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Managing Afghanistan’s Mineral Wealth

Towards Sustainable Economic Development

Task Force 2015



Matthew Golden

US Department of State Foreign Service Officer

Faculty Adviser

Scott Montgomery

Scott Montgomery


Task Force

  • Ryan Bersentes
  • Thomas Caetano
  • Rachel Caren
  • Patricia Denga
  • Adam Easter
  • Igor Evgenevich
  • Jessica Mellinger
  • Devon O'Neill
  • Michael Smith
  • Xiangjun Wan
  • Sara Wong
  • Sarah Yu

A wedding ceremony is easy, but the preparation is difficult.”

Afghan Proverb


The United States Geological Survey confirmed the existence of world-class mineral resources in Afghanistan. These mineral riches, valued around three trillion dollars, present an unprecedented opportunity to develop sustained economic growth in the war-torn country. However, potential extractive mineral operations face major logistical challenges

Major Policy Recommendations

Prioritize small-scale mines early on, specifically in northern provinces;

Develop ground water resources;

Encourage investment for new power generating projects;

Establish government agency tasked with maintaining current and future road projects;

Utilize Private Security Companies to augment local police and security operations;

Engage all ethnic groups within government affairs;

Address corruption and implement appropriate checks and balances for the

judicial branch;

Initiate bureaucratic and statute changes in each ministry involved in extraction;

Foster greater cooperation with neighboring countries in areas including energy and water;

Construct educational strategy that focuses on mineral sector skills, training, and education;

Assist and advise the Afghan government in crafting local content policies for the mining industry;

Conduct nation-wide audit on financial institutions, and implement an economic reconstruction zone;

Establish transparent sovereign wealth fund.

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