A MESSAGE FROM PRESIDENT GHANI
AFGHANISTAN HAS MADE GREAT PROGRESS since the Taliban regime was ousted in 2001. Today we are a nascent democracy whose people dream of living in a modern, prosperous, peaceful country.
Afghanistan is on the move. When the international coalition brought an end to the Taliban regime in 2001, our country was in an unimaginable state of chaos. The economy had collapsed. Independent media were banned. Children were not being educated and girls were prohibited from going to school entirely. Health statistics were shocking, with maternal mortality rates among the world’s very worst.
The process of recovery has been long and difficult but it has begun. In September 2014 our country completed the first successful democratic transition in its history. By December 2014, our National Unity Government presented a six-point reform agenda that promised to create jobs in a market economy fueled by private sector innovation, improve the quality of governance, bring development services to ordinary Afghans, institute the rule of law, and integrate Afghanistan into a politically stable, economically dynamic regional economy.
We are a little more than one year into that process. It has not been an easy journey but the stories and data in this booklet describe progress. They show that we have planted the seeds of hope for the future. Our children have returned to school. The economy has begun to grow. We are inexorably rooting out corrupt practices and replacing them with fair, transparent transactions that are backed by the force of law, and a dialogue to bring about peace has started.
Afghan democracy is flourishing. We are proud that our media and civil society are both vocal and free. We have rebuilt friendly ties with our neighbors that are advancing trade and bringing stability to a region that has seen very little of either. We are developing deep ties with other nations and leaders that believe that tolerance, freedom, and ending poverty are values to cherish and defend.
Afghanistan is a country with a long and noble history. We have passed through an era of darkness but there is light on the horizon. This booklet can only describe the barest outline of the changes that are underway. My countrymen and I invite you to join us on this journey towards that light, and we encourage you to discover more about our country and our people.
Mohammad Ashraf Ghani
President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan