kyrgyzstan. The goal of the game came from captain Sajia Sahar. Â The team will next play against Tajikistan on Monday.
The team is currently playing a series of friendly matches in preparation for the 2013 SAFF (South Asian Football Federation) Gold Cup, which is scheduled from August 31st to September 11th in Nepal. Â Last year, the team finished in third place in the event, even beating their rivals Pakistan 4-1.
ï»¿Afghanistan’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technology announced that $50 million will be invested to change the broadcast of TV channels from analog to digital, greatly improving picture quality. The new digital system will cover all of Afghanistan. – Ariana News
A park and community center for women were inaugurated in Afghanistan’s central Bamyan province yesterday. In the center, women will be able to weave carpets, hold meetings, and discuss issues and problems affecting their community. The project worth $550,000 was funded by Japan, and it took one year to complete. – Pajhwok Afghan News
A power tower was inaugurated in the Derwaz district of Badakhshan province in northern Afghanistan earlier this week to provide the residents of the frontier districts with electricity. – Bakhtar News Agency
Local officials in Farah province announced earlier in the week that the yield from this year’s watermelon harvest of 544,000 tons doubled the amount produced last year. Broader distribution of seeds, favorable weather conditions and successful efforts to curb pest infestation, were cited as reasons for the increase. – Tolo news
Afghanistan’s Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs, Martyrs and Disabled announced earlier in the week that in past two years, nearly 7,500 men and women have undergone vocational trainings in 13 provinces. – Shamshad TV
ï»¿Afghanistan and Pakistan played a historic friendly soccer (football) match today in Kabul’s Ghazi Stadium. It was the first international soccer match be hosted in Kabul in over a decade, and it was the first match between the neighboring countries in 36 years. Thirty-six years ago, Afghanistan defeated Pakistan 2-0, and today, they shut them down again with a score of 3-0. The goals for Afghanistan were scored by Sanjar Ahmadi in the first half, and by Ahmad Arash Atifi and Maroof Mohammadi in the second half. Afghan coach Homayun Kargar told reporters, “I am hopeful the match will send a message of goodwill to the people of Pakistan and Afghanistan and their governments”. High level government officials, including members of parliament were in attendance. There was also a considerable number of female Afghan soccer fans. The two countries will hold another match in Pakistan, scheduled for December in Lahore.
ï»¿An inauguration ceremony was held yesterday in Afghanistan’s eastern province of Khost celebrating the start of construction on a new 160 meter long bridge that will traverse the Sheml river in the Farm Bagh area of the province. The project, which is expected to take 18 months, is being funded by the World Bank at a cost of 67 million afghanis, according to Khost’s provincial governor, Abdul Jabbar Naeemi.
The bridge will not only help Afghan traders import goods from neighboring Pakistan, but also families that live across the river who have no access to schools, hospitals or markets. The bridge will make it easier for them to cross the river to meet their needs.
Construction work on a new building for Kabul University’s Computer Science Faculty was inaugurated today by Afghanistan’s Minister of Higher Education, Obaidullah Obaid, and the Japanese Ambassador to Afghanistan, Hiroshi Takahashi. The planned four-story building is being funded by the Japanese government at a cost of $8.2 million, and is expected to be completed in 18 months. This project will help solve some of the space and building shortage the university is currently facing. In addition, 10 buses were also delivered to Kabul University by the Japanese Ambassador. Over the past 11 years, Japan has provided Afghanistan with $4 billion in aid, $40 million just to the education sector.
ï»¿Yesterday, Afghanistan defeated Namibia in a 3-day Intercontinental Cup (IC) match by 10 wickets.
On day one, Namibia won the coin toss and chose to bat first. In their first inning, Namibia scored 190 runs. Afghanistan’s captain, Mohammad Nabi took 6 of Namibia’s 10 wickets for 33 runs. For part of day 1 and day 2, Afghanistan batted and scored 354 runs. Ashgar Stanikzai scored his first century in 198 balls and added a total of 127 runs to the Afghan total for the day. Former captain Nawroz Mangal scored 59 runs and Dawlat Zadran scored 50. On day 3, Namibia only managed to score 168 runs in their second inning – thanks to great bowling from Afghanistan. Izatullah Dawlatzai took 5 wickets including a hat-trick in the 67th over. In Afghanistan’s second inning, they easily made the 5 runs that were required to achieve their 10 wicket win.
With this win, Afghanistan earns 20 points and falls in second place behind Ireland in the overall IC points table. Scotland is currently in third place. If Afghanistan defeats Kenya, they will automatically go the finals. Afghanistan’s cricket matches against Namibia aren’t over yet.
In a major effort to improve health care delivery, Afghanistan’s Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (MCIT) announced today that a total of 78 hospitals throughout the country will be connected to each other and international hospitals abroad via optical fiber technology. Doctors in Afghanistan will be able to consult with experts in international research centers to help diagnose and treat patients. This will be very beneficial for provinces with little access to advanced health facilities. The project will cost $4 million and will be completed over the next three years.
ï»¿Compared to last year, almond product has increased substantially this year in Afghanistan’s Kunduz province. Pesticide distributed by the Ministry of Agriculture was cited as the reason for the increase. Almond is one of the food items Afghanistan exports. – Bakhtar News Agency
The International Finance Cooperation (IFC), a member of the World Bank, recently conducted a study to assess loan services in various countries. Afghanistan was listed at the top position among the Central Asian and North African countries for providing loan services. Implementation of modern technology has prevented abuses in the lending process. – Ariana News
About 30,000 Paghman families will now have access to electricity, thanks to the Da Afghanistan Brishna Shirkat (DABS) power company extending a 16 kilometer long power transmission line from Dasht-e Chamtala substation to the Paghman district of Kabul. – Ariana News
Construction work on the Bagrami-Sabzabad road in Surkhrod (Nangarhar province), and a protective wall along it began earlier this week. The road will help address the long standing problems of area residents. The 3km road is expected to be completed in 4 months. – Pajhwok Afghan News
The United States Department of Justice and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced yesterday $8.5 million in aid for Afghan judicial staff training. – Pajhwok Afghan News
ï»¿Afghan women’s rights advocate Masouda Karokhi was announced as one of the eight winners of the 2013 N-Peace Awards, the N-Peace Network announced on their Facebook site today. According to their website, the N-Peace initiative and the Awards campaign are managed by the UNDP Asia Pacific Regional Center (APRC).Â “The awards recognize and profile women leaders and peace builders creating change at the grassroots to national levels in Asia.” “Even during the worst times for women in Afghanistan, Masuada Karokhi remained an unwavering activist for womenâ€™s rights”, the organization has posted on their website. Despite receiving death threats from extremists, Masuada Karokhi continued her work for theÂ advancement of Afghan women’s rights, even providing secret classes for poor girls and women during the rule of the Taliban. “Not one to mince her words, she has spoken out against ‘the culture of fraud and electoral abuse’, the lack of implementation of the Constitution, and political violence against women”, the organization added. Karokhi and other 7 were chosen out of 90 nominated candidates from Afghanistan, Indonesia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Timor-Leste and the Philippines. The award will be officially given to Karokhi in a special ceremony scheduled for October of this year.
ï»¿Afghanistan’s Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) announced on their website today that the country’s exports have increased by 40%, compared to the same period last year. Last year, in the first quarter, the exports stood at $64 million, and this year, it’s at $100 million. The ACCI said that the increase has been due to the “reduction of natural plant diseases, favorable climate, increase in harvesting fruits, and better circumstances of trade transit with neighboring countries”. Most of Afghanistanâ€™s exports are carpets, dried and fresh fruits, vegetables, chemical plants, animal products, cereal, and cotton. These are exported to such places as Pakistan, India, Central Asia countries, Iran, Russia, China, Europe, Canada, Australia and the Gulf Countries. Afghan officials are optimistic that the numbers will increase, especially with the increased use of the Chabahar port in Iran.