ASTANA – The leading researchers from the United States and Kazakhstan will collaborate to develop policies to address Kazakhstan’s challenges in climate change and green economy, migration, economic diversification, and foreign policy over the next six months under the auspices of the Oxus Society for Central Asian Affairs program, which was launched on Jan. 26 in Astana.
Established in 2020, the Oxus Society is a U.S.-based non-profit organization dedicated to fostering academic exchange between Central Asia and the rest of the world.
“Our goal in founding this organization was to bring together a diverse mix of academics, journalists, activists, entrepreneurs, and government officials to draw attention to underreported subjects of local and political importance,” said Edward Lemon, president of the Oxus Society and research assistant professor at Texas A&M University.
“Through this program, the goal is to think about the challenges and issues that Kazakhstan faces today, but also ones that are emerging and are going to be challenges in the future and find ways to address them collectively,” he said about the current collaboration.
The program aims to build knowledge and understanding of Kazakhstan and Central Asia.
“The end product of this program will be a series of policy briefs and other shorter media products. (…) We also compile a series of original datasets on key issues with the aim of understanding and helping set the agenda for policymakers both within the region and beyond, in places like the United States, and really what we wanted to do with the Oxus Society was to build a community of experts,” said Lemon.
Officials from both countries say the efforts could help transform the region by enhancing the quality of research and establishing a network of experts.
Nurgali Arystanov, director of the Department of America at the Kazakh Foreign Ministry, said Kazakhstan is open to new ideas and initiatives.
“Our desire comes from the interest of creating a prosperous society, and [from desire] to unlock new opportunities, deliver tangible benefits for our citizens, and accelerate economic progress. Ideally, we can partner to create an ecosystem for our young talents and entrepreneurial spirits so that universities, businesses, companies, and government, all of us interact in such a synergetic way,” said Arystanov.
Tahra Vose, press attaché in the U.S. Embassy in Kazakhstan, said Kazakhstan has all the expertise necessary to become more prominent globally and academically.
“It is part of our ongoing partnership with Kazakhstan now for over 30 years, continually growing, and I am very happy to say at least from the time that I have been here and from what I have seen, the history continues to grow in the right direction,” said Vose.
Some of the work might also help to combat disinformation about Kazakhstan and the region.
“You are well positioned to help inform and inspire change by providing accurate information and comprehensive analysis to these very important issues,” she said, addressing the participants.