Excerpt: The Kabul of the pre-1970s Soviet onslaught was the Paris of Central Asia, successful in agriculture, tourism and hospitality. Post-war Kabul of the future could be an energy hub, connecting Tajik and Uzbek energy and gas to India in particular.
So, how can a job-creating infrastructure be created efficiently to reverse the country’s precipitous decline?
First, leverage existing successes. Roshan, for example, is a rags-to-riches mobile phone operator and the leader among entrepreneurs responsible for the deployment of cell phones to two-thirds of Afghans. My research shows that throughout the developing world successful organizations like Roshan must inevitably take on more tasks than their counterpart firms in more advanced economies to compensate for the inadequacies of their business environment. By doing so, they benefit not only their own shareholders and stakeholders but their homeland. Thus, these firms must be encouraged to act as incubators, spawning new ventures that provide outlets for talented workers.
Second, coordinate the efforts of multiple entities, recognizing that the United States isn’t the only or even the most significant player in extending a helping hand to Afghanistan.