Career Building Steps for Afghans

“This position offers the opportunity to collaborate on a professional level with staff from around the world. The work requires
“This position offers the opportunity to collaborate on a professional level with staff from around the world. The work requires excellence on the part of many staff members and creates an environment that will help me later as I pursue a degree in law.”
Afghan citizens are working in upper management positions
When asked about her education and prospects, Afghani, the head office and special projects manager for
USAID’s implementing partner, Central Asia Development Group, is quick to talk about her family. “I have been very fortunate,” she states. “My family promoted my education. I have one older sister, who is now a lawyer, and a second who studies political science. I have been encouraged to pursue long-term studies in law.”
These opportunities are not available to all Afghan citizens. In a country where fewer than seven percent of women are able to pursue higher education, a university degree is a rare thing. “There are only a few cities where this is possible,” Afghani explains. “At the same time, there is a core of female students in Kabul who have been supported by their families and are able to achieve higher levels of education.”
The current generation of Afghan graduates constitutes a small but promising group of intellectuals and administrators who will play a larger role in coming years, helping Afghanistan to grow as a stable country. At the same time, high unemployment rates can tempt graduates to seek foreign employment. Afghani said, “Many of my friends are now working for organizations such as USAID and the UN. These jobs have given us valuable management experience while we decide on our futures.”
USAID and its implementing partners have recognized this problem and have expanded opportunities for Afghan citizens in response. The USAID project implemented by Central Asian Development Group employs 955 local nationals, of which, 375 have signifigant decision-making roles, from provincial management to engineering and on-site monitoring.
Afghani plans to continue working for the project in the coming year before entering a law program. “I have learned a great deal here. Working with professionals has helped prepare me for legal studies. I hope that with a degree in law, I will be able to support people here in Afghanistan even more.”

Last updated: January 12, 2015

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