Feature: Providing jobs would help build a stable Afghanistan

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, February 19, 2021
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by Abdul Haleem

HERAT, Afghanistan, Feb. 19 (Xinhua) -- "My prime objective was to provide job opportunities for the people living around me, hire jobless people and contribute to poverty alleviation," a Herat businessman Mohammad Zarif Ishaqzai said joyfully.

Ishaqzai, who established a small plant in western Herat province to recycle used items, said collecting used items from garbage buckets and containers helps to keep the environment clean and provide raw materials for the industry.

The raw materials seen in the plant include plastic bottles, cans and bags.

"In the beginning, only 20 people worked for the plant but currently about 300 workers work on three shifts," Ishaqzai said, adding that he hopes that the number of the staff would increase with the expansion of the plant's productions.

Established with a capital of 1.5 million U.S. dollars five years ago in the relatively peaceful Herat province, the plant is the first of its kind that produces glass wool, which is largely used in making blankets, pillows and mattress.

Ishaqzai, about 40, believes that investment requires initiative and courage rather than capital in an insurgency-plagued country like Afghanistan.

Lamenting the protracted war as the main reason for the high rate of unemployment and poverty in Afghanistan, the businessman suggests that providing job opportunities could contribute in stabilizing security in the country.

"High rate of unemployment has caused brain drain and that is why thousands of educated Afghans leave the country to safer places in Europe and other parts of the world to find jobs," the entrepreneur told Xinhua.

Although there is no official statistics on the number of jobless people in Afghanistan, countless people, mostly the educated youngsters leave for neighboring Pakistan, Iran and for developed European countries in search of jobs and a peaceful life.

Echoing Ishaqzai, a local economist Aziz Ghafoor told Xinhua, "Creating job chances is vital for stabilizing economy and building a prosperous society."

Advocating for establishing small producing plants, the economic expert opined that investment in any field and building factories even small ones contribute to poverty alleviation in the war-torn country.

"I went to a neighboring country three years ago in search of a job but was deported last year and since then I am working in this factory with 10,000 afghani (130 U.S. dollars) a month," a worker of the plant, Mohammad, said, suggesting creating job opportunities in the country would reduce the chance of smugglers to traffic Afghans outside their homeland. Enditem

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