Afghan civil servants trained in public administration as part of Kazakhstan’s development assistance

ASTANA – The Kazakh Ministry of Foreign Affairs recently hosted a seminar to increase the potential of Afghanistan’s civil servants and representatives of non-governmental organisations as part of Kazakhstan’s evolving official development assistance (ODA) system. The event was supported the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) office in Kazakhstan and the Japanese Agency for International Cooperation.

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The Kazakh side presented its experience in public administration, medicine and education to 24 Afghan representatives.

President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev and Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe agreed in 2015 that Japan would fund the project.

The project seeks to strengthen the economic independence of Afghan women. According to the plan, the next seminar will discuss maternal and child health at the beginning of next year.

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The lectures were given by Civil Service Regional Hub steering committee chairperson Alikhan Baimenov, Aimak Foundation for Regional Development and Local Self-Government President Aigul Solovyeva, Kazakhstan’s Business Women Association President Raushan Sarsembayeva, as well as the professors from the Nazarbayev University, Academy for Public Administration under the President of Kazakhstan and Eurasian National University.

Earlier, Almaty hosted a seminar, “Improving the productivity and profitability of agribusiness through teaching innovative technologies of water and energy saving to farmers and agricultural specialists of Central Asian countries” on April 24-28. The seminar was organised by the Kazakh Foreign Ministry, the UNDP office in Kazakhstan and the Embassy of Israel in Kazakhstan.

On Dec. 10, 2014, President Nazarbayev signed a law on Kazakhstan’s OfficialDevelopment Assistance programme, the first in Central Asian. The law followed a Nov. 3, 2014 agreement signed by then Minister of Foreign Affairs Erlan Idrissov and UNDP representative in Kazakhstan Stephen Tull, expressing UNDP support for the programme and noting Kazakhstan’s move from aid recipient to donor.

The ODA office will have a regional focus and help achieve Kazakhstan’s 2050 development goals, noted Idrissov at the time. Kazakhstan joins numerous countries that have created ODA programmes, which have proven to be effective development tools for donor countries.

Kazakhstan has allocated $350 million in foreign aid in recent years.