Prospective employers discuss their requirements with job seekers over cups of tea
Kandahar’s jobs fair was a first for Afghanistan’s second largest city and important for economic growth
22 AUGUST 2013 | KANDAHAR, AFGHANISTAN
When Kandahar held a jobs fair, it was a first for Afghanistan’s second largest city. Eight private firms attended and it drew 33 job seekers, nine of them women. Till then, says Haji Nazir Ahmed who works in a local business, the city’s employment practices relied on knowing someone’s antecedents rather than their abilities.
Mr Ahmed, who represented his Anadara Private Gas Company at the fair, adds that most Kandahar businesses hire relatives, friends or members of their tribe. “Finding qualified skilled labor is difficult in Kandahar,” he says, “but it is necessary for growth and competitiveness.”
The jobs fair was supported by USAID’s Afghanistan Workforce Development Program (AWDP) and organized by a local NGO that focuses on improving women’s chances.
Bassria was one of those who attended the fair. “I never thought that one could look for a job in this way,” she says.
Many businessmen described the event as a useful addition to traditional hiring practices. However, it continued with one aspect of local custom. The job seekers and their potential employers became acquainted over cups of tea.