Investment in infrastructure and employment in Afghanistan

Review of past and present investment plans

Summary:

Scholars of economics contend that infrastructure development is the foundation of a sustainable economy and a means to achieving broader nation-building goals.

However, while infrastructure is fundamental to moving popular support away from pre-war or during-conflict loyalties, there is also the argument that it could be a means to direct spoilers towards post-war political objectives.

For a country to reap maximum benefits from investment into infrastructure projects, this development needs to be viewed through a conflict analysis lens and understood in the context of the conflict dynamics of the region that it is taking place in.

This paper argues that in order to reap maximum benefits from large-scale investment in Afghanistan, government and donors need to ensure that this investment contributes to generating employment opportunities for Afghans, particularly youth, returnees and internally displaced persons, in a conflict-sensitive manner.

This research was conducted as part of a project partnership between the Bonn International Center for Conversion (BICC), The Liaison Office (TLO) and International Alert.